Crash Analysis: Part 1


So, it’s been a full week since my bicycle accident. Now that I can’t ride for a while, I’m bored out of my skull, and thought I’d do a little over-analysis on how this whole thing happened.

I crashed, in large part, because of poor route selection for my commute. Route selection is a tricky thing sometimes. Here’s the basic overview of the routing challenges on my commute.

OpenCycleMap image of my commute

Notice that between my house in Marysville, and my job in Summerdale, there is a big honkin’ mountain in my way. I’m also penned in to the East my the great and mighty Susquehanna River. The river, in her infinite benevolence, has seen fit to carve me a nice, relatively flat floodplain through the mountain, in order to make it possible to cycle to work.

There are only two public rights-of-way along this floodplain. One of them is US 11/15 (a high-traffic, nasty highway), the other (Main Street) is a lovely, low-traffic road along the river, with scenic views of the river and the mountains.

Opencyclemap of the only two possible escape routes from Marysville

Naturally, I ride on Main Street. The problem is that there is only one way to get on Main St, which is through a tunnel under the railroad tracks at the north end of town. Getting from my house to that tunnel is where I ran into trouble.

The basic problem is that my house is separated from the tunnel by a nice big park. I have three options to get around the park.

OpenCycleMap of my three options for getting on the otherside of the park in Marysville

  1. King’s Highway (in blue) — A slow climb up a narrow, shoulder-less road
  2. Park Drive to US 11/15 (in red) — Having to cross three lanes of rush-hour traffic twice within a half mile
  3. Cut through the park (in yellow) — No traffic to deal with, and there are usually interesting waterfowl in the creek

Normally, I use option 3, and cut through the park, stopping to say hello to the Blue Herons and Egrets in the pond. But on the day of my crash, the footway through the park was covered with snow and ice, and so I decided to use option 2, mixing it up with the rush-hour traffic on the highway.

This turned out to be a mistake…

3 thoughts on “Crash Analysis: Part 1

  1. If it weren’t for the good luck bestowed upon me by my New Year’s day sauerkraut dinner, the accident probably would have killed me.

    Huzzah for crazy superstitions!

  2. I’m very curious to read Part 2, because there has to be a reason why you highlighted the Riverside Pub.

    I’m also thinking that had you chosen to ride your Flying Pigeon that fateful morning, we would be reading about a totaled car instead.

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