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OMG! Judson Rev. Micah Bucey hit by wrong-way e-biker, suffers devastating leg injury

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Next Sunday, Micah Bucey will be installed as senior minister at Judson Memorial Church. He’ll be easy to spot — he’ll be the guy on crutches and wearing a leg immobilizer.

It will be the first time Bucey has stepped outside of his East Side apartment in two weeks. The last time he did, he was violently blindsided by a man riding an electric bicycle the wrong way down the service road that encircles Stuyvesant Town. The collision left Bucey, 43, with a tibial plateau fracture — a serious and debilitating injury.

He was rushed to the emergency room, and six days later had surgery to repair the damage. The recovery period is two months. Despite being on prescription painkillers, he’s currently in a lot of pain.

Last Sunday, instead of Bucey at the pulpit, Judson had a guest speaker in his place. Bucey was patched in on a video call. Telling the congregants how he was hit by the wrong-way cyclist, he urged them all to “be careful” out there.

The injury has turned his world completely upside down.

“It was quite a shock and I’m glad it wasn’t worse than it was,” the cleric told The Village Sun in a phone interview. “I’m still a bit in shock.”

The incident happened Tues., Oct. 3, around 12:15 p.m. The progressive faith leader had just left the Stuyvesant Town apartment he shares with his husband and was setting out on one of his favorite things to do — make his crosstown walk to Judson Church, on Washington Square South.

Striding toward First Avenue, he had just crossed the complex’s service road, which runs northbound at that spot, when he noticed someone he knew and turned back, wanting to say hello.

“I stepped one foot into the service road,” he said, “and was immediately hit.”

Bucey was struck by the wrong-way e-biker after the pastor had just left his home at Stuyvesant Town and was on his way to the church — but had stepped back into the service road to say hi to an acquaintance. (Photo by The Village Sun)

The cyclist came from behind him, to his left. The impact sent the unsuspecting reverend to the ground. Gathering his wits, he saw the cyclist had been riding a Zoomo e-bike, making him initially think he was a deliveryperson.

But the cyclist — who looked to be in his late 20s and did not leave the scene — was apparently not a deliveryman and told him that he leases the bike.

The cyclist urged Bucey not to try to get up and called 911 to get him an ambulance. He also left Bucey his card. Bucey has since spoken to him on the phone.

“I’m glad that he gave me his number,” he said. However, he added, “I don’t know why he would be going the wrong way.”

“I’m just so glad that I didn’t fall and hit my head and get more seriously injured,” he reflected.

As for the cyclist, Bucey said he “kind of got pushed off” his bike but wasn’t hurt.

“Someone on the street said to him, ‘Are you O.K.?’ He said, ‘Yes, I think my bike took the brunt of it.'”

Bucey, who has been at Judson since 2010, was named the historic Greenwich Village Baptist church’s senior minister on June 1.

As a forgiving person, he initially wondered if, in fact, he himself was at fault for the devastating collision.

“I try to be generous and give people the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “I’m far better at blaming myself than to say that someone else is to blame.”

As for how fast the cyclist was going, Bucey said, “I don’t know — but fast enough to break my tibia.”

Zoomo bikes typically weigh around 55 pounds — twice as heavy as pedal-powered bikes —and can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.

Bucey was left with a nearly one-quarter-inch fracture down his tibia (the leg bone below the knee), as well as a depression in the part of the tibia where it connects to the knee.

“The surgeon said there was a lot of damage,” he noted.

Fortunately, Bucey had a top surgeon, the head of orthopedics at Mount Sinai Hospital. The man of faith said he has learned that while tibial plateau fractures make up just 1 percent of orthopedic surgeries each year, they are quite common in people hit by cars and bicycles — since it’s where a car bumper or bike tire usually hits pedestrians.

Micah Bucey greeted Lois Rakoff, who organized last year’s Doris Diether memorial bench event. (Photo by Zella Jones)

Bucey currently has to wear an immobilizer to keep his leg straight, at least during the initial stage of the recovery. As time goes on, the immobilizer will periodically be adjusted to allow an increasingly greater range of motion for his knee.

