Watch CBS News

Bicycling Pianist Loses, Crashes Piano Trying To Ride Down San Francisco Hill

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - The famous bicycling pianist Davide Martello, aka Klavierkunst has ridden through war zones, and worse with his baby grand in tow, but his brakes were no match for a steep hill in San Francisco, Monday.

Martello's bike picked up too much speed and he was forced to bail. His piano came crashing down behind him.

It happened on Bay Street between Columbus and Leavenworth. According to, a site that maps the steepness of San Francisco streets, the grade there is 17.4%.

Martello said he was going to perform at the pier and was looking for a place to park. He saw Bay Street on a map, and it looked like a straight shot.

"Usually I check out the street before, but I was in a hurry," he told

Martello wrote in a post on Instagram, "...the first hill I did it with no problems but the second one was deadly! Thank God I jumped right off my bike when I realized that I couldn't handle it anymore and the speed got out of control. My brakes aren't designed for S.Francisco grades."

Fortunately, Martello was not hurt. There's no crowd-funding campaign for the pianist. He says he is working with someone to see if the piano is salvageable, but it's still unsure. He said he will post more on Instagram. His handle is klavierkunst_.

Martello has cycled all over the world with his piano, and says his goal to play it in every capital.

In 2015, Martello rode his grand piano to the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, where scores of concertgoers were killed in a terror attack, and played John Lennon's 'Imagine' for the crowd of mourners gathered outside the hall.

"I like to play for people who need help," he said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.