Nearly 50 years of riding a bike and I finally achieved it... today I crashed into a parked car! 😂
Luckily I was going up hill (head down... probably around 8mph) and I did manage to apply some brakes... the only thing damaged was my pride. Anyone else got a similarly embarrassing tale or a "rite of passage" sort of story?
I overtook a slow moving car going down a steep hill. I felt like Eddie Merckx for a few seconds. Then I hit a pothole and was thrown into a ditch. The car passed me. Everyone in it was laughing their heads off. I felt like Norman Wisdom for the rest of the day.
Riding through Richmond Park once I saw two jousting stags. I naturally watched them as I cycled by, clipped the earth verge with my front wheel and ended up going arse over tit. I picked myself up laughing at what a prat I had just made of myself. The old lady who pootled past looked most bemused at my mirth. The stags carried on their battle, oblivious to everything else.
Buying a new road bike. Decided to go clipless. Put new pedals on the old bike to get used to them. Did the classic sideways topple after accidentally clipping back into them at a junction.
This is 30 years ago as a 22 yr old, but went for a quick ride up and down Mow Cop. On the descent I had a car waiting to pull out on the left driven by an old guy. He started to pull out and I gave him some verbals and swerved behind him. Unknowing to me as a 22 yr old duck head cyclist, he was towing the car behind. I can still see the bloke in the car behind gesticulating wildly at the rope but too late I sailed over it. Lived to fight another day but I became aware at quite a young age to expect the unexpected..
Did something similar, only in front of the entire taxi queue at Birmingham New Street. Yes, I'm an idiot.
A few years ago I was adjusting my gears at home (ancient tech) and was riding along slowly trying to see how well-aligned they were when I rode into the back of a neighbour's car. Fortunately no vehicle damage, however I impaled the wedding gear on the handlebar stem and let the neighbourhood know all about it. At the following weekend BBQ they all lined up to enquire after my health...
However, on the same hybrid, I was once riding up Reynard's Hill in Surrey, a hill shaped like The Great Wave, and was on the second pitch of four, proceeding like the tortoise as the best plan is to save energy until you need it, when I was passed by two lycra-clad hares, who wished me a cheerful and business-like good morning, and sped on into the distance.
I plodded slowly on in my Cotton Traders fleece and cargo pants, and so had a grand view of the problems that were developing ahead near the middle of pitch three. Eventually they stopped and were examining the bikes. I pedalled slowly past and wished them a cheery good morning as they muttered something about gearing.
I am not Eddie Merckx, and it's one of those hills where on pitch four you need to be over the handlebars or you're off backwards. When I reached the top, I nearly always let the world in general know in graphic detail exactly how steep the last bit was, and usually there was some unsuspecting couple saying never mind dear, we understand when I apologised.
Not sure this is a rite of passage but I also rode into a parked car.
The main problem was being in possession of a new army surplus mod parka several sizes too big and wearing it with the hood up so it covered forward vision.
I distinctly remember the collision because I went over the handle bars and broken my nose with a crunch on the rear windscreen then slid up the rear window and broke my nose again on the rubber/chrome bead surrounding the window with another crunch.
Needless to say it was very painful. Luckily it was pitch black and no one saw.
I did wonder what the owners felt about the gore left on their car. Ineve cycled hood up again. My nose recovered to be broken another day doing something equally as stupid.
Ouch! That definitely qualifies as a rite of passage in my book. I'm grateful I totally got away with one today! Like you, no one saw it. I once slid for around 20 yards on my arse after hitting sheet ice. The guy at the bottom of the hill who saw it said there was something quite graceful about the way I went down.
A brilliant story, glad you seem to have recovered.
Some other classic tales above as well... I knew I wouldn't be alone in this!
Once on my morning commute, coming down a steep narrow lane I saw a mini-digger trundling along ahead of me at the bottom of the dip. I began to slow down, but then it started to steer off to the right - seemingly to enter the driveway of a house that was undergoing some construction work.