“It has completely disrupted my life, my husband’s life,” he said of the injury.

His mother has come to New York City and is currently living with them to help during Bucey’s recovery process.

“I’m hobbled,” the pastor said. “I can’t even put my underwear on by myself. It is very, very painful.”

The injury is also causing another kind of pain — namely, in the preacher’s pocket.

“The expense of this is going to be a hindrance to me,” Bucey said, though adding, “It’s not disastrous to me. The city is full of people for who this would be disastrous.”

As for the cyclist who hit him, Bucey said, “He leases the bike from Zoomo. He has no license to ride it, and he has no insurance.”

In short, the cyclist — though seemingly clearly at fault — will not be helping defray any of Bucey’s medical costs.

“I love the idea of turning New York into a city where life is not dominated by cars — but not with no accountability,” he said. “If we’re going to have these [e-bikes] on the streets, we’ve got to make sure that the motorists on them need to appreciate the gravity that they have heavier, faster vehicles. I think requiring licenses and for there to be some kind of insurance would at least make people think twice about not following traffic laws and about maybe not having an e-bike versus a bicycle.”

Bucey personally doesn’t even comprehend the need for e-bikes in a city like New York in the first place.

“This is a city clogged with people and vehicles,” he said, “and I don’t know why these people would need to go as fast as these e-bikes go.”

As he continues to recover, among the things he misses most is the simple joy of his walk to his job at Judson. But he will be laid up for two months — and his leg really hurts.

“I love walking in the city,” he said. “It’s like a 25-minute walk [to Judson]. It’s kind of the perfect walk. I am really sad that I can’t walk. It’s really painful — and I’m pretty nervous, too. I’m still a bit shaken — just by its happening.”

In the meantime, he’s appreciating all the well wishes he’s been getting from church members and others.

“I’m soaking up all the good energy I can,” he said.

Bucey will be installed as Judson Memorial Church’s senior minister on Sun., Oct. 22, at 3 p.m. Donna Schaper, the church’s previous senior minister, retired from Judson in 2021.


  1. DuchessofNYC DuchessofNYC November 1, 2023

    Under Bloomberg there were bike police, NYPD officers on bikes who issued tickets to rogue cyclists. What happened to those? Admittedly they were on pedal bikes and probably couldn’t catch the ebike offenders but still… Why did these go away? Unlike what someone wrote above, there were at least some efforts under Bloomberg to enforce bike safety. You were required to wear a helmet, have a bell, and light/reflector. And when they did sweeps, there were tickets for running red lights, riding on the sidewalk, etc.

  2. Lia Lia October 18, 2023

    The usual….just one corner this morning, basically within 1 minute…..

    2 people took out Citibikes and then bicycled the wrong way and through a red light.
    1 Citibiker bicycled onto the sidewalk to return the bike (station is on the sidewalk) – apparently he could not dismount and walk the bike 15 feet.
    Person with kid on stand-up e-scooter went through a red light.

    Person on vespa/moped stopped at a red light 🙂

  3. jack Brown jack Brown October 17, 2023

    A few months ago I was given the opportunity to address the congregation at Judson about the need to restore public safety to the streets and sidewalks.

    Rev. Bucey was not present. I provided an information sheet about New York City Electric Vehicle Alliance-of which Pam Manasse — see above — is a co-founder. There was a positive response from the attendees. Little did we know that the Sr. Minister would suffer precisely the kind of needless tragedy NYC-EVSA is battling. Councilman Robert Holden Sponsors bill 0758-22, which requires licensing and regulation of the bikes that are causing an ongoing stream of injury and death.

    The lack of a responsible bike culture since the first Bloomberg administration is the primary cause of this public safety crisis. Transportation Alternatives still asserts “Enforcement is not an option.” Enforcement is the backbone of accountability. The key to public safety. The NYPD has been undermined and the public subjected to needless pain and suffering due to this irrational zealotry and the complicity of elected public officials who
    have truckled to the the arm twisting of “The Visionaries.” The public has paid the price. As the good Rev. Bucey is currently experiencing financially — and will endure physically into the future.

