Here's Why Drones and Bike Races Don't Mix
The most recent data on bicycle accidents paints a grim picture. While 45,000 cyclists were injured on US roads in 2015 -- a 10% drop since 2014 -- the same year brought the deaths of 818 cyclists -- the highest number since 1995. Now those of who enjoy the pleasure of an afternoon ride have another thing to worry about: drones.
The video above, shot at Golden State Race in Sacremento, California, shows what happened when a drone operator attempted to get up-close-and-personal footage from the middle of a bicycle race. First the small quadcopter collided with a tree above, then careened down into the rider's path, smashing it to pieces. For a few seconds it looks like all's well, but pieces of the drone lodged into the rider's front wheel and eventually caught, causing him to flip head-over-wheels and crash down hard -- arms first, head second -- onto the pavement.
It's a pretty brutal watch, and looks even worse to anyone who's ever been involved in one of these types of accidents themselves. (Hi.) According to Redditors who claim to have been riding in the race, the drone operator "offered to buy him a new wheel and helmet," which frankly seems pretty unsatisfactory. Personally I think this suggestion from the user I_eat_insects makes more sense: