Survived a Coker head-on collision with a bike in NYC!

On my way back from my local bike shop a few minutes ago, I was traveling at a decent speed down Lafayette Street and had chosen my line for an upcoming turn (to avoid pedestrians) and started leaning into the turn (onto Spring St. going the opposite way of traffic, as I often do) when a bicyclist seemed to be approaching rather quickly. I thought he was going to keep going straight and I would just tighten-up my turn in order to stay to his left… but no such luck! He seemed to panic and not know what to do when he saw me approaching and he just basically rode straight into my path! He turned his handlebars at the last minute in order to get some protection from my slamming into him… and upon impact I flew straight over him and his bike and landed on the road on the other side of him on my arm and shoulder (luckily traffic was sitting at a red light, or there would have been a pretty decent chance that I would have landed on an oncoming car). My shoulder and arm feel really weird… kind of like they were sprained from being twisted some way they shouldn’t have been or something, but they didn’t get scraped or bruised too bad since I was wearing a jacket made out of thick material. My collarbone feels a bit strange, too. I survived better than my Coker, though… because I didn’t break anything, yet I did snap one of the bolts that holds the wheel to the frame. I guess I’ll have to borrow one of those bolts from my steel rim Coker for now. Pedestrians (and the guy in the car at the red light) who observed the incident seemed pretty amazed that I was ok. It must have been pretty wicked to see!

Glad to hear you’re okay - sounds like a spectacular crash!

Wow! That sounds like quite a crash! Great to hear your more or less alright.

that’s crazy. What happened to the biker?

Wow! Glad you’re OK. I’ve only had one high speed Coker wipe out, and it’s a long way down.

Of course, now you get sued by the motorists sitting at the red light for trauma arising from having their world-view shattered.

Make sure to get a video next time!:slight_smile:

Glad to here you survived. I would think biking in NYC would be suicidal enough, let alone Cokering.

Yeah, it was quite a spectacular crash! It’s moments like that I wish I could have captured on film :smiley: !

As for the biker, he turned his handlebars (and seemed to let out some kind of weird cry/whine at the same time)…which did seem to afford him some good protection because it placed his front wheel as somewhat of a barrier between himself and my Coker. I essentially slammed into his front wheel and flew over him. I don’t think he got hurt at all. I think he was worried that I may have been hurt and then when I said I was ok, I think he may have said something about it being my fault or something… but I couldn’t hear him because I hadn’t turned off my headphones yet at that time… I was still kind of in shock about what had happened.

It’s weird because my upper chest near my shoulder kind of feels like I impailed it on something, but I’m pretty sure my chest would have been way to high to hit his handlebars… and there’s no visible black-and-blue or mark… but it does feel somewhat messed up. I’m sure I’ll be fine, though.

Going against traffic with headphones on at a good rate of speed on a Coker. Let me see… your lucky to be alive. You should get checked out by a doctor, as torn or broken parts get much harder to diagnose and fix after swelling occurs. Ice and elevate until then. Good luck with it all.

How was the bike? Sounds like your wheel could have done some damage to his front end. I did bike messaging last summer in downtown Denver, and I know city riding is tretcherous. He shouldn’t have been on the sidewalk, so therefore, he is at fault. You should see a doctor. If you get any swelling in the chest/ torso region, you could have internal bleeding.

I would go to a doctor. If you have pain but no marks it is something internal. In this situation bruising or swelling would be good things, as they would indicate broken blood vessels or hurt muscles, both of which aren’t especially major. But nothing visible means you could have pulled or broken something. Go to a doctor just in case, unless the pain goes away by like tomorrow.

Re: Survived a Coker head-on collision with a bike in NYC!

“aspenmike” <> writes:

> Going against traffic with headphones on at a good rate of speed on a
> Coker. Let me see…

Let me fill in the blanks. Riding against traffic when there is even
the appearance of possible collision with other vehicles is bad PR for
unicyclists. When the possibility of collision is real, it is your
job to make sure it doesn’t happen regardless of how irrationally the
other vehicle acts.

I’m glad your injuries aren’t serious, but I have to say I hope you
take home a lesson from this experience and stop making turns into
oncoming traffic. If you ride busy roads, then follow the same rules
as bicyclists. Doing so is better for you and better for me, too.


Andrew, I’m glad both you and the biker are ok. It sure is lucky there was no moving traffic, or you’d have become the first uni’ist killed in the line of duty. I, too, had a lucky incident involving a Coker and non-moving traffic, but I’ve never had a collision – that must have been really scary. Interestingly, I had a moment today when a little girl was running at me without looking. I slowed down to the point that I was almost still, and then I swerved gently to avoid her, but it was still a bit frightening.

Be careful, buddy!

