Friday, September 6, 2013

Photo of the Day: Here's How Bike Wrecks Happen

This is the result of a bike wreck on the Roanoke River Greenway in front of Roanoke Memorial Hospital this morning. I took part in the wreck in an inadvertent way. The woman on the ground was pretty well beat up, a present for her 60th birthday, she said. The guy in the yellow shirt--yelling at the biker leaving the scene--is somebody I used to work with.

Here's the scene: The greenway in front of the hospital has a series of tight curves and the road goes under two different bridges. Visibility is severely limited and slowing down is necessary. Some people don't. The guy leaving the scene here didn't. He also crossed over the yellow line after passing me and into the woman's lane. His foot clipped her foot as they passed. She went down hard, he kept going until our yelling brought him back.

He insisted he had done nothing wrong. He had: two things. He was going too fast and he was in the wrong lane. An hour later, as I was going back through this underpass on my return trip, he passed me again, going too fast, sliding over into the left lane and failing to warn me he was coming. This guy is a menace. He appears to be about 60 years old, a veteran rider and a guy who is irresponsible as hell. If he had a bike riders' license, I'd want it taken away. Too bad we don't have to have those.

One other note: the guy stooping to the right of the injured woman is a military medic, he said. He was quick, efficient and--I'd say--competent. While we were there, several medical personnel from Carilion Clinic passed. One asked if she could help. The others stopped, looked and left. I guess it's the liability insurance thingy.


  1. I think I've seen that same guy on the Greenway a number of times. I ride a road bike as well, and sure, I can hustle the thing at an unnecessary speed too... but I don't on the Greenway, because it's rude and dangerous. Someone needs to track this guy down and have a long chat with him. I wonder how many of the angry pedestrian comments regarding "fast riders" on the Greenway are really just a series of similar incidents with this one guy?

  2. Thank you for posting this. I do, though, really wish I could see the offending cyclist's face or know his name. There are way way too many pedestrians, runners, and cyclists who never warn of passing. Some I even know. It takes near nothing to calmly warn folks when passing them and it IS proper greenway etiquette. Again, thank you for sharing this.

  3. This section of greenway is dangerous - there are line of sight issues in both directions. I'm sorry that more people don't offer to help, but not all Carilion employees are clinical, and if there were people already assisting then they probably assumed enough help was present. And there are legal issues beyond just liability at play here. Thanks for your blog post.

    1. Jen: Among the Carilion people who passed by, two were physicians (I could tell by their stethoscopes and scrubs) and one was a nurse (she said so). I don't blame them for not stopping, because of the legal issues and because somebody was already helping. The injured woman was not seriously hurt, but we didn't know that at the time. When somebody who is 60 hits the asphalt from a moving bike, anything can happen.

  4. How could he "insist" that he'd done nothing wrong? The yellow line is merely a suggestion?

  5. Can you get a picture of him and post it on this blog?