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Worst Commuting Crashes

boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
edited May 2009 in Commuting chat
I've had 3 over about 3 years, though am sure they can be bettered:

1. Dec 07: slipped and face-planted on black ice while cornering near Tulse Hill station (sprained wrist, grazed face (great Xmas photos that year!) and chipped tooth)
2. May 08: pit-bull type dog ran into front wheel in Camberwell (torn Camelback and bent seat rails)
3. Jan 09: slipped on raised curb while trying to beat traffic in Dulwich (VERY hard landing on right shoulder and hip; still hurts somethimes (sob); suspected nerve damage and shredded elbow/sleave).
4 Feb 09: cat runs into front wheel of brand new carbon bike, again in Dulwich (might change my route! - some how managed to stay on, so not a crash thank goodness).

Any others worth sharing? It's a very slow day here...
Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)


  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    I've had some good ones, here are the most entertaining:

    1. 2004: headbutted rear end of Merc when it pulled into the lane right in front of me and slammed the brakes on. Bike was a write off and I missed a weeks' work, concussed.
    2. 2005: first day out on my new bike about four years ago something went askew in my head and went rode straight into a parking sign post. My arm hurt and went partially numb for nearly a year. Despite that I kept riding. I've never done again since.
    3. 2005:Parked car opened door straight into me near Mile End. I was sent sprawling across the road - caught full force of edge of door on my knee and lower leg. The bloke told me I was lucky I hadn;t damaged his car and walked off leaving me lying in the road. Noone helped. Cars went around me. Eventually I was able to get up, work out nothing was broken nd gingerly cycle home. The next day was worse. couldn;t walk for a couple of days, and it took about a month to stop hurting. This happened on my birthday.
    4. 2006: Front wheel went into disused tram line in North Woolwich and made me do a somersaut, landing on my back, bike landing on me. I was carrying my laptop at the time, but it survived.
  • Stuey01Stuey01 Posts: 1,273
    Only had one worth talking about.

    Pulling away from lights in front of a queue of traffic, turn on the power and bang my cranks come right off. The force flips me over the bars onto my back with bike still attached, right in front of the queue of traffic.

    Was very battered and bruised, and the bike had a taco'd front wheel.
    Only day off sick I have ever had was that day.

    Hollowtech 2 cranks cranks fitted by a numpty who didn't tighten them up properly was the cause. I foolishly didn't check them. Lesson learned, I am now paranoid about checking my crank bolts (and QRs)
    Not climber, not sprinter, not rouleur
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Just out of interest if a car pulls out in front of you and slams the breaks on and you nail into the back of them on your bike, who's at fault? Likewise if a car overtakes you and does them same....

    Oh and my worst crash was when I was climbing up a hill, hammering the pedals and my chain pinged off sending me over the bars and onto my side....
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    edited May 2009
    Jeepie wrote:
    Just out of interest if a car pulls out in front of you and slams the breaks on and you nail into the back of them on your bike, who's at fault? Likewise if a car overtakes you and does them same....

    My lawyer took the view that the driver was at fault - I had a witness who said that he thought that the driver had done it on purpose to annoy me - or something.

    So I was suing him for £3000 - he countersued me for the same amount because of damage he said I caused to his vehicle.

    In the end I was advised to drop the case as it was looking expensive. I settled out of court for the princely sum of F All.
  • nationnation Posts: 609
    Jeepie wrote:
    Just out of interest if a car pulls out in front of you and slams the breaks on and you nail into the back of them on your bike, who's at fault? Likewise if a car overtakes you and does them same....

    In theory, the person doing the cutting up is at fault. In practice, you will never be able to argue that successfully without an independent witness. Usually it's assumed that a person hitting the back of another is at fault (because you're supposed to maintain adequate seperation distance). The difficulty of these is why so many of them are the basis of fraudulent personal injury claims.