I released my brakes picking up speed to pass it on the left when I realised that it wasn't turning, it was making some room so that it could swing the arm out *to the left* to begin digging at the side of the road. The brakes came back on pretty sharpish and I managed to stop a few feet short of decapitation with my back wheel well off the ground. I shakily acknowledged my culpability to the shocked-looking driver and went round the other side.
Many years ago riding to uni on my mountain bike, slipstreaming a bus. Bus pulls into a stop and I move out to overtake... Then I see another bus coming the other way overtaking parked cars and I end up sandwiched between them. I think it was a matter of mm between the ends of my handlebars and both buses. Lucky stars thanked and lesson learnt.
A long time ago I cycled out to a restaurant in Kirkby Stephen with my wife. We were staying in nearby Brough. After consuming rather a lot of wine we started to cycle back towards Brough along a minor road. Of course, we didn't have lights on the bikes and it was pitch dark. I failed to notice a bend and rode straight into a ditch. Luckily the ditch was dry, so I avoided getting wet.
I was once cycling along when I spotted my mate cycling in the opposite direction down a main road. I took my hand off the bars, to give him a cheery wave, and promptly crashed into the back of a parked Porsche 911.
I fell off the bike and landed in a crumpled heap. As luck would have it, the driver of the Porsche happened to be in residence and he leapt out of his seat to loudly berate me. As I lay there somewhat dazed, and with my ears ringing from abuse, I glanced over my shoulder to see my cycling pal looking back and laughing his head off at my predicament.
Instant karma: my buddy also promptly ran into the back of a parked car on his side of the road, and hit the asphalt. He hit a Ford Sierra, if I remember correctly, so at least I got the bragging rights where collisions were concerned.
Tailgating a car which stopped and I didn’t. It was a hatchback so I bounced off their back window and dropped directly onto my knees. Cue hobbling around looking like I had a carrot lodged in my rectum for two weeks being watched by my class mates.
Then whilst holding a bag of croissants in my left hand, trying to change chainring gear with my right hand. The handlebars flipped sending me OTB. Cue hobbling around, looking like I had a carrot lodged in my arse.
you would have thought with some of this prior experience I would have learnt. Sadly not, as last year, I finally graduated at the age of 43, to being a full dad by falling off my 7 year olds skateboard and breaking my fibula like a total loser. Cue hobbling around...
My daughter has a skate board and the temptation is overwhelming but the future also so clear I’ve resisted so far😂😂
Riding through media city tried to ride across a tram track. Realised that if you do this at an angle too parallel to the track, your wheels drop into the groove and you fall off. Now i always make a point of crossing team tracks in a completely perpendicular direction.
A tram full of people saw me fall.
A couple of years ago I was cycling along a beautiful country lane running through open fields ( cattle grids not fences). Alas there was a HUGE bull standing smack in the middle of the road hence I decided a short detour on the grassy field was in order. I started cycling around the beast at walking pace I guess and promptly hit what I think was a muddy rut in the field, baked hard and invisible under the grass.
I toppled over sideways and ended up on the ground only a few yards from said bull who was standing there gazing at me and calmly chewing the cud, no doubt thinking, 'stupid human'.
Having hurt only my pride, or so I thought, and full of just a wee bit of adrenaline I cycled off and away quick quick and only later saw the lump on my shin the size of an egg. Genuinely protruding. I thought I'd broken it (I hadn't) but it was enough to activate the bat signal and call for a lift from my wife.
If this includes alcohol induced acts the list will be long. Cycled back my bosses house through the park. A lot of wine consumed and it was pitch dark. No lights. All going ok except I forgot that the path crossed a river by stepping stones. Cue a ducking.
For other sports one of my housemates did a classic. There's something very elegant about a single scull. Like a bike you need to keep them balanced and your feet are tied in. He saw a rather fetching young lady on the river bank and decided to do some hard pull and glides. Fluffed it. Went upside down and came up choking after struggling to get his feet out of the boat. Apparently she was unimpressed.
Asked to supervise an Explorer Scouts mountain biking evening I started by giving them a serious safety briefing before our rapid descent off the haldon Hills.
Leading (of course) I failed to jump a large hole in the track and went straight over the handle bars ans was also then run over by the next 2 riders behind me.
