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Near Miss of the Day 387: Marylebone Road pothole crash (+ video)

Our regular series featuring close things from around the country - today it's London...

A bit of an unusual one in our Near Miss of the Day feature today, given that it’s not a motorist who put the cyclist in danger, but rather a road defect – we think everyone can agree though that coming off your bike in the middle of one of central London’s busiest roads after hitting a pothole and ending up sore but with no broken bones and without getting run over by a following vehicle counts as a closer thing.

It happened to reader Ant, on Marylebone Road. The video starts with him riding through Fitzroy Square, with captions pointing out typical hazards encountered while cycling in London – pedestrians not looking, a vehicle being driven on the wrong side of the street – before he turns left onto the main road.

To go straight on, he needs to move into the middle lane or risk getting left-hooked by turning traffic – and shortly afterwards, is thrown over his handlebars as he hits a pothole by a manhole cover.

“Mostly I want to thank the two taxi’s behind me who stopped without running me over, and the two pedestrians that came out and helped me get up,” Ant told us.

“My bike pedal had become wedged into my backpack, and combined with the stunning fall, I was a bit tardy at getting up.

“One of the taxis beeped me after the incident to point out my head cam had come off – which is actually how I like it (it’s a small magnetic cube camera)  although inconvenient if it’s in the middle of the road.

“I don’t like having anything hard attached to the helmet that might take any of the impact. Either the helmet did a great job or I didn’t hit my head, as there is no damage there, just leg and arm bruising.

“Essentially I was heading home on a normal route, had not ridden it for about a week, and a wheel sized slot had opened up next to a manhole cover – and I didn’t get enough sight of it to avoid it, and my front wheel stopped dead.

“Clearly I could have ridden further back, but if you’ve ever ridden in London - expect that gap to get filled.”

Ant added: “I will be swapping to a pannier now – the heavy laptop/backpack dragged me right over the top and I had no control in the fall, so landed pretty heavily.”

> Near Miss of the Day turns 100 - Why do we do the feature and what have we learnt from it?

Over the years has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with another road user that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community please send it to us at info [at] or send us a message via the Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link, if not we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

> What to do if you capture a near miss or close pass (or worse) on camera while cycling

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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