Two cyclists were sent flying from their bikes in separate incidents within a block of each other Sunday and Monday.
In the first incident, a 32-year-old man was riding on Fifth Avenue near the center solid yellow lines — not in the bike lane — at around 8 am when he was hit by a 40-foot tour bus that was likely diverted from Fourth Avenue because of the New York City Marathon.
The bike was churned between the glossy black bus’s dual rear wheels, but the cyclist appeared to escape unscathed, said an emergency medical technician on the scene. The shaken cyclist sat on the curb as he talked with police and medical personnel. He and was later taken to New York Methodist Hospital as a precaution.
The 52-year-old bus driver was alone on the bus, according to police records, and was insured.
Less than 36 hours later, a passing Honda sideswiped a cyclist riding south on Sixth Avenue, 15 feet from the corner with Prospect Place. The impact pinned the 50-year-old cyclist against a parked car at around 6 pm. Witnesses said the driver got out, talked with onlookers, then jumped back into his car and sped away.
If identified, the driver could face a broad range of penalties for leaving the scene of an accident — from a simple summons to felony charges — depending on the severity and circumstances of the incident. Since someone was injured, police said the driver would face a minimum of misdemeanor charges, if not more.
Sixth Avenue does not have a bicycle lane.
Emergency medical technicians at the scene said the bicyclist, who was less than two blocks from his home, would likely survive.
In the wake of the latest accidents, bike shop workers are urging cyclists to put safety first.
Grant Harding, an employee at Ride Brooklyn on Bergen Street between Fifth and Flatbush avenues, said a $15 to $55 set of lights could save a biker’s life.
“These little reflectors do nothing in the city,” Harding said. “Since it’s getting dark after 4:30 now, you can’t even leave work without lights on you bike.”
And while helmets are essential, Harding said bright front, and especially rear, lights are just as vital.
“If cars and other bikes can’t see you, it doesn’t matter what you have on your head,” he said.
©2010 Community News Group
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