From falling in stinging nettles to getting kidnapped, some people have really had a tough time on their bike rides

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Cycling can be a great way to relax, unwind and enjoy the scenery. Rarely, though, it can also turn into an absolute nightmare…

Here, Cycling Weekly readers recount their most disappointing bike rides, brought to you in association with B’Twin.

What has been your most disappointing moment on a bike? Share your story in the comment box below

After stopping for a wee and a drink in a country lane, I remounted, lost my balance clipping in and plunged into a ditch of nettles. I extracted myself and my steed, thankful no one was about, only to be met with quiet applause from two pensioners at a bus stop I hadn’t noticed were there. They had witnessed the wee, the drink, the fall and the emergence of the bog creature. I cycled quickly away to notice my Garmin was missing! I had to go back… I found the Garmin, but not a shred of credibility or self-respect.

Graham Howard

While attempting the world record for the most countries cycled in seven days (broken!). Instead of applying Muc-Off Chamois to my parts I put on Muc-Off recovery (Deep Heat). Never again will you see me dance around a forest in Slovenia like that!
Robbie Ferri

Riding along an A-road doing about 26mph when a motorist slowed to pass me so his passenger could whip my lower back/bottom with his leather belt. Passing a couple of inches from my handlebars. Wing mirror folded in so he could get closer.
Mark Taylor

Getting kidnapped at gunpoint by four armed men on the Mexican/Guatemalan border. Someone stepped out into the road from the jungle, put a gun in my face and dragged us off the road. We were held there for 20 minutes while they went through all our panniers and held us on the floor with guns to our heads. We lost both our phones, cameras, bank cards and cash, but luckily we got away with our lives. A Mexican police patrol came down the highway and the guys legged it into the jungle and back across the border to Guatemala. Probably my worst day on the bike… that and the day I got 11 punctures.
Richard Riding

Head down, time trialling flat-out in a race. Suddenly hear a crunching sound from my bottom bracket, look down to see it’s completely wrecked and come undone, both pedals are now facing downwards and the bottom bracket is swaying side to side in the frame. Needless to say that was race over.
Ross Williams

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Thinking it would be ‘easy’ cycling in the nice flat Fens of Cambridgeshire. Didn’t factor in 20 miles of uninterrupted headwind and nothing but loooong straight road ahead. You could see your destination but, boy, it seemed like forever to get there. Utter misery.
Catherine Smith

Riding home from a jumble sale with two paperback books in a plastic bag dangling over the handlebars. Realising it might be dangerous, I wound the bag around my hand. This caused the bag to enter the wheel behind the forks. I ripped six spokes out of the rim. Tore both paperbacks clean in half and went over the handlebars, landing on my face. There was blood everywhere, which didn’t go down well with my mum as I was wearing an Aran jumper she had recently finished knitting. It took a month for my face to heal but I was riding again on the Monday morning as it was my only transport to work.
Ian Mitchell



Head on collision with a Range Rover, fitted with bull bars no less, rolling over it and landing in a bed of stinging nettles. During the bike leg of a triathlon, down hill on a blind bend on a country lane. I got stung so badly (wearing trunks and a cropped vest) I went into toxic shock.
Dave Paton

I was drafting a delivery truck going downhill at 50mph. Truck missed its turn and slammed on the breaks. I hit the back of the truck at about 47mph! Concussion, broken nose, bone chips in elbows and more road rash than I care to remember.
Jack Daley

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Attempting to bunny-hop up a kerb, misjudging and going over the handlebars onto the (luckily placed) grass verge. Jumped up swiftly to be met by a ‘polite’ round of applause from the group of builders working on the exterior of the house opposite.
Warren Gavin

Snapped a chain on a steep hill (bad maintenance), privates engaged with stem, tore a calf muscle, fell gracefully to the ground , nearly deafened by my mate’s hysterical laughter. He did ride home and come back in his car for me, though, so I forgave him.
David Lingwood