When a Biker Hits Your Stroller

Central Park

Indulge us on a little storytelling/venting.

Before Sally was born, we bought this stroller/carseat combo, and the stroller has been perfect to have in NYC. It’s sturdy, compact, and super easy to carry up and down subway steps. And it even fits in those narrow grocery store aisles. AND it has a stroller board accessory we could buy for it when baby #2 arrives. Because of all those factors, Johnny and I have been going back and forth on whether we actually need a double stroller. We were considering just carrying the newborn in the front pack the first few months until Sally is ready for a stroller board.

But then the choice was made for us when a biker hit our stroller and broke it a few weeks ago. Obviously, buying a new stroller means our budget will take a hit. But more than that, a biker hit our stroller! With Sally in it!!

Let me set the scene.

It was a beautiful, cold winter afternoon and we were out for a family walk in Central Park. Sally was napping in the stroller, and Johnny and I were enjoying a rare uninterrupted-by-a-toddler conversation. As we were beginning to cross Central Park West (the street parallel to Central Park) to head home, the pedestrian walk symbol was aglow, the light was red for all cars, and we stepped onto that street without a worry in the world.

Next thing we knew, there was a bunch of commotion as Johnny and the stroller were knocked sideways by a biker riding at full speed. Johnny was pushing the stroller, so although it was knocked hard, he was thankfully able to keep it upright. The biker flew off her seat, but she also remained upright.

Our emotions were immediately heightened, as you can imagine.

“What were you thinking?”

“The light’s red!”

“You just hit our baby!”

That was all said by Johnny, actually. As unlucky as it may sound, last summer Sally was hit in our jogging stroller by a biker (also not obeying the rules of the road) when I was out running. So I was in shock that it had all happened again. My worst nightmare.

Sally was crying. I was crying (blame my pregnancy hormones). The biker was nonchalant about it all. “Oh, sorry about that… But it looks like she’s fine.” And then she proceeded to get back on her bike and begin pedaling away. I yelled something at that point, like, “You need to be more careful!” And Johnny followed up with a, “Are you seriously biking away? What is wrong with you?!?” There may have been an expletive involved in one of those questions. Possibly. Definitely.

After we began to shake off the shock and watched the biker ride away, we looked down and realized the hood of our stroller had been broken by this biker woman. And I mean totally unfixable. Johnny started running after the woman at this point. I’ve never seen him so angry in my life. With Sally still crying (and me — remember, I’m pregnant), I began walking home since Johnny informed me he was going to hunt her down.

Unfortunately (thankfully), Johnny never found the woman. He thought about writing a “Missed Connections” ad on Craigslist and sticking it to her (while knowing she would never, ever read it). But sanity prevailed and we let some steam off by talking through what had happened. We came to a few conclusions:

  • Don’t bike through red lights.
  • Don’t bike into people.
  • Don’t leave the scene if you bike into people (especially babies!).
  • If you do any of these things and you cross us (for the THIRD time), we will CUT you. I don’t even know what that means, but I will seriously punch some faces soo hard.

Okay, we realized a few other things, too. For one, despite all our budgeting and best intentions to make Sally’s stroller last, we were now in the market for a new stroller. It was a wakeup call that some of the budgeting challenges we encounter are out of our control. We’re not thrilled to have to add a new stroller to our budget, but we feel lucky that we’re out of debt, emergency funded, and in a position to handle the extra, unplanned expense. It also helped us understand on a more personal level that even though many people struggle with budgeting or finances, it doesn’t mean it’s self-inflicted. Life has surprises in store, and sometimes they’re really lame. Hang in there.

Anything mostly out of your control cause an unexpected expense recently? Does it sound like I hate bikers right now? Because I kind of do… at least when I’m pushing a stroller.

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  • Reply Yvann February 13, 2015 at 7:53 am

    ARGH that is sooooo annoying and a bit frightening what happened to you. I’m glad none of you, especially Sally, was hurt, and possibly also a little glad that Johnny didn’t catch up to the biker!
    (I’d like to put in a plea that not all of us cyclists are inconsiderate speedsters, and that it’s super frustrating when inconsiderate cyclists who run red lights give the other 95% of us a bad name.)
    You guys are presumably in the market for a double stroller now anyway? I’ve seen the Babyjogger City Select very highly recommended here in the UK, but it’s quite £££££££££…
    Hope you’re all ok.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Thanks for the rec! And it’s really not bikers who are the problem at all… it’s just people who aren’t paying attention who happen to be on bikes. Fingers crossed it won’t ever happen again!

