Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bike taxi puts on show, passengers hold on

Two passengers in the back of a New York City 3-wheeled bike taxi got a lot more than they bargained for over the weekend on a trip to the Big Apple. Newlyweds Tina and John Chathem were aboard Ming Juang's taxi when he began to perform bike tricks for a throng of tourists on the corner of Broadway and 34th Street.

"At first he just did a small pop-a-wheelie and the crowd applauded and then he slowly got more daring," said Tina Chathem.

From the wheelie he went to leaning the bike to one side making it ride on two wheels. By this time the crowd had ventured onto the street and formed a circle around the performance and began to clap in unison.

"This is when it got ugly. He turned and told us to 'blace ourselves.' Then he got some speed and pulled the front brakes sending the rear of the bike, and us, into the air."

Juang balanced on one wheel(the front wheel) for almost a minute to deafening applause. While still on one wheel he began to hop up and down and it was at this point that Tina fell from the bike onto the street.

One onlooker described the incident: "She had a bloody nose but the driver just made it part of the show. He began hopping, still on one wheel, back and forth over the motionless woman...and he was laughing."

John, who was hanging from the back seat, had injured his on the side of the bike causing a deep bruise. The passengers were both pretty upset. The couple was taken to NYU Medical Center and treated for minor injuries. It was here where one of the tourists in the audience showed them the tape of the tricks.

"Our anger changed when we saw the film," said Tina, "and realized how talented Ming is and that it's just something that happens in The Big Apple.

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