I have to agree with Dave from the sounds of things you turned into his path and he tried to go behind you close to the curb but you were going the same route. I’m just glad to hear everone is ok from the accadent. Traffic + cyclist can often = alot of pain.

I like to think of right of way in boating terms the more manuverable vehical always yelds to the less. In this case pedestrians yeild to cars unicyclist yeld to bikes bikes yeld to cars, cars yeld to buses and trucks and trucks yeld to aircraft when crossing traffic.

riding with head phones is also an infraction in many states, Oregon is one. its not strickly enforced but its enough to break a case.

Another factor is that an oncoming Coker-er, to a cyclist who’s never encountered one before is going to be an extremely strange and intimidating sight.

He/she is faced with a individual at an extremely intimidating height, he/she almost certainly has no idea of how in control the Coker-er is, and has to make a very quick decision about which way to turn etc.

As unicyclists, it’s in our best interests to err on the side of caution, stick to the rules of the road and be aware that we’re likely to disorientate/confuse other road users to some extent.

As anyone who’s read my posts in the past knows, I have very little sympathy with non-unicyclists who ridicule or attack unicyclists; however, I fully acknowledge that we can cause confusion and inadvertently intidate road users and pedestrians.

We may know how very much in control of our unicycles we are, but to the general public, it is very hard for them to assess whether the person heading towards them on a one wheeled bike is in control or not.

This accident shouldn’t have happened, the Coker-er is lucky not to have been more badly damaged; even more lucky that the cyclist wasn’t seriously hurt.

If unicycling continues to become more common, then at some point authorities are going to be making decisions about the legality of one-wheelers being allowed on the roads or pavemants (sidewalks).

Currently, in most parts of the world, unicyclists are getting away with a choice that bicyclists and pedestrians do not have- we can choose whether to ride on the road, or on the pavement.

And this is good, as experienced unicylists, we are in the best position to decide which of the two is safest in any given situation- I’d like that situation to continue.

If the authorities get involved, we will almost certainly lose that choice.

It’ll be a case of unicycles on roads only, or pavemants only- the law will not be distinguishing between a 20" unicycle and a 36" unicycle. It may even lead to a ban on unicycling on either roador sidewalk.

The more incidents of unicyclists having accidents on roads, hitting cyclists etc; the more likely the law is to take a stance.

We need to be seen as positive, rather than a menace.

We delight some members of the public, others resent us- it’s the latter group who are going to be raising their voice the most; so we need to ensure that there are more of the former.

Glad you’re ok Andrew!

I grew up riding my bicycle in traffic. I learned to be extra careful, be obvious and clear in my intentions, use hand signals, appear bigger than I am, follow the traffic laws, the lot. Riding fast in the road in NYC would simply demand 200% of that.

Being you survived the collision do you want to try and meet up Monday night at (Oil City skate board and BMX park).

Also, were on for the green belt ride for 5/7. Hope you can make it.


He already said he was on his Coker!

Well said

Oil City this Monday night may be a possibility… but I’m not 100% sure if I’ll be able to pull it off. If I can’t get there this Monday, I’ll definitely be there next Monday! I’m quite sure I should be able to make it to the Greenbelt ride on 5/7 and I’m really looking forward to it!

[B]Re/my collision:[/B]
Regarding my collision… this was my 2nd significant incident in almost 4 years of riding in NYC (the first was a 10 - 15 ft. “Superman” that I did after getting taken out by a cab door that was swung open by a passenger who was exiting just as I was about to pass). The cab door incident was my fault for passing close enough to get taken out by a cab door. I guess my most recent incident could be considered my fault, too, since I was officially breaking the rules by riding against traffic… but if I were to ride only the proper way down all the one-way streets in Manhattan, it would be an absolute nightmare to get around… and would almost defeat the purpose of being on a cycle.

Sure, I ride fast and aggressive through the streets of NYC… but I usually do it with as much safety as is possible, given the nature of what I’m doing. Years of riding my Honda CBR900RR race bike throughout Manhattan, the 5 boroughs, and Long Island prepared me well for my urban Coker riding. I always try to ride a line that affords me the opportunity to visually scan the area ahead, I try my best to anticipate what others may do or not do when they see me coming, and I usually have an “escape route” in mind, just in case. My life depends on my doing these things every single day that I ride. If I wasn’t vigilant about it, I think I would probably have been killed years ago. I believe my urban riding through NYC has developed into almost somewhat of an art form (that I intend to capture on video)… and I can’t give it up anymore than any of you could give up Muni, Trials, or whatever form of riding you are into. That being said, I will, of course, be as careful as I can… but I realize that accidents will still happen, occasionally. I learn from every incident that occurs. For the kind of riding I do, 2 significant accidents in 4 years isn’t too bad. I’ll be trying my best to improve that ratio even further.