LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This weekend, cyclists from all over will arrive in Little Rock as the Big Dam Bridge 100 returns.
Organizers and riders have all had safety at the top of their minds after sharp objects were reported to have been on the riding path in years past as well as the previous weekend.
As time has drawn closer to this year's Big Dam Bridge 100, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office has been working closely with the event organizers to make sure no dangerous objects are left on the roads.
"It's very unfortunate. Obviously, it can cause harm to yourself, others, property, you name it," cyclist, Erik Blaty said.
Blaty said he's heard of instances where cyclists have fallen victim to tacks and screws in the road, and though it's never happened to him, he has continued to keep an eye out.
"If you plan, plan for the worst hope for the best kind of mentality, then you're good to go," Blaty explained.
According to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, they received a report of screws on the road in Roland last weekend, and cyclists will soon be biking to that area in the upcoming race.
"We know this happened, of course, in 2019, where there were multiple reports, of course of screws and things like that in the area for the race. We do think it was possibly just a coincidence that they chose to do that isolated area during the week of the race this time," Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office Communications Specialist, Kristin Knox said.
Knox added that the department increased patrol for that area, in preparation for this weekend's event.
"There will be several checks throughout the week, and probably even in the wee hours of that morning, as well, before the race begins with organizers to ensure that that path is clear and that everyone is good to go along the race route," she said.
Blaty said that the increase in patrol has given him peace of mind as he prepares to head into his 16th year at the Big Dam Bridge 100.
"I don't have any hesitations other than, you know, just being around that many people, obviously, you've got all ranges of people there from pro-level down to they just found out what a bike is," Blaty explained.
He hopes drivers will be a little more patient around bikers this weekend.
"Cyclists are out there doing what they like to do. And just, you know, give them that opportunity to do so without any harm," he said.
If you see any screws, tacks, or other sharp objects on the road, you're asked to please call the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office Non-Emergency number at (501) 340-6963.