Managed to join their laughter at my tumble but with a small tear rolling down my cheek as I had popped an AC joint in the fall.
Second part of descent was slower and much more painful.
> Tailgating a car which stopped and I didn’t.
I did this. Cue my fist ramming into the rear light cluster resulting in severed tendons in two fingers.
Thought I'd got away with it until I looked down and saw my fingers hanging off.
Fortunately some passers by insisted on calling an ambulance and not letting me carry on into work to bother the first aider.
I felt sorry for the driver as he'd just got his car back from the garage after a rear ending the previous week!
I'm starting to realise just how much I got away with it yesterday. Some of these stories are... spectacular!
Yep, done that. Rode smack into a park car close to home many a decade ago. Broke a clavicle but I lived.🚴🏻♂️
Coming down Park Street in Bristol on a lovely summer's evening. Light traffic with just one car some distance in front so brakes off and let's go. Pedestrian crossing turns red and car in front stops....oh shit bike takes longer to lose speed than I thought....did a front wheel stand and just about managed to retain control but had to put out a hand to stop myself on her back windscreen. Made a fairly loud thud. I checked she was OK and she said "I just wondered what happened?"..."I didn't stop in time" I said.
Lesson learned, and I signed up to Cycle UK for the insurance that evening.
Yeah... since my escapade I have also thought about buying some insurance.
More years ago than I care to say, I cycled into Oxford down Iffley Road with my hockey stick ready for fun on a Wednesday afternoon. I balanced it across the handlebars. The stupidity of this became apparent when the traffic got a bit crowded near Magdalen Bridge and the stick bashed into a car as I tried to pass it on the left and sent me and the bike tumbling across the pavement.
I was riding up Corney Fell when I realised I had a rear puncture. Not to worry, thought I, I have a spare inner tube. So I quickly took the wheel off, peeled off the tyre and inner tube, fitted the new inner.
Starting to feel smug at how well this was going, I got to the last tyre lever movement when halfway through I heard a gentle 'hiss' and realised I'd punctured my new inner tube. Now, with no spare inner tubes, and a slight red mist descending I launched my rear wheel, frisbee-esque into the adjacent grassland. As soon as it parted company with my hand, I realised I'd have to trudge through the soggy grassland in SPDs to retrieve it, followed by a careful roll back home.
Pride well and truly dented.
This is all a great reminder of why I don't cycle, exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me.
In a similar vein though...
Skateboarding down a street in Japan, misjudged a break in the pavement, and supermanned onto the concrete in front of queuing traffic.
Was stood on a rock shelf to jump off into the surf, which I had done hundreds of times before at that spot, saw a wave coming, thought I had a chance (I didn't), and decided to stand firm. It picked me up like a spare piece of flotsam and washed me back off the shelf and dropped me head first into the drink inches beside a massive rock. Brain intact, pride in tatters.
Turning right at some red lights in Loughborough, I put my hand out to rest on the keep left sign to avoid unclipping. The sign wasn't fixed down properly and we gently tipped over onto my right side.
Whacking your balls against the stem or upper tube because the chain breaks while accelerating hard.
Happened to me twice. Looks stupid, hurts like hell, and is generally not to be recommended.
Also, breaking the stem of your bike while going downhill is also a bad idea. You can still brake for a short time....
I ended up in a fish pond, together with all the church leaflets I was distributing.
It's stories like this when you realise the inadequacies of this forum. Where the hell is the barf emoji when you need it?
I descended the Galibier onto the Lauteret after climbing both at the end of a long week in the mountains. I was knackered, hungry, freezing cold and my contact lenses were playing up so I couldn’t see very well. I stopped by a roadside cafe in La Grave. I was on the right hand side of the road and always unclip left foot first. I couldn’t see the menu on the wall very well so I leant across, having failed to notice the small kerb on the right which I then tripped over with my right foot clipped-in. I crashed over a load of tables, sending stuff flying all over the place. Lovely old French fella helped me sort everything out, but it was very embarrassing and I was already at the end of my tether. It must be the shittest crash on the descent of a major col ever...
