Bicycle Wreck

Yesterday, I spent some time waiting around in the Grady Memorial Hospital ER because our good friend David Tyberg had a one-on-one encounter with a car, while on his bike.

Consequences of Crumple Zones

David is ok, thankfully. He hit the car while moving at approximately 18 mph and reports are that he went head first into the rear quarter panel and bounced off. He’s got a sprained wrist, road rash, bruises and a really nice mark on his forehead from his helmet but if you take a good look at that picture up above, I think you’ll agree that he got off remarkably lightly.

It’s hard to tell from the image, but take a close look at the handlebars and how they are not facing the way they are supposed to. If you look at the way the headlight is facing, that is the direction the handlebars should be pointing. Now they are basically in a flat plane pointed to the right. The wheel obviously failed1 in such a way as to kick the handlebars and bike to the left, causing the resultant failure of the handlebars.

And if you ever needed a reason to wear a helmet, here it is. Without this on his head, David’s story last night would have been very different. Instead of eating pizza at his house at midnight…well I don’t want to think about that.

Why it's important to wear a helmet

Grady was remarkably tidy and organized; from news reports I would have expected a “Gray’s Anatomy” or “ER” level of chaos. The only incident like that was the blood all over the men’s room when I used it.

Grady also has some eclectic architecture. I’ve never been to the building before however you can see it from the Downtown Connect (I-75/85). It’s been built and built again.

Grady Hospital's Eclectic Architecture

The full flickr set can be found at Bike Wreck


1: “Failure” is being used here in the engineering/materials term. The wheel was subject to forces that exceeded its ultimate strength, leading to plastic deformation of the material(s).

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