  • Reply Ellen February 13, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Hi Joanna! I’m glad you all are okay. That’s so scary. I respect people who bike but in my city, they are always biking in the middle of the street. I can’t stand it. Use the bike lanes, that’s what they’re for! Makes me so mad

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:13 am

      That’s the problem… some bikers thinking they can act like a car, while others act like pedestrians, and some act like a little of both. It’s confusing/annoying for those of us trying to drive or walk!

  • Reply Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja February 13, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Bike lanes were designed not to keep bikers safe, but to keep everybody else safe from crazy cyclists. The most dangerous thing in NYC is a cyclist. It used to be yellow cabs, but even they say to watch out for crazy people in bicycles.

    Sorry you guys had to go through that, but I’m glad everybody is okay.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Seriously. I’ve got my eye out for bikers now anytime Sally and I are out and about!

  • Reply Jen C. February 13, 2015 at 9:46 am

    I hope you reported her to law enforcement! I understand it’s New York, and police officers first priority probably won’t be a hit and run bike accident, but they do have a responsibility to at least investigate it.

    A bit of sharing on my part–when I was in college, I was walking on campus when a man on a bicycle rode up behind me and grabbed my butt. I reported him immediately to law enforcement. They didn’t find him right away, but I was contacted by a news agency a week later. Apparently he was a bit of a serial butt-grabber, and enough women had reported him that it was all over the news. They ultimately ended up tracking him down and arresting him! Just goes to show you that you never know what else is going on with that individual–maybe she was speeding away from another crime?

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:16 am

      We didn’t think of that until we got home, but we should have called the police right away. You’re story is nuts… serial butt grabber! That’s odd and disturbing and gross! Glad they found him!

    • Reply Ashley Bee February 20, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      LOL – did you by chance attend Ball State University in Muncie, IN? We definitely had a huge problem with a butt grabber back in… 2008 or 2009??

  • Reply Amanda Rowan February 13, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Ugh, hate unexpected expenses! In addition to the string of unexpected expenses of last spring/summer right after I ceased earning any income (ear tube surgery, paying mother-in-law’s rent, breaking our Vitamix blender, getting a blown-out tire on the way home from a day trip, and unexpectedly owing taxes–blessedly we did get reimbursed for a couple of those things eventually), in the fall we had car’s back window broken into and we couldn’t afford to fix it. Over Christmas we had to shell out $1000 to get it back on the road because it ended up needing a lot more work than we had known. I hope 2015 gives us a break, but luckily we got a tax return this year so we can pay our emergency savings back enough to get by. We’re still not saving as much as I would like us to, but I guess i should just be grateful we’re able to survive and live within our means.

    Good luck with stroller shopping! I’ve been happy with our secondhand stroller that we bought for $30. But NYC presents a whole different set of stroller considerations, as you point out.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:20 am

      2014 hit you guys hard with unexpected expenses! I really hope 2015 is less eventful — you deserve it! I’m planning to look on Craigslist for strollers out here… I’ve already seen some that are a fraction of their full price!

  • Reply Amber February 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

    But seriously… TWICE? This happened to you TWICE? That is so unfortunate.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Agreed… very unfortunate!

  • Reply Miranda @ Miranda Writes Blog February 13, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Thank goodness that you guys and Sally are all okay. I have no idea what I would have done. That woman is a complete tool. I cannot believe she just rode away like that. And to think that it’s happened once already. Crazy! My sis-in-law actually had the same thing happen to her and my nephew while she was pregnant, but she was alone and the bike was not a bike, but a truck. She was able to pull my nephew out of the way as the front tire of the jogging stroller was being crunched. Luckily the guy wasn’t going very fast (he was rolling through a stop sign and looking the other way) otherwise it might have been much worse. Hopefully you guys will never have a third run in with a biker.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:26 am

      Oh no! That’s awful! There’s nothing more upsetting as a mom than when someone puts your child’s safety at risk. Both times, I’ve become absolutely hysterical.

  • Reply Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life February 13, 2015 at 11:27 am

    That sounds so awful and thankfully everyone is okay! Hopefully you are able to find something on the cheaper side sooner rather than later but still! The biker should not have gone off that quickly without making sure amends were made.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:27 am

      It was pretty awful! I’ve been looking on Craigslist, and they’re are some really good options!

  • Reply Alicia February 13, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Thank goodness the stroller was able to protect Sally from being injured. You’re very lucky in that regard.

    Bikers in NYC are horrendous. I’ve had a few close encounters, very scary! I definitely had to get into the habit of looking both ways (even on 1 way streets!) before crossing the street, and I’ve carried this habit into the suburbs with me!

