If you're one of the many avid bicyclists plying the streets of Portland, you probably have an appreciation for the fact that hazards can be waiting around the next corner. Sometimes they might be able to be anticipated. Very often they can't.
Regular readers of this blog may recall the story last August in which we talked about a man who suffered significant injuries when he was hit by a mattress that flew off a passing car. In a lawsuit that resulted, he claimed he had suffered head injuries, cuts and bruises. He also went through surgery because of damage to his neck and back.
The suit named the Zipcar vehicle rental company, which apparently was the source of the car, and the social service organization for which the mattress was being hauled. We don't know what has come of that case, but the events provided a good opportunity to explain the value of working with an attorney to deal with the complex legal steps for bringing civil action.
Another event in recent weeks is what brings this to mind. You may have read that someone scattered thumbtacks on the Hawthorne Bridge. That's one of the busiest biking bridges in the city. It happened two times in a matter of two weeks.
Those actions, combined with a recent online article in which the author derided cyclists as obnoxious, entitled pests that drivers dream of running off the road has sparked a bit of indignation among bikers, and many might argue they have a right to be feeling that way.
Portland's biking officials call the actions at the very least insensitive. Biking industry experts say it's worse than that. One repairman notes that the cost of a blown tire from a tack isn't always limited to the fixing of a flat. If such negligence results in a cyclist being injured or killed, that raises the stakes considerably.
It's interesting to note that the site on which the questionable article had been running is no longer displaying it.