Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bono has an accident


You are probably already aware of this but in case you’re not…

U2 band leader Bono suffered major injuries last week in a SOLO bike crash in Central park, NYC. Not a lot of details available but he was reported to have been avoiding another cyclist (Bono Treated With Metal Plates, 'Intensive Therapy' After Bike Injury).

As a high-mileage cyclist myself I experience much more terror in the presence of other cyclists and have been subjected to at least as much vehicular violence from them as I have from motorists. I can attest that it’s just about impossible to find any statistics about inter-bicycle crashes and mayhem. Needless to say, the dangerous, rude and aggressive behavior of cyclists among and towards other cyclists, and the resulting close calls and crashes, are not something about which the bicycle evangelists would ever inform newbies.

If Bono’s crash had taken place in Golden Gate Park and his posse had scraped him up and taken him to UCSF before any police arrived his injuries would, as you know better than anyone, not be tallied up in the MTA’s annual (well, formerly annual) collisions report.

Deane Hartley

Rob's comment:

You are the kind of cyclist that earns my respect, since you are aware of the dangers and not playing the victim card. Cyclist-on-cyclist accidents are rare enough that apparently no statistics are available, but as Bono's accident shows they can be serious.

Accidents can happen to all cyclists. Bike safety expert Bert Hill was hit by a car, and Supreme Court Justice Breyer had a spill off his bike.

A New York Times reporter had the kind of cycling accident that the UC study found was surprisingly common and just as serious as being hit by a car:

My crash came 8.9 miles into a 100-mile ride (of course I knew the distance, because of course I was watching my bicycle computer). My friend Jen Davis was taking a turn leading; my husband, Bill, was drafting — riding close behind her. I was drafting Bill when a slower rider meandered into his path. Bill swerved and I hit his wheel. Down I went. The first thing I did when I hit the ground was turn off my stopwatch — I did not want accident time to count toward our riding time. Then I sat on a curb, dazed. My head had hit the road, but my helmet saved me. My left thigh was so bruised it was hard to walk. Worst of all was a searing pain in my left shoulder. I could hardly move my arm. But since it hurt whether I rode or not, I decided, like an idiot, to finish the ride. The next day I went to a doctor and learned, to my shock, that my collarbone was broken.

Okay, accidents of all kinds happen on our streets. What's my point? That cycling is being oversold as a green, win-win deal for everyone, and the dangers aren't being acknowledged, especially the risk of head injuries. City Hall and the Bicycle Coalition are being particularly irresponsible when they encourage the city's children to ride bikes on city streets, since cycling is the cause of most head injuries to children



At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Princess Dianna was injured and killed in a "high energy" auto collision.

What's your point?

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Gregski said...

As usual the primary debating tactic is disregard the blog's details and to change the subject to cars.

The point is pretty obvious to me. On a per-passenger-mile or per-trip basis I can think of only three modes of personal transportation that might be more dangerous than cycling: horseback riding, skateboarding and rollerskating.

At 9:41 AM, Anonymous NoeValleyJim said...

The health benefits of cycling overwhelm any accident risk.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I wonder if Bono still believes that.

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bono is half blind and shouldn't be riding a bike in the first place.

Most people can ride a bike safely. He's not one of them.

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gregski -

Walking in an urban area is easily more dangerous than cycling on a per mile basis. It's not even close.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Evidence, please? In San Francisco we don't really know how many people are injured on our streets because of the radically flawed method the city has been using to count accidents. Ed Reiskin and the Public Health Dept. are supposedly working on it.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Gregski said...

"Walking in an urban area is easily more dangerous than cycling"

That's a preposterous conclusion that you surely pulled out of your ass. But I have to say that it might be valid in my case. I walk between 4 and 12 miles every business day in San Francisco and have amassed a collection of bruises and abrasions on the left side of my body from all my collisions with adult-aged sidewalk bicyclists who are too chickenshit to ride on the streets like everybody else (including me).


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