    Most likely, one person's word against another, 50/50 liability.
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I sometimes have to cycle to do my job (not to get to but actually doing, for coaching) I haven't had bad accidents, but I've had hilarious ones...

    Pedestrian stepped across me so I cycled into the river, my crew nearly capsized they were laughing so hard.

    and more recently there was some of that orange plastic webbing across the towpath, caught a foot in it, and did a forward roll off the bike and through a puddle!
  • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
    edited May 2009
    Thanks for those so far! Jeepie, think you are generally at fault if you ride into a braking car, so best to keep your distance. Different though if the car turns across you without signalling, in which case they are to blame.
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • Fireblade96Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    On a very greasy, damp morning, dropping down off a kerb onto the road, I checked for traffic coming, fairly clear, but I got the angle wrong and my front wheel skidded and tucked under. I went over the bars, landed in a heap on the road.

    Fortunately there were no cars too close! Fortunately too i was wearing gloves which saved my hand from worse damage than it got. Few bruises but mostly injured dignity.

    And before anyone mentions footpath cycling, the cycle path through the park ends by the footpath, which you *have* to cross to get to the road !

    Lesson learned : always wear gloves !
    Misguided Idealist
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    edited May 2009
    boneyjoe wrote:
    Thanks for those so far! Jeepie, think you are generally at fault if you ride into a braking car, so best to keep your distance. Different though if the car turns into you without signalling, in which case they are to blame.

    It's sometimes difficult to maintain the distance.

    In my case the driver involved had been playing silly games with me for a while. It was that bit from Hyde Park Corner to Victoria station - with about 4 lanes all going off in different directions - so I like to get into the correct lane and maintain that position - usually at same speed as the cars. This guy was trying to force me out of the lane for some reason but I refused to budge which caused him to hit his expensive wing mirror against my bike - one of the items of damage he cited in the legal action.

    Anyway I got past him and got a bit of speed up - looked behind before making a manouvre - there was loads of space in front of me. when I looked back he was there - stopped - and I had no time to stop.

    The witness filled in the gap for me - the driver had pulled in right in front of me and stopped suddenly. I don;t think he meant for me to hit him - he was probably unware that I hadn;t seen him. I think he was just trying to intimidate me for earlier.

    Afterwards he tried to drive away but I leaned on the front of his car and bled at him. He panicked when he saw the blood pouring down my face and called an ambulance. Then he tried to drive off again, but my helpful witness held him until the police arrived.
  • Christophe3967Christophe3967 Posts: 1,200
    A hybrid chap last night weaving suicidally through the traffic on Vic Emb. Flouro trainers, gym shorts, t-shirt, imaginary To$$er tattoo on his forehead, but reasonably quick, tried to turn right at Temple from the inside lane. So busy checking over his shoulder to cut accross two lanes without scrubbing off any speed, he quite forgot to make sure that the traffic in front was still moving. Ah well.... he was lucky to only catch the door handle and wing mirror of the car in front. Gave the driver a bit of a shock though. I've also seen someone headbutt a bus before at Notting Hill whilst looking over his shoulder.

    Its all very well knowing what's happening behind you... :roll:

    All mine have been routine - mainly without anyone's help. :oops:
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Sorry to hear about that Porgy. I can imagine that happening. What I'm talking about is when a car manoeuvres into the space that you have left as a safe distance (e.g. changing lanes or pulling out of a side road) and then the car gives it full on the brakes.....

    I'm interested as this has happened to me a few times, but I've always managed to stop in time. I can't say my luck will last forever.
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    I have had 2...

    first one, not sure what happened....backflipped while going over a speed-bump....

    twisted my left knee really badly...split the meniscus, and knicked the cruciate (not completely split thankfully)....also ripped my shorts and got the dreaded baboon butt.

