my bike split in half in the middle of the street

Well, it wasn’t my bike.  It was wife K’s, but I use it when out running errands.

Crossing at a busy intersection just before noon today – on the green – thinking about how much I’m looking forward to the rest of my day off and about my mountain biking holiday coming up this Friday, and three weeks in Newfoundland next summer, what I should get K for Christmas, and all those sorts of things that just rattle through your head when you’re not focused on anything in particular, when all of a sudden WHAM! The bike simply falls out from under me.

In a flash I’m hitting the ground and land in a heap on the back half of the bike, the front half splayed out in front like some wheezed-out mule.

It just split in two.  Just like that.

Sinking to the pavement in the blink of an eye is the last thing you’d expect to happen at any time of day, so for a second or two I just lay there feeling like I’d suddenly found myself underwater, confused as hell and not comprehending.

I get up and realise I’m scraped on the elbow and knees, but I’m more shocked and bewildered than anything.  I look around and a lady is asking if I’m all right, another picks up and hands me the air pump that popped from its mooring and skidded away, and then HONK!  HONK!  Some prick behind the wheel on the cross-street figures I’m taking too long clearing what’s left of the bike off the street, so I should just get the hell out of the road.

Then the cops come over.

I’d seen the pair of them while approaching the intersection, all decked out in their police biking gear and e-bikes to boot.  It’s a tall man and a short woman.

“Did you see that?” I ask the man.

“No,” he says, “but looking at your bike – I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Are you injured?” the woman asks me.

“Naw,” I say, pulling up my pant leg, “I’m more shocked than anything.  I just can’t believe it.”

By now the male cop is taking out his iPhone and taking photos of the wreck that was wife K’s bike, purchased three and a half years ago after hers got stolen, and only three days ago outfitted with a new front light and internal hub generator.  He says he’ll send them to me the photos in a day or two.

“Guess I’ll have to take this in to the shop where I bought it and get them to replace the frame,” I say.

That’s what I did this afternoon.

They were pretty shocked to see the wreck that was a bike as I wheeled it in, the two halves still connected by the brake and gear cables.

I hope they replace the frame at least. It’s just had normal riding around town, nothing out of the ordinary.

19 Responses to “my bike split in half in the middle of the street”

  1. November 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Oh my goodness! I’m so glad you weren’t hurt. That is really bizarre.

  2. November 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Holy crap! That’s mad! Glad you survived and that that prick who was honking at you didn’t run you over.

  3. November 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Wow! That bike looks like it couldn’t make up its mind as to what it wanted to do. I’m relieved to see that you’re doing fine.

  4. November 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Wow, that is freakin’ wierd and dangerous looking. My instinct is to just simply ditch the bike and get another one. The stability of the bike frame on the top tube has been compromised and a crack mend will never bring the bike frame to same strength when it was unbroken. If you’re going cycling Newfoundland, it might be a good idea: less bike shops around and greater chance of rougher roads / greater distances between towns for servicing.

  5. November 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Glad you were not hurt!
    Seems this is not so rare as you might think. This happend to my beloved mountain bike this summer, I could not believe it at first. I was just lucky enough to see the break before the bike disolved below me.
    http://www.obadoba.de/engelchronik/comments/bruch (German, though)

    BTW: It was a beautiful hand-made canadian bike, I was sooo diappointed. The bike has a new frame by now, again that canadian company, and I love it again.

  6. November 13, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Reblogged this on bikeworldusa and commented:
    Yikes… I hope this doesn’t happen to any of you!

  7. November 13, 2012 at 7:22 am

    That is insane! Wow, Ian! Glad you didn’t get hurt. And hopefully the new bike will be better! It will be interesting to see if the company has had this problem with this type of bike before.

  8. November 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Glad you weren’t hurt- very frightening looking break and lucky that you weren’t seriously injured. I hope you get a repair that you feel is safe.

    • November 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      The only repair possible is a brand new frame or a new bike. This is totally beyond saving. Still waiting for a response from the store what they’re going to do with it. Heading over there this afternoon personally to ask. What bugs me is this wasn’t just some low-price supermarket bike.

  9. November 14, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Metal fatigue? It seems like the most reasonable explanation. Or a design flaw, perhaps – reducing the thickness of the metal to achieve lightness. That’s increasingly a problem with boats. Well, regardless – I’m so glad you weren’t badly hurt by the fall, or run over. Do give us an update on what the folks at the store have to say. I’d be interested to know if they’ve seen such before.

    • November 14, 2012 at 6:46 am

      They say they’ve never seen anything like it, but they’ve been good to us. Although the guarantee on such a bike’s frame is only supposed to be 2 years – I find that pretty short – and they were at first kind of wary, thinking we’d been in an accident and this was the result – they say they’ll replace it.
      In the meantime they’re working on getting a bike to lend us because it’s going to take a while to get a new frame in from the manufacturer.

      I’ve discovered a few more bruises, but am OK for the mountain-biking trip starting Friday! 🙂

  10. November 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Wow Ian thank goodness you’re ok! A colleague of mine broke both his hands/wrists breaking his fall!

  11. November 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I think there’s too much lead in your diet…

    Glad to hear you’re not injured from this weirdness.

  12. 16 Anonymous
    January 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Well, now you have a monocycle and a wheel to spare 😀

    • January 26, 2014 at 4:33 am

      Wow, in contrast to the daily drip of spam, it is indeed a pleasure to approve a real, honest comment placed on this moribund blog.

      We actually have more than that, anon: the manufacturer replaced the bike at no charge.

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