'Rivers and rivers of blood': Montreal cyclist needs 70 stitches after bike path accident

Ariel Kincler lost control of his bike on a stretch of path designated for both cyclists and pedestrians under highway 20 last month.

Ariel Kincler lost control of his bike on a shared-use path under Highway 20

Ariel Kincler needed 70 stitches in hospital after falling from his bike on a pathway under Highway 20 on St. Jacques Boulevard. (CBC)

It all happened in a matter of seconds. 

Ariel Kincler was riding his bike on a path designated for both cyclists and pedestrians along St. Jacques Boulevard under Highway 20.

A loose piece of mesh attached to the wall of the underpass caught on his handle bars, sending him sprawling face first into a metal railing.

Kincler says the loose mesh on the side of the path blew into his handle bars as he was cycling by. (CBC)

​"My cheek went directly into this post here," he told CBC News. "This post was basically like a knife in your face."

When Kincler took his hand off his cheek, he could see that the skin was open through to the bone.

"The amount of blood that was coming out, I thought I was going to lose my life," he said. "It was literally rivers and rivers of blood."

Along with the injuries to his cheek, Kincler also tore a tendon in his shoulder and required stitches on the inside of his mouth.

"I had to eat my seven-month-old's baby pudding for a couple of days," he said.

Kincler's face collided with the protruding metal bar as he fell. (CBC)

He credits the help of the staff at the Lafleur restaurant on St. Jacques and the doctors at the Montreal General Hospital for keeping him alive.

"I owe him my life," Kincler said of Lafleur's manager Pierre Roy. Kincler went to the restaurant for help, because he didn't have his cellphone with him. 

He even plans to treat the Roy to a Canadiens game as a thank you.

Two weeks and 70 stitches later, Kincler's face is healing but he's still shaken by the incident.

"The whole ordeal was very traumatizing and scary for my family," he said. 

A dangerous area

Now on the road to recovery, Kincler says he's focused on making sure this kind of accident never happens to another cyclist.

He said the loose mesh combined with the metal jutting out of the sideguard was a dangerous combination.
Doctors say he is recovering nicely, two weeks after the accident. (Submitted by Ariel Kincler)

"This is meant to be flush with the barricade or rounded," he said. "It's only a matter of time until this happens again."

He's been in touch with the City of Montreal, and he said the Transport Ministry was aware of the problematic area as well.

Neither the city nor the ministry was available for comment.

And while doctors say Kincler's injuries will heal in time, he says it won't be easy to put the incident behind him.

"The scar is probably going to be there for the rest of my life," he said.

It's designated as a shared pedestrian-cyclist path under Highway 20. (CBC)

With files from Jaela Bernstien