    Leg brace and crutches for 6 months with intensive physio for me :oops:

    2nd outside lane in primary going down a busy street when a van driver in the inside lane decided to do a u-turn straight into me.....superman over his bonnet....broken ribs....he then continued his turn and diappeared in the opposite direction :evil:
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
    Jeez Porgy, that sounds like an awful incident. In that sort of case, you have my full support, and I'd expect the law's too, though you've seen first hand just how difficult it is to enforce. I've had a couple of similar ones over the years, but thankfully nowhere near as bad.

    Where there any great crashes in the snow/ice at the start of the year? I saw an excellent one (again in Dulwich!), where a guy slid about 25m on black ice, ending up a foot from the front wheel of a bus (no injuries though thankfully!).
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    I cycle along a towpath in the winter. This guy was crossing from the opposite side of the lock and made a slight turn to the left. His whole bike lifted into the air and he went down in slow-mo on the ice. I cycle over to help him, lost it on the same patch of ice and ran him over :oops:
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    I slid on ice once - not sure how far but it was down quite a steep hill on Dartmoor when I was about 18. It took a fair amount of skin off one leg.

    It was in a country lane with high hedges either side, and while the ice generally had melted, it had stubbornly remained on this stretch of road awaiting its first unwary victim.

    It wasn't on my commute though - three years before I got my first job.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    None awful but three fairly nasty

    1. overtaking another cyclist when the cyclist pulls out without indicating/shoulder checking, I instinctively steer to avoid him and hit the side of a black cab overtaking me. Go down, bar digs in, somersault down the road. Damage - me, lots of nasty road rash and shredded knuckles (despite gloves) / bike, new wheel, new brake lever

    2. lose the front wheel on diesel at >20 mph, hit the road hard, crack helmet, nasty gash to eyebrow from glasses, hude haematoma on hip, cracked rib, roadrash. Bike - scratches and bar tape

    3. lose the front wheel on diesel at >20mph, hit the road hard, crack helmet, badly sprain thumb, crack ri, road rash. Bike - scratches and bar tape

    And yes, the last two were seperate incidents and no they weren't in the same place...

  • Mine are not exactly all "commuting" accidents but they are all the significant spills I have had on a bike:
      1. Age 14, cycling to school. Get knocked off on the South Circular at Dulwich. Out cold on the street. Cars were driving round me, a nurse who was on her way to work saw me and picked me up, she said it took the best part of 10mins to park her car and get back to me but the cars were still just driving round me. When I came round I had total amnesia, didn't know my own name where I was why I was there etc. I can still remember that feeling, very odd. I never regained the memory of what happened before the crash, i.e. getting up that morning, having breakfast, settting off and of course how I end up face first on the South circular. I had to spend the night in Kings College hospital and they woke me up every hour to make sure I didn't have brain damage. Some relatively bad facial injuries and at least a week off school. Bike survived for at least another 2 years...

      2. In the late 1990s I had a nasty, brutish and short career as a courier. It was summer and there was one of those tropical torrential downpours. I was cycling round Covent Garden area on the cobbles. Car in front braked sharply and I went straight into the back of it despite braking hard. I just kind of skidded/slipped along the cobbles as if in slow motion. A bit like Porgy, I kind of headbutted it. I don't think the driver bothered to stick about. Ended up stumbling round the west end for a while in a very dazed and confused state. Somehow found myself in The London Graphic Centre where a kindly sales person took pity on me and called an ambulance. Gave up couriering after that and started wearing a helmet.

      3. About five years ago. I went to Hyde Park to meet some friends. Drank too much. Then decided to meet some other friends in a pub in Ladbroke Grove. Decided it would be fun to ride a fast as possible on the running path along the edge of the park with no hands. Came off, very sore. Try not to drink and cycle anymore. If that cannot be avoided I at least try to keep both hands on the bars.

