My Daftest Bike Accident

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  • My Daftest Bike Accident
  • In the early days of SPD, I went on my first club ride, with my new SPD pedals and shoes to show I was serious.

    While stopped waiting for something or another, chatting to a person behind me, I managed to clip my left foot into the left pedal but facing BACKWARDS. At that point, two things happened: the ride was ready to roll on again, and I was unable to unclip my left shoe with my foot in it pointing at the back wheel.

    So they all had to wait and watch while I tried to find a way of unclipping an SPD shoe from a pedal, backwards.

    Not an accident exactly, but I felt stupid.


    Ha ha! So many of these bring back memories of stupid crashes.

    Most stupid was probably while cycling down a busy wet road in West London with my girlfriend at the time. Somehow a drawstring bit on the coat she had on got caught between the brakes and shifter on my bars.
    As soon as I realised I told her to just maintain the same speed and position next to me so I could get the string free…of course she didn’t and managed to start turning my bars while I was holding on one handed and grabbing at the string. I ended up sprawled in the road with a car stopped about 3 feet from my head.

    Similar bar entanglement while having a grassy hill roll-off with a mate where we both aimed for the ‘fastest line’ and I came off worse.

    I was climbing up the switchback-y climb at Stainburn years ago and looked back down the trail to see where my mate was. At that exact moment, I hit what can only be described as a pebble, went OTB and landed really hard on one hand. My wrist was sore for weeks and has never been quite the same since.

    Several OTB incidents while out with Ciclo Montana – normally into a prickly bush that I couldn’t get myself back out of. The best one being where I fell off the edge of the trail about 3ft down, but to an observer it looked like a sheer drop; cue a friend heading over in clear panic thinking I’d basically nose dived off a cliff….

    Premier Icon Jamze

    We used to live close to a wetland nature reserve, with boardwalks that were great fun to ride when the place was closed. One winter night ride, flat out on the boardwalks and they disappeared beneath me – a section had been removed and was being repaired. Head first into the lake. Only found the bike ‘cos the lights were still working under the water.

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    Years ago took my bike (GT I-drive) over to Lanzarote and was a riding god! I was on fire slinging the poor bike down the steepest old volcanoes I could find. Words like gnarly were created based on some of my riding.

    After one fantastic long downhill terminating in the town we were staying I was riding along the last road to the hotel and decide one last jump off the kerb would be nice. There was then a tyre gravel moment closely followed by a leg gravel moment. I finished the ride limping into the hotel with shredded lycra shorts, blood dripping down my leg and multiple cuts full of sharp volcanic stones.

    Wife and kids who I had left at the hotel found it hilarious 😐

    Premier Icon kelron

    Riding home nursing a sprained thumb from an earlier off, taking it easy because I couldn’t hold the bars properly with that hand. Heading down a steep hill towards some speed bumps I liked trying to jump off, for some reason I thought I’d be able to do this one handed.

    Stayed upright after the first bump but clipped my bars on the wall and went sliding across the road. Luckily no one around to see, or run me over.


    Three spring to mind-
    > Riding down a staircase I’d ridden a million times. Student walks around the corner into the middle of the stairs without looking. I panick and pull a hand full of front brake. I go over bars and fall about 3 metres onto my face with clipped bike following me. I brake arm in 2 places and have massive bruising. I don’t ride stairs anymore.

    > First week of owning my first commuter with woeful brakes, I decide it’s a good idea to try and manual the speed bump at work. Didn’t realise how light the front gets with loaded panniers at the back. Rear brake couldn’t bring me back and when flat on my back/arm still clipped in. Winded and grazed with some of the worst bruising I’ve ever experienced. The hair still hasn’t grown back where the bruising was 5 years later.

    > New bike and eager to ride i start ripping the reflectors off. I pull a wheel deflector off and it send plastic shards everywhere. One goes directly into my eye. Hospital visit and eye dye stuff show a scratched lense or something. Took a while to recover and felt like sand constantly was in your eye. Horrible experience.

    Premier Icon woody2000

    Riding home after a couple of pints, pretty much at the door when I crossed the road and popped (not) my front wheel up the kerb to get on to the pavement. Except I didn’t quite manage it and my front wheel came down too soon and got stopped dead by the kerb, straight OTB and head plant in to the wall. Broken helmet, grazed face but laid there laughing at the stupidity of it 🙂

    Slightly less funny was the bar end caught in the chain link fence – took me down like a sack of spuds. That one hurt – another broken helmet and a smashed up elbow and hip.

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    Loads of slow motion sideways falls when clippedin and gone to put foot down.

    Otherwise a few spring to mind. Including:

    Riding down some singletrack which had an 8-9 foot drop to a rocky stream on the left. As it bent to the right I glanced at the stream, thinking something along the lines of “Don’t ride in there sunshine”. I’d never heard of target acquisition and before I knew it the bike was launching itself off the side. Fortunately there was a tree growing out of the bank with a handily placed branch and I was able to grab that and remain there suspended whilst my mates had a right laugh.