    I’m glad you had money in the emergency fund so that you can purchase a new one, and relatively quickly. I can imagine that a toddler with no stroller in NYC is not fun.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:29 am

      Yes, I’m way more paranoid about looking both ways now, especially when I have Sally in tow. Many bikers out here follow their own rules, and it’s downright frightening!

  • Reply M.C. Sommers February 13, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    This is terrible! I wish Johnny had caught her!!

    I think that your takeaway from this is something that really throws people when they initially start budgeting. You think that if you make smart decisions you can avoid these expenses. Unfortunately we all have them from time to time. It’s nice when you’re in a place financially where it’s just a bummer instead of a huge obstacle, though.

    Keep us updated on what you decide on the double stroller. I just use my sister’s stroller at the moment, but when we have a second we will need to buy a stroller for two and I have no idea where to start!

  • Reply Diane February 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Seriously? She just rode off? I’m sorry but that’s what I’d hate about living in NY. Here in the south, I swear that wouldn’t happen. People are just not that rude & inconsiderate. Sorry, really, but I just had to get that off my chest… Idk, maybe it’s any big city. I once saw an actual fight between a biker & pedestrian in Amsterdam, when a girl biking ran the light into a crowd of pedestrian’s crossing the street & a guy shoved her off the bike & to the ground. Biking is all good & well for the environment, saving money, etc. But bikers can be incredibly arrogant & inconsiderate.

    I’m so glad you & Sally are okay, even if the stroller didn’t make it. I’d be crying too~ and screaming & running after her. Totally justified!

    • Reply Tarynkay February 13, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      I was once biking home from work (in a small Southern town) and I was hit by a woman in a black SUV. Thankfully, she was not going very fast, so I wasn’t badly hurt. She stuck her head out the window, yelled, “You okay? You look okay!” and sped off. I was too dazed to get her license plate number. I did report it to the police, but there was really nothing they could do.

      This kind of thing doesn’t just happen in NYC!

      So sorry to hear about this! I am glad that everyone is okay, and I hope you can find the perfect replacement stroller quickly.

      • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:48 am

        Oh no! That’s terrible. Glad you were okay. Unfortunately, there are awful people everywhere. It feels like you encounter more of them in a big city, but they seem to have settled all over the country! 🙂

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:32 am

      If Johnny had caught the lady, I’m sure there would have been a fight out here, too! Thank goodness he didn’t :). It depends on the person out here, but definitely more likely for someone to be inconsiderate out here than in a small town, for instance.

  • Reply Katie | This That and the Budget February 13, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    People can be so horrible sometimes!! I do not know what I would’ve done in that situation. I admire Johnny’s bravery in chasing after that woman!

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:33 am

      I’m really glad he was with me… I swear I go into shock in those situations!

  • Reply Suzanne February 13, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, that cyclist had some cheek just riding away…. I’m cross now too! Can you imagine if it happened with the new baby and sally on the board!!!!! No, forget that, don’t imagine it…. Glad you are all OK… Good on johnny for going after her! Karma is a b*tch so take comfort that the cyclist will have got her comeuppance by now 🙂

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Johnny and I can’t think about it because we get angry all over again! Thinking about Karma does give me a little comfort, though!

  • Reply Jill February 13, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    I’m glad that you are all ok! My husband used to be a cyclist but we live in a rural area so his training ground was not near pedestrians. He was on a training ride in another state on back country roads while traveling for work and an unleashed dog ran out in front of him, hitting his wheel. He flipped over the handlebars into a ditch and broke his pelvis and shoulder. The family that owned the dog was pulling out of the driveway at the time and just left him there in the ditch. He was in the hospital for 4 days and we had some medical bills that we had not budgeted for. He has now completely recovered – thankfully. We tried to sue the dog owner – we’re not sue happy but just wanted the medical bills paid – but in the state he was riding the dog owner did not have a mortgage, so no homeowner insurance, so no money for medical bills for us. Not a great experience! And I now see how medical bills are one of the top reasons for people declaring bankruptcy in this country. Hope you find a good deal on the stroller and I hope lightning only strikes twice in your case – no more reckless cyclists!

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:41 am

      That’s horrible! I’m glad your husband’s okay now! Once again, it was an avoidable situation where someone else was being irresponsible. So frustrating! Here’s to both of us not having something like that happening ever again!!

  • Reply jennifer p February 13, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    it never ceases to amaze me how horrible some people are.
    im glad all of you are okay.on another note,it is so cute how much sally loves the subway.personally i hate the subway.rock on sally.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:42 am

      I don’t like it either! It’s made waiting for the subway much more fun… she gets downright giddy with anticipation for the train!

