Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

10 May 2017

Drones And Crits Don't Mix

When riding in the city, a cyclist has to be aware of--in addition to motor vehicles and their drivers--pedestrians.  All it takes is one darting across the street at mid-block, or someone ambling through an intersection while looking at an iPhone screen, to send a cyclist tumbling to the pavement.  

In fact, I have incurred two falls--one on Broadway in SoHo, the other in Coney Island--caused by pedestrians who barrelled across a street without looking in the direction of the approaching traffic (which included me).  In the SoHo incident, said pedestrian--who was shopping with a friend--at least stopped and apologized. In the other mishap, the boy who plowed into me--who appeared to be about 14 or 15 years old--simply kept on going.  


I wasn't hurt in either incident, but things could have been worse.  Even scarier, though, were two instances in which I didn't actually crash, but could easily have taken a hit and a tumble.  Both happened when I was riding down mountains and an animal crossed my path:  a deer in Pennsylvania; an Alpine Ibex just after I crossed the border from France into Switzerland.  


During my brief career as an amateur racer, I went down once and had a near-miss.  Both were the result of other riders who jackknifed in front of me.  In the crash, I wrecked an expensive front wheel but, fortunately, not the bike--or me.  In the near-miss, another rider incurred similar damage when he and a couple of other riders hit the pavement a bit further back in the pack from where I'd been riding.


Now it seems there's a new hazard that can take a racer out of the game, or leave a rider with  road rash or worse:




It almost sounds like one of those excuses I'd hear from a student who didn't show up for class the day a term paper was due.  (That's happening to me this week!)  "I got hit by a drone".  At least, that's now more plausible than "My drone ate it!"


Seriously, though:  We have to watch for low-flying or falling drones.  Imagine if one caused a pileup in, say, the Tour, Giro or Vuelta!

5 comments:

  1. Sometimes you trigger some well buried memory. I thought I was going to have a very bad day when a steep twisting road had been covered with fresh chipings which in Britain hardly ever stick but act like marbles then to make life more interesting a huge rabbit jumped out in front and proceeded to anticipate every move I made! Finally I passed it and it leapt out in front of a friend a short distance behind me!!

    Rarely fast enough these days for wildlife to be a bother.

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  2. Coline--I wonder why that rabbit chose your friend.

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  3. Guess it was enjoying the game...

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  4. I'm still trying to figure out how the drone made him crash. I see where the drone hits him (or he hit it) but then it seems like he rides on for what must be another 50 yards then suddenly flips over. Weird.

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  5. Brooks--You got me to look at the video again, and you're right. The only thing I could think of was that he rode simply on momentum even though he was losing his balance.

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