Knocked off my bike in a cycle lane

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Über Member
Cambridge, UK
Friday morning, I was riding in a cycle lane when a car turned in front of me. I didn't have time to react, so I buckled the front wheel of my bike on the car, I got catapulted over the bonnet, and landed on my head, rolling onto my back. I remember watching my bike go flying over me. The driver stopped and so did a couple of witnesses and we all gave statements to the police.

My helmet took the brunt of the impact, shattering it. I spent about 36 hours in hospital and got sent home with a neck brace. I guess I'll be in the neck brace for 4-8 weeks, depending on how they like my followup xrays.

I still haven't had a chance to look at my bike, since it's being held at a law firm (I crashed just in front of one). The policeman told me that the front wheel is buckled, which is how I know that.

It'll be at least two months before I get on a bike again :sad:

EDIT: Please keep any pro/anti-helmet discussion to the helmets and headphones forum!

I believe that my helmet saved me from serious head trauma. My helmet probably saved my life.

Anyway, I'm taking this opportunity to try and convince people I know who don't wear helmets to start. I kept my shattered CatLike Whisper to show around. I think my next one will be a CatLike Mixino. The £80 I spent on the Whisper was well worth it, considering the job it did. I think the extra for a Mixino will be worth it too.


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Chandler's Ford
I had a similar incident a few years decades ago.
When you get the bike back, have the frame very carefully checked over.
Especially look for creases in the undersides of the top tube and down tube just behind where they join the head tube..
It is entirely possible that the buckling of the front wheel did not absorb sufficient energy to protect the frame from damage.


World class procrastinator
Wow, your lid is a right mess. So glad that it wasn't your head :eek:
At least the driver stopped and you got to exchange your details. I hope that you feel better soon and that it's not put you off riding.


Über Member
Cambridge, UK
I've not been put off riding, though I do expect I'll be more cautious in future. It would seem that travelling at 20mph in a narrow bike lane is not always safe.

Depending on how well I heal, I'll get my back on a road bike, or I'll have to look at recumbents. Even if I get back on a road bike, as PpPete says, I'll need to make very sure that all the damage to my bike is properly assessed.


Fast and careful!
Hope you are feeling better real soon ,take your time ,and you will soon be back in the saddle


Getting the messages
Ouch! GWS. It's stories like yours that enforce my 'never ride without a lid' rule.


Openly Marxist
Sorry to hear that someone hit you, and I hope you mend soon. However, please resist the temptation to start lecturing us about headgear. We've heard it all before, and those of us who ride lidless do so informed, happy, and without adverse consequences. And it can only end one way - with Cunobelin banging on about Thudguards and everyone losing the will to live.
My helmet took the brunt of the impact, shattering it.

Your helmet catastrophically failed.

Cycle helmets fail catastrophically, not gradually, in high impact crashes- the forces are so great that a helmet will compress and break in around 1/1000th of a second. The absorption of the initial forces during this very short period of time is unlikely to make a significant difference to the likelihood of serious injury or death.

A helmet that worked properly in an accident would have a permanent depression at the point of impact, but would still be in one piece.

Your helmet failed.


Über Member
Cambridge, UK
I'm not going to lecture anyone. I will, however happily show my shattered lid around. You'll note that I said I'm trying to convince those I know who don't wear helmets. That does not refer to the internet at large. There's no point in convincing anyone with whom I do not have a relationship of anything.
If the impact was so severe that the helmet first crushed and then cracked, then the duration of the protection was too short to contribute reducing injury.

A theatrically shattered bike helmet was probably no protection at all.
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Dan B

Disengaged member
Travelling at 20 mph in a narrow bike lane is, as you observe, probably not advisable in many circumstances. I think that's probably the #1 life lesson from this incident, rather than the helmet.

Regardless of what speed you were doing though, still 100% the drivers fault and you should pursue him/his insurers to make good on all your injuries and damaged stuff. Get well soon
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