      Hopefully I am a bit more sensible now.
    • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
      edited May 2009
      That tow path one got me thinking. As kids in South Africa, my brother and I used to race our bikes around the swimming pool at home. On an extremely cold winters day, I flicked his back wheel with my front one, sending him (and bike) straight into the deep end of the pool! Though there must have been other ways to get the bike out, my mum made me put my speedo on (yes, it was the 70's I'm afraid), and dive into the freezing water to get the bike. I can still remember my eyes turning to ice blocks in a split second!
      Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
      Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
    • Robmanic1Robmanic1 Posts: 2,150
      Damn those Frenchies!

      Approaching a dual lane RAB, intending to take 2nd exit so maintaining a strong secondary, two lanes of cars waiting to join RAB from 1st exit, 2nd car edges a little too far forward for my liking, just saw him out of the corner of my eye when he caught my back wheel and launched me over the bars. I'm sat in the middle of the road thinking "come on, get up before you get run over", unfortunately the rest of my body wouldn't respond and it was some time (or so it seemed) until I managed to get up. Surrounded by people who appeared from nowhere when I hear my brothers voice "you ok?", he was on the same RAB, about three cars back and saw me flying through the air. Escaped relatively unscathed luckily, the guy who hit me was French, and in true "Wenger " style said "I did not see you". The lasting image for me was watching this guy trying to re-fit my rear mudguard, bearing in mind the wheel was completely tachoed! I think he was more shaken up than me.
      Pictures are better than words because some words are big and hard to understand.[email protected]/3336802663/
    • jemjahjemjah Posts: 29
      apart from my major accident, the only other time i came off was when cycling past a stationary traffic up to red traffic lights in cycle lane. a woman stepped out in front of me from behind a bus. I just hit her but managed to somehow jump off the bike onto the pavement leaving the bike in a heap, but me on my feet. the woman was very apologetic, and more shaken up than me!

      i can't believe how many stories i keep hearing about where drivers just don't stop after hitting someone! :evil:
    • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
      1. March 2002, Headington Roundabout, Oxford, t-boned and literally knocked flying by a fast-moving bus, broken collarbone, dislocated shoulder, concussion, dazed and confused half on half off the roundabout. Bus tried to leg it, passengers on bus made it stop and take me + bike to hospital. Bike somewhat banana-shaped. Bad road rash on right arm and thigh.

      2. January 2006, near Barbican, bike trapped between a fence and a lorry that turned left without indicating having made eye contact with me. It was the old commuter, the handlebars were squashed inwards 'til the grips were about 20cm apart. I scrambled over the fence and escaped being crushed, to this day I don't know how. No injuries to me.

      3. March 2008, High Street Kensington, knocked sideways by van, I was going about 23mph, had no time to stop or even slow before I hit a very high kerb, planted hands and head on road, somersault with bike still attached via SPDs. Several broken ribs, small hole in right lung, hefty concussion, road rash on hands, grazed all over head like a mohican. Van and car behind van left, kindly cyclist doctor stopped traffic around me until ambulance arrived and stopped my flight instinct getting me up.
    • LDN-FlyerLDN-Flyer Posts: 97
      Its insane how many hit and runs there are in this thread alone !
    • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
      I've had a few. Worst one was hitting a pedestrian who stepped out in front of me as I headed through the City. I saw him come out of an office building towards the curb, he looked right at me and then stepped out and we made contact. He was pretty chunky so I bounced off him, came unclipped and skidded across the tarmac with the bike going in the other direction. I remember getting up and cars just filtering past me! A few other pedestrians stopped and the guy was pretty shaken up, he had to be lifted out of the road, I had a few cuts and grazes and my bars were twisted to a funny angle. I stayed with him to make sure he was OK until he started going on about claiming on my insurance for his stupidity. I said there was no way I would accept responsibility, gave him my address but never heard from him again.

      Other than that, I've run into the back of a couple of buses, once I was overtaking one bus which was slowing to a bus stop and came face to face with the back of another in front of it. My fault, but I made enough of an impact for the driver to hear the noise, stop the bus and get out to see if I was OK. I was just a bit shaken and bruised.