> It's stories like this when you realise the inadequacies of this forum. Where the hell is the barf emoji when you need it?
I've come off on tram tracks once in Sheffield which was just annoying (why run the cycle route down the road with tram tracks?) and hurt. The other time was in Helsinki on a busy intersection - the only person who showed the slightest concern was a very smelly alcoholic who was up to that point slumped in a doorway on the pavement. It was very kind of him to try and help but I think him staggering into the road, bottle still in hand, probably was far more dangerous than me picking myself up moving myself and the bike out of the way!
A stupid bike related injury about 10 years ago was picking a bike up to put it on a roof rack carrier. Arms extended in a Christ-like pose holding the fork and the seat stays and reaching skywards I felt an uncomfortable feeling above my stomach - looking down there was something sticking out, under the skin but definitely not in the right place. Fortunately no alien burst out of my chest, and I wondered if this was what a hernia was. I went to the doctors who did the normal doctor thing of poking it a bit then basically saying wait and see. An old mate over Facebook who is also a doctor gave me much more useful advice saying its not uncommon to displace muscles like that. It went away after some time.
Just about a month ago I was lifting a mountain bike over a small wall and did exactly the same thing again. Doh. This time I just winced and rode home - it's just about back to normal down there, and as I get older and drink more beer I really need whatever abs I have to stay in the right place!
My most epic comedy fall. Cycling home along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. There's a part where a big chunk of the towpath has crumbled into the water. It looks like something has taken a massive bite out of it. There's enough room to get around it, but on one particular day I slowed right down almost to a stop, wobbled, reached out to grab the fence to my right... Which was rotten and snapped and i began to fall to me left into the hole. Both me and the bike are now in the hole in about a foot of water and I think "ffs, that was close"... Then I feel the crumbled rocks and soil beneath me start to slide away from the side and into the middle of the canal. It's bizarre to be standing in the canal thinking "10 seconds ago I was standing on the towpath, and now I'm actually in the canal with my bike, up to my chest in water".
A nicely gashed leg, an infection which took three courses of antibiotics to clear and an epic scare. I still have panic attacks whenever I have to cycle past that bloody hole.
Managed to park the front end of my bike down a drain missing the cover riding home when I was slightly tipples one night. snapped the carbon fork clean out of the head tube and wrote the front wheel of too
I was about 12 and got my first full size bike for xmas. I was concentrating really hard on balancing, and trying to work out the gears, when I rode into the back of a parked car at about 8mph. The rear wheel went up to about 45 degrees and I bounced back down with no damage to me or the bike. Being early on xmas morning there was no one to see my embarassment; thank goodness.
This is less a rite of passage and more an utterly moronic thing I did as an 11 year old with a bike and a brand new pair of rollerblades. The city I grew up in is a port amphitheater, so it's all hills. As such, I knew that if I went down to the centre to try out the rollerblades I wouldn't be able to get back up the hill, so I decided to cycle... with my roller blades on. Went fine down the hill. Worked OK for a km or so on the flat as well. As soon as I hit the first incline, and entirely predictably, the wheels slipped off the pedal and I ended up with the largest chainring in my leg. Nearest place open was a tavern, and the chef cleaned the wound with some... Ouzo mixed with salt. I still have a scar from that. 😆
I have several that revolve around only a bike and they all entail me abusing my poor current bike. Road-bike oriented hybrid, skinny slick tyres, carbon fork and seat stays, doesn't stop me from riding it as a hard tail whenever I see something that looks horri---cool on a ride. Decided to go down a steep ramp down to a main path in Sherwood Pines. Got on my legs, shifted my weight back, started going down, then spotted a large root at the bottom of the ramp that I had not seen. Jumped the front wheel over it and just as I thought I might have gotten away with it, the rear wheel connected and the rather high saddle connected with my crown jewels at a pretty high velocity. And that was around 30 miles into an 82 mile ride. Sitting was a tad less comfortable for the rest.
It's embarrassing to admit how many times I've tried to clip into my pedals at a traffic light or the like only for my foot to slip off and I piledrive my crown jewels into the saddle
Yeah, bike racks....
