Cycling accidents: share your experiences

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
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#1
Well, as the title says: share your experiences.

Since I have started to cycle in Japan I have had about four crashes worth mentioning, two of which were caused by my own inattention (riding too fast on a rainy day, etc). My most serious accident involved a lorry driver in Ibaraki Prefecture who decided to turn left without indicating his change of direction. I have been lucky so far.

Today I had my most unusual incident (not less painful though). Once a week I have a lesson in Shin-Kawasaki: a smooth 28k ride from my place, cycling down National Road No.1 across Tamagawa. After I had finished my lesson I was looking forward to flying back into Tokyo with heavy tailwind. I didn't get far. Riding along Shin-Kawasaki's narrow main street with about 25km/h I suddenly felt my bar vibrating. Next moment I noticed that my stem was broken, my front wheel out of control and the bar completely detached from the front bar shaft. I ended up on the curb with a few bruises, scratches and a broken stem. Metal fatigue! Guess I should be glad it didn't happen on the N1 doing 45 between trucks...

Unfortunately, I forgot to take some pictures. Had to leave my Bianchi behind, hope she'll still be there when I pick her up next Friday.
:eek:uch:
 

Freeride39

Peloton Leader
May 28, 2006
370
1
38
California/Tokyo Japan/Okinawa
#3
Damn Thomas, if it's not one thing it's another with you and the crashes. That one could've happen to anybody though. Be glad that you weren't on a crazy descent, could've been mad deadly. A neck breaking is a new one for me; I have never heard that happening before to a road bike. MTB.....YES!
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
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#4
YES 20 YEARS OF STRESS AND STRAIN

sorry to hear that! only in Japan, though, could you actually have any hope of your cycle still being there!:cool:
I have chained her of course. I am not so much afraid of theft as of "communal confiscation". :warau:

Damn Thomas, if it's not one thing it's another with you and the crashes. That one could've happen to anybody though. Be glad that you weren't on a crazy descent, could've been mad deadly. A neck breaking is a new one for me; I have never heard that happening before to a road bike. MTB.....YES!
I am getting used to falling from the bike, lolol. Just two weeks ago I slipped in the rain on my praiseworthy Bianchi. The lady is 20 years old, that might explain the broken neck...
 

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
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shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#6
The Bianchi is dead??? Really sorry to hear that man, she was a Classic! :( Still that is unusual for a Bianchi to break, they are famous for their strong welding. Guess it must be the age and you did put some serious miles on the old girl I am sure.

Now that NEVER happens to a Pinarello...

Long live the Trek!

Ash
 

Newton

Senior Cyclist
Feb 15, 2006
127
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36
Tokyo
www.fotolog.com
#7
Wow!! Bianchi is still alive?? :eek: because the last time we (thomas & me) went to ootsuki that Bianchi was not goot to ride.

sorry to hear that thomas but be carefully with this Bianchi.
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
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#8
The Bianchi is dead??? Really sorry to hear that man, she was a Classic! :( Still that is unusual for a Bianchi to break, they are famous for their strong welding. Guess it must be the age and you did put some serious miles on the old girl I am sure.
Provided, she's still there tomorrow I will of course try to revive her, since she's not a total loss. The frame should still be alright. :)


Wow!! Bianchi is still alive?? because the last time we (thomas & me) went to ootsuki that Bianchi was not goot to ride. sorry to hear that thomas but be carefully with this Bianchi.
I have upgraded her completely, Newton, even fitted her with a 105 group. She was a fast old lady, lol.
 

Phil Harris

Speeding Up
Nov 9, 2006
303
0
36
Yokohama
#9
Accidents (knock on wood first: knock knock)

I`ve been fortunate thus far as well. On one occasion a car turned left as I was overtaking it (she didin`t signal intent to turn). I glanced off the car`s left side onto the sidewalk and into a fence - no damage or injuries.

The only other incident was again in heavy traffic conditions passing cars that were bumper to bumper. A car had stopped to allow another car in the opposite lane to cross our lane just as I was passing that car - BAMM! :eek:
Fortunately again no injuries or damage; the driver did stop and was genuinely concerned whether or not I was OK. That car`s lack of speed was the determining factor in the encounter.

Going through tunnels with mischievious truck drivers in hot pursuit are the situations I most dislike.
 

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
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shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#10
Where not to ride a road bike

I have had two crashes, none on the current bike though. Neither involved other vehicles, no... I prefer to hit PEOPLE.