    ****** This was not necessary. This was not rational. *****

    Vision Zero imported bike lanes and bike racks from European cities that have very different street widths and population densities. Most
    telling they all work diligently to establish and maintain responsible cycling communities. The public appreciates and respects the rights and privileges. They also admit to mistakes in policy and reverse certain practices.

    Here in New York the advocates with their zeal to appear to be “great men” went against the advice to transportation experts and promoted the sophistry that the more bikes on the streets-the safer the streets. No enforcement would promote cycling because without the risk of fines or confiscation more people would ride. Lawlessly and dangerously as a result.

    Anti-Robert Moses — in fact anti-NYPD and ultimately anti-people — the visionaries have taken an approach similar to the delusionist Donald Trump. Whatever they say is gospel. Anything counter is inimical and wrong.

    Anyone who has read this far please become part of NYC-EVSA. Contact City Council Speaker Adam’s office and urge her to Co-Sponsor 0758-22 and bring the bill to the floor for a hearing. That way it can become legislation. The tipping point has arrived. People are mad a hell and not willing to take it anymore.

    Thanks to Lincoln Anderson for excellent reporting on this issue.

    — Jack Brown, Formerly with The Hi-Ho-Cyclery 165 Ave A. Currently Spokesman for The Coalition Against Rogue Riding
    See the blog by that name.

  4. Susan Susan October 17, 2023

    A complete dereliction of duty by the city and state is leading to the death and injuries of thousands of people from unregulated e-vehicles and bikes on steroids. When pedestrians are hurt by lawless bikers who have no registration, license or insurance and largely ride off after they’ve hit someone, the city SHOULD be held accountable! When there are multi-million-dollar lawsuits won against the city, maybe our “leaders” will decide to regulate and enforce regulation of e-vehicles. Till then you can be fined for putting plastic utensils in a takeout order at a restaurant, but nothing will happen — absolutely nothing — if a rider of an e-bike hits you and causes brain damage. The first role of government is to keep its citizens safe — in New York, not so much!!

    • Jay Crockett Jay Crockett October 17, 2023

      I think your idea to hold the city liable if they continue to oppose the licensing and insurance requirements for these dangerous, unregulated vehicles is an excellent one. I am furious that this issue is not being addressed by our city leaders.

      • Susan Susan October 17, 2023

        So am I, Jay. So am I.

  5. Carol Frances Yost Carol Frances Yost October 17, 2023

    I’m sorry for what happened to the Reverend. That must really be tough.

  6. JJ JJ October 17, 2023

    My God… what will it take for the city to address this forever-increasing problem?!! This issue has been repeatedly raised to council members — Crystal Hudson is chair of the Council Committee on Aging for me — and no one seems to really want to rectify this.

    Is the bike lobby that overwhelming?

    • Lia Lia October 17, 2023

      The bicycle lobby TransAlt/Open Plans/Streetsblog is very powerful and well funded

  7. Pam Manasse Pam Manasse October 16, 2023

    I deeply feel for what Minister Ducey is going through. i was hit by a moped coming off a sidewalk one year ago, suffered a TBI and was left semi-paralyzed on my right side. I have lost my livelihood as a cellist. I am so sorry to read about another vehicular assault, and are working hard to get licensing and registration for all e-vehicles made law through EVSA (E-Vehicle Safety Alliance).

    • Carol Frances Yost Carol Frances Yost October 17, 2023

      So sorry for what happened to you. That’s tough for a musician!

  8. MEI MEI October 16, 2023

    Best wishes for a full recovery.

    Not just concerned about delivery bikes – but honestly, think Citibike users (regular and e) and spandex-bicyclists are the most dangerous.

    Not only do they proactively go through red lights, go the wrong way, ignore bike lanes – but they are incredibly entitled.
    They will curse out any pedestrian who dares object.

    Delivery workers are exploited and do not curse pedestrians.

    • LB LB October 16, 2023

      I agree — it’s not the messenger bikers but rather the self-entitled Citibike and other private bicyclists who are the most dangerous. I understand why the police are almost helpless (it’s dangerous to chase the bikers) but am at a loss to understand why these bikes can’t be licensed.

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