Lake Fayetteville soft surface nature trail could become one-way route for cyclists

Via Fayetteville Flyer

FAYETTEVILLE—The singletrack nature trail surrounding Lake Fayetteville could soon become a one-way route for cyclists.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department is asking for input on a proposed change that would make the soft-surface path unidirectional for mountain bikers.

The idea was brought forth by representatives from Ozark Off Road Cyclists and the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks as a way to increase safety and enhance the experience for those who use the trail.

Aside from reducing the chances of a head-on bicycle collision, mountain bikers stand to gain plenty from a unidirectional route on a narrow, singletrack trail.

Brannon Pack, executive director of OORC, said one-way routes give cyclists more continuity in their ride if they rarely have to stop and let others pass. Riders also can enjoy more perceived solitude, he said, even during peak usage times. Plus, the quality of the trail itself would be better preserved if less riders were passing each other, which can contribute to the undesired widening of the route in certain areas.

Pack said bike shops and organizations like his often send people to Lake Fayetteville to try mountain biking for the first time. Because of its mildly technical terrain, the trail serves as the first exposure for a lot of beginning riders.

“We want to make sure that as a community we’re fostering the right environment for that,” he said. “And we really see Lake Fayetteville serving the public that way.”

The new rule would not apply to anyone traveling on foot, but hikers, joggers and dog walkers could also benefit from the proposal.

“If you’re out there hiking, you’ll know which way the bicycles are coming from and your response will be more natural if you come across one,” said Pack. “The experience would be much better for everyone.”

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