Darwin Award

This evening, on my way home from work, I was knocked off my bike by a careless pedestrian. Again.

A family of 5 or 6 people walked out into the road without looking. I hit the brakes immediately and shouted to get their attention – cycling around Bristol this is practically an everyday occurrence for me, and the pedestrian almost always looks up and stops dead in their tracks – allowing me to pass them safely.

But on this occasion none of the group looked up, and they were spread across the road so there was no gap I could aim for.

Even though I was braking as hard as I could, my racing bike brakes aren’t really designed for stopping, and I ended up ploughing into the crowd of people. I shouldered a woman hard, which sent me veering off to the right, where I crashed up a steep kerb with both wheels. Having anticipated the crash, I managed to fall ‘nicely’ and avoided serious damage.

I immediately got back on the bike and rode away. The front wheel was a little buckled but ridable. After a bit I looked back over my shoulder and saw the woman lying in the road, crying. Perhaps a bit harsh of me not to stop, but I feel no guilt when the accident was entirely her fault. It’s what you get when you walk into the road without looking!

She was with her family who could look after her if necessary, and who might also have had a go at me for the accident (as is often the case with relatives).

Overall I’m just glad I didn’t end up with a dislocated shoulder, like I did last time. Not a pleasant experience.

As an aside, I was using my new heart rate monitor today. I didn’t check it immediately before the crash, but earlier on the same, flat stretch I had been doing about 130bpm. Immediately after the crash I was doing over 180bpm. That’s adrenaline for you!

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