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Biker Hits Pothole
Status: Real
Everyone is linking to these photos of a biker hitting a pothole in the rain and taking a nasty spill. They were taken by Liu Tao for the Beijing Youth Daily. The thing is that Liu knew the pothole was there and, instead of telling people about it, just waited for someone to fall into it so that he could get his shot. Which kind of makes this a photo sequence of a prank in action. Beijing Youth Daily readers have apparently been outraged by the photos, writing in that Liu is "disgusting" and "should really be condemned."

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Categories: Photos/VideosPranks
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 28, 2005
"Liu defended himself, saying: 'I just knew that the city government has paved the pit, and without my pictures, the pit would not be noticed by the government, and there would perhaps be more people falling over.'"

I guess it didn't occur to him to just report it.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Wed Dec 28, 2005  at  05:47 PM
Because then he wouldn't get the publicity for it. But really, it's not so different from news reporters setting up a camera at the bottom of an icy hill so that they can broadcast all the fender benders that occur. One's first thought would be to simply warn drivers about the road, but that wouldn't be as big a draw, now would it?
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Dec 28, 2005  at  05:50 PM
"I guess it didn't occur to him to just report it."

You're assuming it hadn't already been reported ... sometimes it takes a little public embarrassment to get action from city officials.

What gets me is the idiot riding a bicycle with an umbrella. Anyone riding one-handed where the surface is obscured by water can expect to lose a little skin now and then. I'm sorry for him, but he's an idiot all the same.
Posted by Wendy  in  Wellington, NZ  on  Wed Dec 28, 2005  at  06:47 PM
I think its funny as hell, I hope the biker got a copy of the photos so he can laugh about it later. I took a bunch of pictures of myself and my bicycle after an accident I had...I still look at them sometimes and think "ouch-but that was funny."
Posted by travis  in  Boise, ID, USA  on  Wed Dec 28, 2005  at  10:05 PM
UGH.. That is *not* a good fall.. the guy's got short sleeves, and probably had blood running down his arms from the road rash. Looks like his face hit too. A fling like that could have broken his neck easily.

Reminded of when I had a fall like that.. I hit a rock, and went over my handlebars.. It was suddenly seeing ground coming up fast. I pulled into a perfect shoulder roll at the last second, and had enough momentum to come up standing. I had just enough time to think 'Holy crap, that worked!', when the bike smacked into the back of my knees and I fell on top of it. Still, better some bruises and scrapes than a busted wrist.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  03:01 AM
And what if someone HAD broken his/her neck? What would have happened then? What a lamer.
Posted by Ed  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  03:59 AM
"Into every life, a little rain must fall." I agree with Wendy somewhat, but more so with travis... I think it's funny. Look at the pictures carefully... you can see the details in the road surface. If the dumb-ass didn't have have his head up his butt (probably more concerned about dropping his umbrella, than what lie ahead on the roadway), this may have never occured.

I was riding a moped (back when they were popular, had MY head up my butt and ran over a beer can with the front tire. It got lodged on the tire and as soon as it rotated to the forks... down I went. After that, I learned to watch what lie ahead.

My guess is that if this is his first spill in life, he'll never do it again...
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  06:00 AM
...shall we just label this one as "The Great Fall of China"?
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  06:05 AM
Pretty lame. I'd say the photographer is guilty complacency, because he knew a problem existed, which would cause other people to suffer injury.
Posted by Bill  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  07:54 AM
I love that the guy is riding a bike while holding an umbrella.....

Pure genious, I'm sure he was staying competely dry.
Posted by coit  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  10:39 AM
It's not like he's the only person to ever ride a bike with an umbrella. In China, it's actually pretty common.
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  11:58 AM
Only an idiot would ride a bike while holding an umbrella.

The pictures prove the point.
Posted by coit  on  Thu Dec 29, 2005  at  08:12 PM
"And what if someone HAD broken his/her neck? What would have happened then? What a lamer"

I think Liu would have some more interesting photos...
Posted by davetolomy  on  Fri Dec 30, 2005  at  03:21 AM
Atleast by the third pic the umbrella ended up in a place still keepin the rain off his head. Wouldn't want to get too wet out there.
Posted by sbanture  in  sb ca  on  Sun Jan 01, 2006  at  02:13 PM
He might have been riding the bike to work, and thus he could say "See boss, I tried to keep from getting wet."
Seriously, how can you say this guy deserves to fall down, even if he was doing something stupid? The photographer should have just put up something in front of the hole to warn people away.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Sun Jan 01, 2006  at  10:43 PM
Of course, it's entirely Liu's fault that the pothole was there, and his civic duty in particular to have it repaired. This person is undoubtedly a danger to society and must be stopped at all costs!

I'm starting to think people enjoy being outraged. They're certainly starting to look hard for the opportunities.
Posted by bsk  in  Johannesburg  on  Mon Jan 02, 2006  at  04:51 AM
Quite, bsk! 'Liu is "disgusting"'?!? OK, maybe a bit of a wanker, but that's at most.
Posted by outeast  in  prague  on  Mon Jan 02, 2006  at  07:42 AM
poor guy!!
Posted by chelsealou  in  texas  on  Mon Jan 02, 2006  at  04:09 PM
Guys, that picture is taken in Beijing. The entire city is full of potholes the side of small houses, people riding bikes with all manner of crap on them (An ambrella in 1 hand is pretty minor. It gets impressive when a guy is supporting a pile of new computers on the back parcel bit of his bike.) and reports to the local council are utterly useless so the only way to get anything to happen is to start public uproar.

Liu may be a dick for watching and waiting but now that it's done, someone will take care of the pothole.
Posted by realfatmonkey  in  England  on  Sun Jan 08, 2006  at  04:46 AM
Based on what I've read, it seems like the Chinese love to be righteously outraged, it's like a hobby for them.

But these pictures remind me of an old saying: Comedy is when you fall down and break your neck, but tragedy is when I get a paper cut.

On that basis, this is some funny crap.
Posted by Fred Green  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  08:59 AM

Poor guy....
Posted by Eva  in  New York  on  Sun Mar 19, 2006  at  01:03 PM
Mary Poppins's umbrella would have come in handy in this situation.
Posted by Jonathan  in  Sinai Egypt  on  Wed May 23, 2007  at  05:13 AM
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