Poor cyclist’s embarrassing tumble caught on camera.
While laughing at someone else’s misfortune is a guilty pleasure, anyone who has cycled in Japan can relate to the constant danger of collisions, potholes and just falling off and looking stupid. One of the Google Maps Street View cars, on its travels around a rural part of Japan, managed to capture just such an accident for posterity and the hilarity or sympathy of those who come across the hidden gem.
Japanese Twitter user @ichigoKJC decided to see if anything had changed in Fujieda, the town in Shizuoka Prefecture where she used to live, by using Google Maps‘ Street View function. When she did, she got a surprise.
苺工場長 (@ichigoKJC) September 01, 2017
▼ The Google car captures a woman cycling along in a perfectly everyday scene.
▼ The Google car moves over slightly to the right to give her more space, as she’s perilously close to the verge.
▼ It captures the lady as she half-falls, half-hops off the bicycle.
▼ Gravity, aided and abetted by a slippery grass verge,
wins the battle and in the next shot she’s in the ditch.
▼ The Google car, oblivious or simply uncaring, zips away leaving the poor woman
standing there, probably with muddy feet and a red face.
Most Japanese netizens were full of concern for the woman, who was likely surprised at the sudden appearance of a camera-bedecked Google car on her quiet street, but also worried for their own privacy if Google Maps could perhaps hold their own little embarrassing vignettes. Twitter user @Shogo7 checked to make sure the woman survived the accident relatively unscathed afterwards by checking later photographs, and thankfully she seemed to be alright!
S (@Shogo7) September 02, 2017
Several Japanese netizens placed the blame solely at the cyclist’s (muddy) feet, pointing out that as a road user the cyclist should really have been on the left-hand side, and that she had pulled out into the road without properly checking whether there were any cars or not, something all too common amongst cyclists in Japan. Others questioned whether it was an accident at all; had she done it all on purpose to gain Internet notoriety or cause a chuckle or two amongst those lucky enough to stumble across this magical moment? We’ll never know, but safe in the knowledge that she lived to tell the tale, we can get a good laugh out of it, until it’s our turn to fall over in front of other people.
Google Earth is full of other hidden Easter Egg-like surprises, including the only-in-Japan scene of a happy-looking sumo wrestler pursuing the Google car on foot, or the even weirder spectacle of loitering pigeon people.