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A couple weeks after getting doored, thief steals Riding Reporter’s bike

It’s been a month of outrageously bad luck for Anne-Marije Rook (AKA the Riding Reporter and editor of the Ballard News Tribune). Weeks after getting doored, someone stole her bike and several belonging to her neighbors.

First, she got doored on Roosevelt while riding in the bike lane. The wreck hurt her shoulder and trashed her commuter bike, but she was not seriously injured. She said the wreck didn’t make her angry at the woman who hit her, but it points out that we need to take our infrastructure seriously both from a design and cultural perspective:

I am not mad at the woman for not looking before she opened the door. She received as big a shock as I did. This is however, yet another incident that shows that Seattle needs to look at the engineering and education of mutli-use roads.

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Yes, I was in a bike lane but road paint isn’t going to protect me when people don’t expect me to be there. Awareness is critical. Drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists all should know the rules of the road, adhere to them, and know who the other users are. I know there’s a lot of anti-car and anti-bike sentiment going around, but the bottom line is that there is room for only so many roads in Seattle and we all have to share them.

She also suggested a great trick for drivers to get in the habit of looking for cyclists before opening a door. This is taught at a young age in many European countries, and could easily be part of our driver’s education or public service programs:

Drivers, if you don’t habitually check your mirrors for cyclists when exiting your vehicle, try to open your door using your right hand. This way you’re more likely to look out of your window before exiting.

After resting, the avid racer made it to her first event in weeks. But when she got home, she found her bike and several belonging to her neighbors missing. Some awful human being had broken into her building’s secured garage, cut her cable lock and stole the four bikes, including her cyclocross bike:

It seems that I may have upset the bike gods. Sunday was my first day back on a race bike since my crash two weeks ago and despite getting a flat in mile 4, I felt great. I returned from the race however to learn that the garage of my apartment complex had been broken into overnight and thieves had stolen numerous bikes, including my cyclocross bike.

Among the bikes stolen were a Redline, a Masi,, a Cannondale, and a Fuji. The thieves who stole these bikes cut locks to get to them while ten other (and easier to grab) bikes were untouched. They knew what they were looking for: name brands that are easy to sell.

Oh yeah, and she got a flat during the race.

A couple thoughts:

Dear bike thieves, You suck.

Dear bike gods, Anne-Marije’s had enough, oh glorious mighty ones…

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4 responses to “A couple weeks after getting doored, thief steals Riding Reporter’s bike”

  1. Gary

    Dammm. That Masi looks like a sweet machine. Even if you had, had a bunch of Ulocks and cables, unless the Ulocks were locked to something like a gas main, they’d still have swiped them. Sounds like an inside job though. Who else would have known that there were enough decent bikes to do the job.

  2. Doug Bostrom

    Passing over (is that a horrible pun? not meant to be) the dooring itself, at least the lady in question demonstrated exemplary conduct after the accident. If everybody behaved like the two key participants in the affair we’d have a more peaceful world.

    Ana-Marije says Drivers, if you don’t habitually check your mirrors for cyclists when exiting your vehicle, try to open your door using your right hand.

    That’s a great piece of advice. There are a lot of habits we should practice while in a car beyond fastening belts, etc. If I’m honest I think I consciously check for cyclists perhaps 4 out of 5 times I open my door, often only thinking about it after the door is cracked and a cyclist might already be doing panic avoidance maneuvers. Rear view mirror still works when the car is stationary, too.

    When I’m cycling I tend to forget to scan vehicles for people who might suddenly emerge. It’s not practical to ring the bell for every car but if head and shoulders are visible maybe a good thing to give a vigorous jingle just in case.

  3. […] how the biking gods turned against Seattle’s Riding Reporter a few weeks ago? First she got doored, then her cyclocross bike was […]

  4. […] take comparable action with their door zone bike lanes (yes, this will require widening the lanes). Even experienced cyclists get doored sometimes, which is evidence that the design is simply not […]

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