Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

13 September 2018

Slasher(s) Targeting Bikes In Seattle

If you ride a bike from a bike-share program, you might want to check it out--especially if that bike is from one of the dockless share companies like LimeBike or Ofo.

An 18-year-old man in Seattle learned that the hard way.  The other night, he was riding a Lime bike near University Bridge when the brakes failed.  He crashed into a tree and landed in a hospital.

Shortly after the incident, a news crew from local station KOMO went to the scene. There, they found a Lime bike with its brake cables slashed.  Reporter Gabe Cohen said that on that day, he found four Lime bikes with their brakes slashed or ripped out entirely.



That is a particular problem in Seattle, according to Garrett Berkey.  "There are some big hills," says the Recycled Bicycles employee.  "You want to be sure you can stop safely" before riding a share bike, he adds.

Seattle police say that Tuesday's incident is just the latest in a series of brake slashings this summer. LimeBike says, however, that less than one percent of its Seattle fleet has been vandalized.  The company's phone app also allows users to flag a potentially dangerous bicycle, which is immediately deactivated. Or, you can call 1-888-LIME-345 if you see a problem.

It seems that lately, for whatever reasons, cyclists have been the targets of road rage and other kinds of hostility because some motorists believe we are taking "their" lanes and parking spaces.  I have to wonder, though, whether the person(s) who disabled the brakes on the LimeBikes were targeting cyclists or the bikes themselves.  Dockless share systems have drawn ire in other cities because users can leave their bikes anywhere when they're finished, which has led to complaints about bikes left on sidewalks and other public areas. 

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