    Near Hebden, at end of descent, padded up and wearing a full face that I’d bought for Alps, crossing road and the chain slipped, sending me over the bars in front of a couple of bemused cars that were waiting.

    Front wheel slip when climbing wet flagstones somewhere up above Lee Quarry, straight over bars by way of nuts on stem. That hurt

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    And on behalf of an old work colleague. Famously allergic to wearing helmets and whilst happy to extol the benefits of having your hair run free whilst on the bike, famously acerbic if challenged in his beliefs.

    He came into work one Monday morning bruised and with a big scar on his forehead. Turned out he’d collided with a bridge on a canal towpath (helmetless naturally) and come off somewhat worse for wear.

    Honourable mention for my mate Dave who went past Ed Oxley giving a lesson on the Peckett Well descent in Hebden. As they all watched he approached one of the larger, rockier step-downs, adopted the position and promptly went OTB


    Warm sunny day in summer stopped on Staverton bridge over the Dart to see if there was any trout about. Decided to move off only to discover too high a gear so now upright with no forward movement and feet strapped in. Slow fall to the right arm out – wrist broken.

    Warm sunny afternoon summer in Germany riding Heidelberg to Mannheim. Crossed the Neckar and stopped for a break. Setting off in too low a gear back wheel flew off sideways on the gravel. My mate said the whole bike went sideways about three feet in the air. My right shoulder still hurts some days.

    Seems to be a bit of a pattern there.


    First day with SPD pedals I fell off 7 times, partly through forgetting I needed to twist off in good time, partly cos they were new and stiff. The most amusing of these falls was on the coastal path past Old Harry’s rocks. I was heads down going uphill on some narrow single track when I spotted that I was about to run over a beetle. Stopped dead to save the wee feller, and of course keeled straight over, landing in a gorse bush that was lower than the path. Shoes were still clipped in to the pedals so it was really awkward getting back up again, what with the bike being higher up the slope than me, and every time I wriggled the gorse needles did their worst. After a while I managed to get back on my feet, and looked around to see where the beetle was. I had felt a bit of a crunch under my shoe as I got to my feet so lifted it and saw a very sorry looking beetle. Don’t know if he made it.

    Premier Icon Rich_s

    Went to see the Tour of Britain (Milk Race?) in 1993 going up Ilkley Moor. Clipped in, slow speed wobble on a tiny bit of singletrack heading towards the cow and calf resulted in me falling sideways into the heather, still clipped in. Must have been 200 ish people there.
    Had to get a mate to twist my feet out of the spuds while I lay there entangled in the bike.

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    Felt phone ringing in my pocket while riding home, started fiddling in my pocket for my phone, whilst pulling onto the pavement. Didn’t see this, formerly vertical, bit of street furniture, front wheel went between the slats and sent me over the bars, into the fence, onto the pavement.

    Note the spikes at the top, facing outward, are at head/eye height. Could have been a LOT worse…

    [url=]Oops…[/url] by tom.howard.562, on Flickr


    I used to sometimes take the long way home which involved a pedestrian & cycle path clipped onto the side of a rail bridge over the harbour. The clip-on was old, maybe 1.5m wide, 1.2m chain link fence on the outside. Every 15m or so there is a massive vertical steel girder forming part of the rail bridge, creating a pinch point about 800mm wide…

    When you first ride over this bridge you go slowly, so as not to catch the chain link or a girder with your bars. However, familiarity breeds contempt, so naturally I clipped a very solid girder with my bars while doing about 25km/h. Bars did an instant 90° turn, bike stopped dead against they girder,I kept going at 25 km/h. Luckily in a straight line ahead, as a fall to the right would have sent me over the low fence and into the water 10m below!


    After a long ride of bridal way/single track with no incident, I ended up in a town i’ll not name.

    Spotted a pub with a crowded beer garden. Traversed a road in persuit of a cold beer and attempted to bunny hop over a curb.

    Completely miss timed it and at the wrong angle and ended up on my back.

    I got a standing ovation from the people in the beer garden, so that’s an achievement I guess, lol,


    Bought myself some new shoes, fitted the spd cleats and went for a ride. Tried to unclip at a junction. Shoes won’t unclip so fall over to side. Force of falling causes one shoe to unclip. Resolve not to clip that shoe in for rest of ride – of course shoe clips in. Get to cafe stop. Lean on lamp post. Struggle to get one shoe unclipped. No way is the other one unclipping. Leave shoe on bike and Walk into cafe in my socks – get strange looks.investigate when back home – shoe that won’t unclip will spin through 360° on the pedal without unclipping. Eventually get shoe unclipped and tighten cleats fully before riding again. Always check I can unclip before riding now – especially after changing shoes, cleats or pedals.


    thrown myself over the bars once depressing the forks for a climb 🙂

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