Falling off my bike whilst moving at high speed

The first time I fell when moving fast, I was cycling along the side of the road through Brompton, on my way into London. I was in the cycle lane and there was a bit of a traffic jam. The cars were stationary but the cycle lane was clear so I was cycling quite fast. I was approaching a section of the road that had a Keep Clear sign, for cars to turn into a car park on my left. As I approached that section, I looked but nothing was turning so I kept cycling. All of a sudden, a big jeep thing swung quickly into the Keep Clear section and across my path into the car park. A millisecond before it would have hit me, I pulled on my brakes and skidded around so I was side on to the car. By the time it had disappeared into the car park, I had fallen sideways off the bike and skidded along the tarmac road, leaving the majority of my leg skin there. As this fall was post-cleats, the sudden pull of my body off the bike had been too fast for the shoes. I stood up, in my socks, and noticed that my cleats were still attached to the pedals on my bike! People rushed over, offering support and cursing the jeep driver. I stalked after him into the car park, in my socks, pushing my bike. I caught up with him and poked my head in the driver’s side.

“Are you going to say sorry?” I demanded.

“What’s wrong? Are you ok?” The man seemed worried.

“You just pulled in front of me and I had to brake really hard and I came off my bike.”

“O god, sorry! I didn’t see you.”

“EXACTLY!” I said, self righteously.

“But I, I didn’t see you.”

“Thats not ok. That doesn’t excuse you,” I ranted. “Why weren’t you bloody looking!?”

After a long rant, I mounted my bicycle, awkwardly because of the shoes on pedals and because I now realised that the seat had been shunted out of place, and flounced off, as best I could given the situation at hand.

The next time I fell off my bike whilst moving at speed was a similar situation. The cars were still at a set of traffic lights but the cycle lane was clear so I was cycling quite fast. A lazy mother was dropping her child off at school and instead of driving her into the school car park, she had obviously told her to jump out at the lights. The little girl, not looking of course, opened her car door just as I passed and almost knocked me out. I was thrown clean off my bike and onto the pavement. The edge of the door had ripped the skin between my little finger and ring finger apart and was bleeding all over. My arm felt broken and my leg had taken a bit of a pull in the wrong direction.

“What the fuck are you doing?!” I yelled at the little girl. In hindsight, this may not have been the best thing to say to a little girl.

Shell shocked, I struggled to my feet as the Mum came around from the drivers side and asked me if there was anything she could do.

“I think you’ve done enough!” I snapped, as I got on my bike and gingerly cycled away.

I had a bruise on my arm from shoulder to elbow which was deep purple and yellow and lasted for weeks. It wasn’t broken but I couldn’t really use it for the next two days.

Bloody kids.

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11 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve had a few of those in different countries… once I was almost rammed by a military truck in Vietnam, once here in Tokyo where I almost got run over. Since that day I haven’t touched a bicycle, safer and better for my health to walk. (^-^;) Also, Japanese bicyclists are totally unaware of any red lights, and I now know how walkers over here feel about them. I do miss biking though! It’s hard to imagine any country less bike friendly than Japan…

    Reply

    • Really? Japan’s been on my bucket list for ages and I once saw something that was like a biking tour of the country! Probably best I never got round to booking it! I’ve been to Vietnam a few times and the traffic there is mental, especially in Hanoi.

      Reply

      • Back in the 90s Hanoi was a great city for biking. I never had any problems. I think it changed in 1997 and 1998 when the number of cars exploded on the streets of the city. These days it is indeed mental. You are right. Japan is not the worst. I am only talking about commuting on a bike in the Japanese cities, touring might be different, I have never done it! (^-^;)

      • So maybe I’ll still do it one day. I’ll let you know.

  2. Falling off a bike is never good. I hope you are wearing a helmet. It only takes once…

    Reply

  3. You could have taken the registration number of the car and initiated an injury claim.

    Reply

    • Loads of people said that to me but at the time I was very shaky and in shock and just wanted continue my journey to work so I could sit down. It didn’t even occur to me till later.

      Reply

  4. It’s stupid mothers. And this scares me. Portland is a big cycling city and we have bike lanes and these things at intersections called Bike Boxes so the cars see the bikes. We’ve had too many fatalities here because trucks (usually) can’t see the cyclists.

    BE CAREFUL!!!

    Reply

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