The first was an old lady who suddenly weaved across the road in front of me with her back to me. I sailed over the handlebars and nearly broke my arm, she was not in great shape. Front wheel completely wrecked, 2 hours discussing it with the police (who were nice, actually) and a simple decision on my part NOT TO RIDE ON BACK ROADS. I live by this now. Back streets are wasy to dangerous for road bikes as they have too many cross roads and pedestrians and bozuzoku mamacharies:eek: . I stick to major roads now and have been pretty safe.

Other crash though was on a major road when this nutcase tried to run across a 4 lane road in the dark. I hit him at 30k with the aerobars a bit like a bull hits a matador and I am sure broke some of his ribs. I also got a deep slash to my thumb so there was blood everywhere. Got him off the road and myself and rode home looking like a vampire after the feast.

ride safe!

Ash
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
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#11
Phil, Ash, thanks for sharing your experiences!

Ash, soft targets aren't fun either. I once hit a salaryman. He crossed at red light, but then suddenly turned around on the pedestrian crossing and ran back to where he'd come from. I had already started full steam and knocked him down.

Btw, I have recovered my Bianchi this morning, she was untouched. Aaah, Japan!

My jitensha-ya-san is going to weld a new fork, she'll be back in service in about two week's time. :)
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#15
I've only had one really bad accident; and it involved, you guessed it... a mama-chari!
I'd just crossed a train line, barely making the bells and flashing lights. I knew that there would be no cars behind me - they were all stopped at the train crossing.
So I was rolling right down the middle of the road. Then, from behind a truck that was stopped at the same railway crossing (but coming from the other direction) I saw a bike tyre come out. I wanted to shout "OI!", but nothing came out of my mouth..... To cut a long story short, this woman on a mama-chari came out from behind a stopped truck, and as I was trying to figure out which way she was going to turn - "is she gonna go left or right?", "is she gonna pull over to the kerb, or try and hug close to the cars?", "is she gonna......?"
No! This daft arse woman, who wasn't even looking, turns in the most perfect arc - something she couldn't have done if she WAS actually looking - directly into my front wheel!!!
I was on my old "heavy-ish" MTB that I no longer have, doing about 27km/h, and even though I saw her front wheel with about 4 meters to spare, I had no idea which way she was going to turn, and she NEVER saw me until I was directly in front of her, about 1 meter away!
We hit dead-on! With a combined speed of about 25km/h (I'd already hit the brakes by then), but I did my Superman impersonation over the handle-bars, landing flat on my palms - didn't skid or anything; there was no skin taken off my hands. My hands LOOKED completely OK.
But I had to get both wrists X-rayed and found that I'd cracked one of my carpals (wrist bones), and was in plaster for 2 weeks! (Also, I had to ride home after that, with one hand cradled in my lap).
Bottom-line is: Nothing scares me more than mama-chari's.
I'll take trucks on a highway any day! They're bigger, faster and potentially more dangerous, but at least they're predictable!
 
Nov 9, 2006
303
0
36
Yokohama
#19
A Bike`s Magnetic Field

Has anyone made the following observation:

Sometimes when passing cars on the left (or right) when there is slow moving traffic, a car will veer to the left (or right) with no apparent reason (no car ahead turning right). I was run into the guard rail on the road to Odawara from Hakone Toge by a "hapless" SUV caught in my bike`s massive magnetic field.

A more likely explanation is a driver frustrated by traffic conditions veers left in an attempt to deter the biker from passing.

What say you?
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#20
It happens all the time!

Phil Harris,
All I can say is, "get used to it!".
Drivers in Japan aren't used to dealing with cyclists who - depending on the traffic conditions - can go faster than they can in their cars!
They (the drivers) assume that anybody on a bicycle will be slower; They're not used to anything other than "Mama-chari's" (because they ride mama-chari's weekends too, and they have no idea of the speeds that 'real bikes' are capable of), so their first thought is, "if I can get past this bicycle rider, I will never have to pass him/her again".
But when the traffic is thick, I think the same way as the driver; "If I can get past this car, he'll never see my rear-flasher again ! Or, I'll never have to look at his rear bumper again."

In defense of Japanese drivers though, compared to drivers overseas, they are (usually) not deliberately malicious. Of course sometimes, you do get the odd driver with an attitude, who deliberately pulls way too far over to the left and tries to block you from passing. But for the most part, if the driver sees you, he/she will give you some lee-way.

And as for the drivers who change lanes without any thought.... They just WEREN'T looking!
I want to write a thesis on that phenomena ("Why don't people look?").
It's a big issue for us foreigners in Japan! And there is not a single day I've spent here, when I don't hear my (late) father's words ringing in my ears.....
"WATCH WHERE YOU'RE BLOODY WELL GOING !!!"
I want to say that at least 10 times a day.