I was trying to drive into a parking garage at Frankfurt airport when the guy before me forgot about his bikes on top and neatly peeled the roof off his Land Rover, sardine tin style...
Also, a true rite of passage is the first long distance day in the rain. It is amazing for how long you can become recognizably and psychologically wetter. After, say, 100km nonstop cycling through the downpour you can still feel water squashing up between your toes more strongly than it did 10 km earlier!
Cycling back late from a job in central London ten years or so ago, I cut through Battersea Park in the dark. No lights except for the red led flasher on the back... had to go through the pedestrian entrance as the road to the carpark was shut for the night. The street lighting was off for the night helpfully.
"No problem" I thought, confident I knew the road enough in the dark to wing it. Rode confidently over the first speed hump.
"Couple more of these then I have to keep to the left to cycle past the barrier."
Had completely forgotten about the mini roundabout in the road, 20 metres before said barrier. I bumped up over the first kerbstone at about 10 mph which threw me forwards off the saddle, nearly impaling my bits on the handlebars stem. The sudden forward movement of weight allowed my back wheel to bump up the kerb a fraction of a second later and then I crashed down off the kerb at the other side of the roundabout before I managed to coast to a stop on wheels that were now somewhat less than round. I had literally ridden over the raised mini roundabout.
I wheeled the bike out through the park and luckily hailed a black cab to drive me and my trashed bike home. Both wheels had a new 90 angled dent in them and several broken spokes. I didn't trust the frame welding not to be cracked after that, so sadly the bike was away down the tip a day or two later. Miraculously I came away totally unscathed. Not so much as a scratch. Could've been so much worse!
Many many moons ago, biking back from school on my new bike, I somehow managed to ride headlong into a skip that was on the road. Bright daylight, bright yellow, and yet I still managed to score a bullseye!
LOL... did you end up in the skip.
I hear what you're saying... the car I hit was bright red!
Approx 2 years ago was cycling in the dark to the theatre in Brussels via the Cinquantenaire. Managed to cycle into a chain that I hadn't seen: dead stop, over the handlebars onto my head, luckily had my helmet on which cracked in two. 3 young women helped me up and I was going to get back on and carry on but they were looking rather shocked and said "no, hospital now" and called me a cab. The cabbie said try not to bleed on the seats and took me to A&E. Luckily only 1 person before me - the doctor came out and said next and I said "it's you" and he said "no it's definitely you" and it still didn't occur to me to take a selfie. The doctor said "don't see that every day, you've almost completely ripped off one of your lower eyelids" and taped it up with a wet bandage and arranged to see a specialist the next day.
Only when I saw the specialist who said "you're lucky as I'm also specialised in plastic surgery on eyelids" did she take a photo and show me
I could post it but it'd put you off your dinner
The year was 2017 and I had just bought my first road bike at 57 .One of my good friends said why do you not come away with us this weeken we are going to the Lakes to do something called the Fred Witton Challenge. So 3rd bike ride with clips I set off with 6 others. Got to Keswick and I realised that I was not fit enough . So bailed out and rode back to Langdale. By then my legs were struggling. I came to a halt near Dunmail Rise.I did not have the energy in my legs to unclip. Just peeled over in a lay-by and lay flat in the ground with cars driving past.
Still laugh at it.
Put clipless pedals on my mountain bike, attempted to pull bunny hop over manhole cover. Been too used to clips and straps and in twisting my feet, both popped out in mid air! Fortunately, bum landed - hard - on saddle and I got away with it.
Last proper road ride I had was with my neighbour on his new bike with clipless for about the second time, so keeping a safe distance from him at junctions!
Ha! I would very much question the real motive of your good friend! I suspect they wanted to see you fail if the Fred attempt was genuinely your third ever road ride.
I think it was my ignorance of cycling at the time more than anything, they were surprised I was tagging along. I never even bothered to ask before hand as to where exactly we were going... I still laugh at it.
They were quite impressed when I bailed out having twigged what actually they were doing.
Yes it was my third ride out on a road bike.....