Hit by a Pedestrian

So today I experienced the closest thing I've had to a 'bike accident', but it was a bit different than I would have ever expected.
I've been fortunate and blessed to have never been hit by a car, gone over the handlebars, or been doored. The last time I can remember falling from by bike to the ground was when I was 10 years old and got the handlebars flipped around landing me quickly on the pavement.
To day I was riding through Tokyo, and I was at one of it's busiest intersections, a massive one in Shibuya where pedestrians cross en mass diagonally when the signal goes on. I was slowly navigating my way through the huge crowd, riding slow, when the green walk lights began to flash, the traffic cops began blowing their whistles and everyone out on the street begins running to clear the road, I pulled out of the crowd and was halfway through the intersection when a businessman carrying a briefcase collided with me broadside at a good run. I fell, hit the pavement and rolled free of my bicycle. The man helped me up, apologizing profusely and then ran off to avoid the flow of cars that was now inching around me and my bike. I hopped back on in a daze and headed for the closest sidewalk.
I banged up my elbow and my ankle was a bit sore from trying to catch myself as I fell, but no real injuries.
It made me really appreciate my good track record.
I have had several close calls with cars in which quick thinking on my part as pulled me through shaken but unharmed, and I always assumed (despite knowing logically that this was not the case) that as long as I was smart, riding safe and had my eyes open and my wits about me, I was pretty much safe.
I didn't see this guy coming at all, and he was moving at only a fraction of the speed of the automobiles I share the road with on a daily basis. Granted he was smaller than a car and wearing all black, but I know that in a different situation it could have been a car pulling out of an unseen alley, leaving me with more than a bruised elbow to show for it.
Have you been in a collision while riding? I hope not, but if you have feel free to share your experience and how/if it changed the way you ride.

Be safe, ride with lights and keep your eyes open!


  1. I had a bike to bike collision not too far back. It was late on campus, hadn't picked up lights yet, and was riding way too fast to get home. Another biker was thinking the same things. It wasn't a full broadside for either of us, a little bit closer to head on. Anyways, he speed-up and I (think) my head met his back pack. He was able to just step out of his bike and let it go down in the grass. I was strapped in and followed julia right to the ground. Nothing too bad, but Julia needed some tenderness before she could continue on.

    anyways, I wasn't wearing a helmet, though I had one lying at home. I don't "forget" it anymore.

    And I'm with you, Spencer, I'm glad I got set straight with a minor tumble than to watch my bike soar through the air as a convertible sweeps the ground from beneath us. Sure, the hospital gown, cafeteria pudding, and MRI would make anyone's day, but I don't think I'm quite ready to enjoy that particular experience.

    stay safe

  2. this must have been recent Chase, Julia's pretty new with you as I recall. Yes, you learn to not make exceptions in riding safely. Lock your bike, ride with lights, etc.

  3. I was up really early biking to class and was at a two way stop at a hill. Rainy day, sort of dark, the road I had to cross is moderately busy (more so in the morning) and is also hilly so it's difficult to see cars speeding over. Anyway, it may have been my fault, because I wasn't paying attention, but I was taking my time waiting for the traffic to clear up and didn't know a car was waiting behind me. All of a sudden, I felt my bike jolt forward underneath me and I almost fell off my bike. I got shoved by the car! It took me a second to realize it, the hostility just took me by surprised. Luckily I already had a foot planted so I regained my balance. Taken totally by surprised, I hopped over to the right to let the jerk past me. The windows were dark, so I couldn't make eye contact or speak to them, but I gave them my best sneer when he/she quickly turned away.

    I assume he/she was simply being aggressive and didn't see me. Another possibility was that we were stopped on a hill. He/she may have been stopped and tried to stomp on the pedal to inch closer to me and ended up stepping on it way to hard, causing the the car to accelerate too quickly. Then again, I feel like I'm being too nice. If he wanted to past me why not just crack the window and ask politely? I would've been much obliged to do so, because I remember that the traffic on the far side was more busy than the near side (he made a right turn).

    In short, it kind of shook me up. I wasn't physically hurt, but it did intimidate me. I didn't ride my bike for a few days because it bugged me. However, I eventually hopped back on because the bus was too slow to commute by.

    As bike-friendly Eugene is, I think it is only in its accessibility. Loads of bike lanes, paths, shops, etc. Yet, there are still a few impolite and aggressive drivers that forget there are bikers on the road.

  4. neilson, I totally agree. Any incident shakes you up, and just because a city has bike infrastructure doesn't mean you don't get angry or hostile reactions from people when you bike. Portland is wonderful, but I've been yelled at from car windows there just like everywhere else I've ridden.
    thanks and stay safe!