A video posted to YouTube has captured the moment a motorbike ploughed into the back of a cyclist in California, sending him crashing to the ground head-first, before going on to knock his riding companion off his bike, too. Amazingly, the first cyclist – reported to be British – is said to have emerged from the incident with no broken bones. It has been reported overnight that it was a doctor, taking part on a group ride including George Hincapie, who adminsitered first aid, and there are suggestions that the motorcyclist may have been looking for a photographer rather than focusing on the road.
The video, shot on the Mulholland Highway near Los Angeles and with more than 600,000 views on YouTube, was uploaded by the site’s user Rnickeymouse, clearly a regular visitor to the road and himself a motorcyclist, who insisted: “The rider was not speeding & riding fine until he hit his foot and stood the bike up causing the bike to go wide. He then target fixated on the cyclist.
“It is a very common type of crash on this turn,” he added. “Just usually no one is there and the rider falls alone. It is very unfortunate, and a rare case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We wish the cyclists a speedy recovery.”
According to a comment made to the video on YouTube, the first rider who was struck – wearing a black, white and red Brioches La Boulengère jersey dating from around a decade ago – is from the UK and somehow escaped without serious injury.
“This was my friend visiting from England who was struck first,” said the commenter, who went on: “(I was further back on the hill when the accident happened and am one of the guys who comes in the picture to his assistance). He's doing ok today, was discharged from the hospital yesterday with no broken bones. Miraculously..."
In one of the other comments to the video, another motorcyclist argues with Rnickeymouse’s interpretation, saying: “This is 100% the motorcyclists fault. If he is "afraid to lean more" then he is going to fast for the road conditions, end of story.
“It isn't a race track,” the commenter adds. “You don't need to drag knee on public roads. He lost control, most likely target fixated and plowed into the cyclist who was 100% within his rights to share the road.”
The Biking In LA blog has now provided some more background on the incident in an article published last night.
It says that the incident took place on a 270-degree hairpin bend called Deadman's Turn, on a section of the Mulholland Highway known to motorcyclists as the Snake and to cyclists as the Rock Store Climb, and it's a popular spot for people to shoot photos and video.
The blog flagged up a second video - since taken down from YouTube by whoever posted it, possibly for legal reasons - and which showed point-of-view footage from a motorcyclist following the one involved in the collision.
Biking In LA says that according to Byron of the Bike Hugger blog, that footage suggests either that the motorcyclist who struck the cyclist had been looking round for the camera, or that his vision had been impaired by a camera flashgun.
It adds that one of the cyclists involved in the incident is believed to have been among 20 to 25 riders taking part in an informal group ride which included George Hincapie, who is said to have been further up the climb and unaware of what had happened.
The other cyclist - the one hit first and more seriously hurt, and reported to be from the UK - was not on that ride, but "happened to fall in with the other riders at the wrong place and time," says Biking In LA.
Luckily for him, one member of that group ride was the chief medical officer for the Amgen Tour of Caliornia, riding behind and picked up by the Highway Patrol car that was heading to the scene, and who was able to administer first aid.
As yet there is no news of any charges being brought against the motorcyclist involved, but the incident, and the video of it, has reportedly been investigated.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.