      When I first started commuting, a van driver did a u turn way in front of me so he was blocking the road waiting for traffic to clear in the other direction. Stupidly I tried to pass in front of him just as he started moving and I went over the bonnet. Again my fault I suppose....
      Do not write below this line. Office use only.
    • Fireblade96Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
      I was thinking of bring my bike up to London some time for a bimble round - I'm not so sure now !

      OK, to lighten the mood. Best comedy crash:
      I was about 9, racing a mate down the hill outside our house. I decided to turn up our drive, a 90 degree turn, so rather than lean the bike / slow / do anything sensible like that I just turned the bars 90 degrees.

      That hurt !
      Misguided Idealist
    • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
      LDN-Flyer wrote:
      Its insane how many hit and runs there are in this thread alone !

      and this thread doesn't even include the time I was run over while walking across the road at Baker street. He hit me at speed and I flew. Strangely I was OK, got up and saw that the culprit had stopped. But as soonas he saw I was OK he took off.

      a witness got his number for me and the police gave me his name and address. One day - if I ever find myself in Straford Upon Avon I might pay the guy a visit.
    • LDN-FlyerLDN-Flyer Posts: 97
      I was thinking of bring my bike up to London some time for a bimble round - I'm not so sure now !

      OK, to lighten the mood. Best comedy crash:
      I was about 9, racing a mate down the hill outside our house. I decided to turn up our drive, a 90 degree turn, so rather than lean the bike / slow / do anything sensible like that I just turned the bars 90 degrees.

      That hurt !

      I was 6 and copying my brother riding whilst eating an apple.

      No idea what happened but i end up in the side of a parked car, with a split knee, 12 sitches and still have the scar.

      I also managed to put a ski through my leg in tignes this year, due to a navigational error
    • boneyjoeboneyjoe Posts: 369
      Bloody heck, there are some horrid ones out there! The concussion stuff is pretty weird isn't it? Not cycling obviously, but I stood on the ball once playing football, cracking my head badly on concrete. No recollection of the next 30 mins, though friends say I was conscious, telling people my name was Roberto Baggio and that I lived in Wandsworth (I was living in Shad Thames at the time!). Took a very long time to for the headaches to go away and be able to concentrate properly. Let's not start the helmet debate, but I do wear one now!
      Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
      Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
    • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
      I'll try and lighten it further (utterly non commuting related of course)

      How I was taught to ride a bike by my 2 elder brothers by Kieran (aged 6)

      Brother "Right sit on that." points to saddle
      Brother "put hands on that" points to handlebars
      Brother "put feet on them" points to pedals

      I'm now being held up by them

      On hill

      Brothers "right we'll push you started and don't fall off"


      Me "errrrrr......."


      "How do I stop!?!"

      "Use the brakes!"

      "What are brakes??"

      MK1 Jag.....

      Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
      2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
      2011 Trek Madone 4.5
      2012 Felt F65X
      Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
    • I forgot to mention that after incident #2, I locked my bike up but in my dazed and confused state I couldn't remember where. I looked high and low for it a couple of days after the accident but no joy.

      A couple of weeks later a friend called me to say he thought he had seen it locked up at Cambidge Circus. So I went there to collect it. When I got there I found it had been stripped of all the useful parts. The front wheel was badly buckled so they left that but the rest of the bike had been relieved of its main components.

      I still unlocked it to stick in the back of the car, as I did so a bunch of morons in the All Bar One on the corner were leering and laughing at me.

      I've been smashed on the head and some w*nker has stripped my bike - thanks! :evil: :evil:
    • RedJohnRedJohn Posts: 272
      Crashed into another cyclist who pulle dout in front of me at a junction on a cycle route. Not hugely fast, but I t boned her front wheel - couldn't quite swerve quickly enough - and she landed on her coccyx which was rather sore. Passerby called an ambulance as she couldn't move. She rested her head o nmy work shirt until it arrived so I was a bit late for work. I got a few scratches and bruises and broke my watch starp and bent my saddle.
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