Drone Takes Out Cyclist During Bike Race - Results in Wipe Out

Drones are being used in so many creative ways these days that I can’t even keep up with all of the beautiful and exciting footage being shared daily. Some things do catch my attention more than others, however. Like drones being used as precision weapons to take out bikers, instead of filming said incredible footage.

Earlier this month an unfortunate Pro Cyclist had a run in (literally) with a drone during the Golden State Race series in Sacramento, California. After colliding with a tree, the drone crashed down in front of the cyclist in this video (30 second mark). A fellow racer recorded the entire incident via helmet-cam as he eventually raced by the unlucky drone target.

At first, the biker seems to be unaffected by the collision, that is until the drone apparently finds its place in the bike’s front wheel, ultimately leading to a partial front flip. The other cyclists, unaffected by the crash, simply look back and pedal on.

Hopefully the rider wasn’t injured by the crash too badly, but it’s yet another incident demonstrating the potential risks associated with piloting drones around groups of people, and surely supplies the anti-drone crowd with further ammunition.

If you had been piloting the drone that went down, how would you have reacted to the sight of this accident?

[Via Digital Trends]

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30 Comments

Leigh Miller's picture

Wow...lol not good for the drone industry. Fast pace taking place with banning of use...

Felix Wu's picture

If it cannot be kept safe then it should be banned....

The same relates to cars and airplanes. And cyclists, who hit a lot of pedestrians before...

Felix Wu's picture

Have you seen a cyclist who hit a pedestrian in a competition before? Like the Olympics perhaps? I hope this wasn't any serious race.. There needs to me some measures to prevent this from happening, if there wasn't then it's best to ban. Getting the shot may not be the top priority after all.

Don't limit yourself by competitions. Danger from cyclists (and cars, and airplanes) may come from any side. There are enough evidences of crashes involving cyclists on youtube. Their activity should be highly regulated by Federal Cycling Commission.

Felix Wu's picture

You are totally right. Society without regulation = chaos.

Michael Kormos's picture

It's just a matter of time before these toys require training and an official license to purchase and operate, and rightfully so. Majority of drone flyers have neither the skill, experience, nor maturity.

Dallas Dahms's picture

That was a freaky accident! I am not in favour of flying drones over people.

Anonymous's picture

Of course we don't know the pilot's intent but if he intentionally flew that close to people, while technically an accident, in those cases it WILL happen eventually and regularly.

I am not sure who is worse, Fstoppers or SLR Lounge for posting old news stories. This is old news.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

SO old. Like a whole week old.

If I haven't seen it then it isn't "old" and I've never seen this crazy video.

Spy Black's picture

I'm surprised it took that long for the bike to flip. I've said it before and I'll say it again, flying drones needs to be licensed with required flight training, both non-commercial and commercial licensing, just like they do with planes and cars. When a drone goes over a certain size, it should require a commercial license. Airspace restrictions need to be put in place as well, as there are for planes. I know you drone flyers here hate hearing this, but the more incidences like this happen, the more you're likely to see knee-jerk legislation passed that will be far worse and uncoordinated across states, or even counties. It'll be a far bigger mess. Nip it in the bud and do it right. Let's face it, it's only a matter of time before some jerk causes an incident that will cost one or more lives, then you're really going to be up shit's creek.

Felix Wu's picture

Size does not matter, any flying drones need some serious monitoring if flying over people. It will need to apply for permit when flying and perhaps need a third party onsite as a supervisor who has the right to stop the pilot from flying if s/he thinks its too close or too dangerous.

Sean Gibson's picture

Of course the ironic thing here is that you don't need to take a single class or have a special license to buy a gun.

Guns don't fly to watch you daughter's bedroom!

Spy Black's picture

Stray bullets from an unlicensed gun owner can kill her however.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Come on guys. Comparing drones to guns is silly. About as relevant as discussing unlicensed dwarf unicorn owners here. They'll jump right into your daughters window and shoot you with rainbows...

Spy Black's picture

It's all about being properly trained, licensed, and registered. I would hold unlicensed dwarf unicorn owners accountable as well...

Tim Y's picture

If a gun owner fires a gun towards your house, I doubt him being licensed or unlicensed is going to stop the stray bullets from entering your daughter's bedroom. >_>

Spy Black's picture

Right, just get rid of all the guns. ;-)

Jonathan Reid's picture

I got shouted at by a man waking a dog. My drone was scaring his dog. I had deliberately walked to an empty field to fly and he arrived after me.

I questioned which posed more danger to people - a tiny drone in an empty field or a dog without a leash. Which caused more noise pollution? Ultimately, we've been condisitioned to dog walking but not yet to drones. Hopefully this will change.

Dusty Wooddell's picture

Well in all fairness, a dog is a living breathing creature that needs exercise. A drone is essentially a toy for most. Also, in most cases not having a dog on a leash in public areas results in some sort of fine.

Jonathan Reid's picture

I would argue that a dog is as much of a necessity as a drone. They're hardly endangered species.

So, dogs are necessity?

Kirk Darling's picture

We're not talking about either dogs or drones in empty fields. We're talking about drones in the vicinity of people. And in most communities, dogs in vicinity of people must be on a leash. Certainly, if my dog harms another person in public, I will be held firmly liable for it even if he's on a leash--and there is no reason a drone operator should not be held just as liable.

Jonathan Reid's picture

I was referring to peoples attitudes about drones. The vast majority don't like them due to noise or potential injuries, however, we have grown to tolerate the same nuisances from dogs (for example). Give it time and attitudes will change to become more accepting of drones.

Mike Stern's picture

Dogs and wolves were there before drones and some people. :)

Tim Y's picture

The cyclist was only hit by the drone because the pilot was unskilled and being reckless. From what I can see in the video the the Phantom struck a tree above the roadway (hence the reckless and unskilled reference) and then fell onto the cyclist. If this happened in the U.S. that would certainly result in reckless endangerment charges from the police, civil liability from the cyclist and severe fines from the FAA. Small unmanned aircraft are not toys, and what we do with them is our sole responsibility. This pilot simply didn't take that into account and will now have to face those severe consequences.