Two North Slope Cyclists Dodge Death in Accidents on Sunday and Monday

11/10/2010 10:03 AM |

Oh shit, look out!
  • “Oh shit, look out!”

The message is clear: when biking through the North Slope/Flatbush deathzone, every precaution is necessary. On Sunday and Monday, two cyclists had potentially deadly encounters within a couple blocks of each other, one Sunday morning on Fifth Avenue near St. Marks while riding near the yellow center line rather than in the nearby bike lane, the other on scarily narrow Sixth Avenue near Prospect Place. The Brooklyn Paper reports that in the first incident, a tour bus diverted onto Fifth Avenue because of the marathon swallowed up the 32-year-old cyclist’s bike between its rear tires, though the cyclist was unharmed. The second cyclist wasn’t so lucky…

The accident on Monday around rush hour involved a 50-year-old cyclist being sideswiped and pinned against a parked car about two blocks from his home—again, because Sixth is so, so narrow and drivers really, really need to get to the next red light—by the driver of a Honda who stopped briefly to talk to bystanders before speeding away. If found, he could face felony charges. The cyclist, who is expected to survive, was apparently not wearing bike lights, or at least not sufficiently bright ones, and since it gets pitch black at 2pm now, the crazy driver may not have seen him until it was too late.

So, in summary, when bike lanes are available please use them, and wear lights and helmets and whatever reflective gear you have (hey, here’s a situation in which golden lamé leggings appropriate!), and be extra careful when biking along especially cramped streets like Sixth Avenue as even the slightest swerve (from an opening door, swiping car passing, massive pothole, non-looking jaywalker, etc.) could mean instant death. If necessary, take up the whole lane—you’re legally allowed to do so, and the impatient driver behind you will most certainly reach the next red light in good time.