  • Reply Lynsey February 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Unexpected expenses are the worst. Particularly when they are caused by other (inconsiderate!) people. I’m glad you guys & Sally are ok – I’m currently feeling similar pain as the glass from our skylights were stolen this week. Who steals old glass?! Man I am so very annoyed by this. Other people are the worst!!! If a seagull flies into my home in the interim period I will be pissed!

    Again, I’m so glad you are all injury free & this just confirms the need for an emergency fund – it’s certainly made me glad of ours! x

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:44 am

      That’s awful! Why do people do those kinds of things? Hope you’re able to get it fixed soon!

  • Reply Anna | Gone Banannas February 13, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    OHMYGOD. I am so sorry! What a jerk. A lot of my friends are bikers and A LOT of them have also been hit by cars at some point. EVERYONE needs to be more careful and look out for each other. These incidents are all (almost) avoidable. With that being said, my girlfriend got hit by a car last year on her bike and was pretty badly injured but she even admitted that she flew through a red light. Bikers need to obey the rules of the road just like cars do. I hope Sally (and you guys) are doing much better now!

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Agreed… it’s not bikers that are the problem. It’s people in general not being careful and not obeying the rules of the road. Hope your friend is okay!

  • Reply Michelle February 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I think it was a good thing that Johnny did catch her. What the heck is wrong with people?! I’m glad that Sally was ok.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:49 am

      I have no idea what would have happened if Johnny had caught her, but I’m glad I never found out! Really hoping nothing like this happens again!

  • Reply kirsten February 13, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    wow! I cannot believe she just biked off! Glad Sally is okay! Last week I went for a $24 oil change and found out I needed $500 in new tires

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Ugh! That’s the worst. Right before we left Utah, the same thing happened to us! The guy we sold our car to got a set of brand new tires, so lucky him!

  • Reply Rob February 13, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Guys! Sorry to read about your recent misfortune and I’m happy that none of you were injured. But more than that, I am really really glad that it wasn’t instead some village idiot in a car who ran a red light and hit you! Having lived in Montreal and now here in Toronto, over the years I’ve seen many a close call where a traffic accident involving a pedestrian almost occurred. Sure, I drive a lot but I also walk a lot and I’ve learned to be very cautious at street corners, even when I have the green light right of way. Too many people (whether it be bikers or drivers) flagrantly disobey traffic rules. So all I can suggest is to learn by past “lucky” experience and stay super vigilant. And teach Sal to be that way too as she grows older.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Yes, very happy it was a bike and not a car. I’ve become cautious almost to the point of being paranoid now! Sally is already learning the rules of the road since we walk everywhere out here!

  • Reply Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life February 14, 2015 at 10:59 am

    That’s pretty bad. I bike in NYC A LOT- and it’s honestly more frustrating than driving or walking, but if someone hit my baby, I would freak out.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

      I’m sure… I can’t imagine biking in NYC. Maybe we’ll rent some bikes when the weather warms up, if we get up the nerve!

  • Reply Christy February 14, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I loved this post Ok, I didn’t love that your baby got hit and the lady ditched, but I love a real life discussion about the things that happen that aren’t emergencies per se, but need attention. And money. Love your blog.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Thanks, Christy!

  • Reply Ramona February 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Oh my god, this is really horrifying. I would clearly freak out if anything like this happened to us. The good thing is the baby and you are OK. Strollers can be fixed or replaced, us humans are more fragile. Let’s hope it’s the LAST time you ever deal with this.

    • Reply Joanna February 16, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Totally.. it’s so shocking and horrifying that you can’t help but freak out! Very happy it was just our stroller that got damaged!

  • Reply Kristin S February 16, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    What?! That is crazy. I can’t believe it happened to you twice. And I can’t believe the person just rode off. Ugh!
    But, happy stroller shopping!!! I loooove shopping for baby gear. Totally a weakness. They make so many awesome products now. For what it’s worth, I ran over my Mountain Buggy +One with my van twice and you’d never know by looking at it. I had to hammer one axle straight the first time and replace it the second time but it’s good as new otherwise. I know, I sound like an idiot… Don’t worry, my kids were not in the stroller either time! I just forgot to load the stroller into the car after buckling them into their carseats.

    • Reply Joanna February 18, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Oh man… don’t get me started. I love it, too! I have a few items to get before baby #2 arrives, and I’m having too much fun shopping for them.

      It happens to the best of us! Keeping our minds straight with little kids is asking a lot. I feel crazy enough with one… I don’t know how my brain is going to handle two!

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank February 17, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Thank God, you’re safe Joana. For those bikers, please take responsibility and be careful. If you don’t want to use bike lanes, at least take care of yourself and the others in the street. It’s freaking me out!

    • Reply Joanna February 18, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Yes, we’re very glad it all ended up being okay!

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