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Cyclist alleges attack on Sellwood Bridge sidewalk

Posted by on February 22nd, 2007 at 12:40 pm

The story was posted to the forums last night. Here’s an excerpt:


[A narrow sidewalk on
the Sellwood Bridge.]

“My wife was attacked this evening*, on the Sellwood Bridge, during her evening commute from work, for riding her bicycle.

…she was on the sidewalk. The runners mostly stopped to let her and another rider by, but one hit her as she rolled by slowly. She responded to him and the guy ran up behind her and drug her off of the bike and… slapped her across the face, knocking her mirror into the river.”

Follow-up posts reveal that the victim has not reported the incident to the police.

This situation brings up three concerns:

  • The Sellwood Bridge is in dire need of help (I know, it’s coming, but not soon enough).
  • We must show consideration of others when sharing multi-use paths. Remember this discussion?
  • We must report incidents like this to the police. Statistics can be very important for advocating around various issues.

Come on folks, let’s model good behavior for our motorized friends! Aren’t we supposed to be the happy, friendly ones?

*UPDATE: This quote initially included a reference that the attack was by someone from the Red Lizard Running Club. Since I can’t confirm that accusation, I have deleted the reference. Also, I’m more interested in the issues this incident highlights than blame of who did what.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    Dabby February 22, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    I guess the idiots for the Red Dragon running club did not get to read my passing article.
    Or at least one of them..
    So, above, it says she responded, then was attacked.
    Though being attacked is in no way called for, I would like to know what she said in her response?
    It must have been pretty bad to make the man hit her…
    And why has she not reported this to the police?
    They could have picked him up immediately.

    I ask these questions, so others may learn from them.
    Seems to be a lot of holes in this story….Things we are not being told…

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    Jonathan Maus February 22, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Dabby (and others),

    Please notice my update above.

    Also, I feel the second half of the post is the important thing to focus on.

    I think the attack details are less important the the big picture issues this brings up.

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    Anonymous February 22, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    I’ve been yelled at by a runner for riding my bike on the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk. I came up behind him, slowed down to his running pace, staying about 10 feet behind, until we reached the end of the bridge and the sidewalk widened a little.

    He then moved off to the side and let me pass. But as I passed him, he yelled, “When are you cyclists going to start following the rules?”

    [There are signs on the Sellwood Bridge saying that cyclists should walk their bikes across the sidewalks–not ride them. No cyclist I have ever known follows this rule; we all ride the Sellwood Bridge.]

    It’s true that as cyclists we should respect pedestrians and runners and give them the right of way on narrow & potentially dangerous sidewalks like this one. Nevertheless, most pedestrians and runners on the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk are willing to step to the side for one or two seconds and let a polite cyclist pass. This seems to be an unspoken agreement among most Sellwood Bridge users; if you’re on a bike, it’s OK to pass pedestrians/ runners as long as you do it safely and carefully–and don’t just blow past people without any warning or slowing down.

    I guess some runners really resent having their training run interrupted to let a cyclist ride thru, especially when everyone knows what the signs say.

    Looking back on my situation, I feel I should have stopped and talked to the runner who yelled at me and said, “Look, friend: We’re both annoyed by this narrow-sidewalk situation, and we probably can agree that this bridge needs some serious upgrades, includeing wider sidewalks on both sides of the bridge like we have on the Hawthorne Bridge. But until that happens, can’t we all just get along and give each other some slack?”

    But I didn’t think that fast, and I just kept pedaling, basically ignoring the guy’s complaint.

    Obviously that Red Lizard runner who attacked the cylist is a total jerk, and the cyclist didn’t deserve to be physically attacked.

    But I also think we need to be aware that our actions can sometimes cause unpleasant reactions among others.

    We need to be careful how we treat others out there: (a) because other people deserve as much respect and consideration as we do, and (b) we’re pretty vulnerable on our bikes when others get angry at us.

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    So you delete the reference to the running club from a quote that is not your own. A quote from someone who is relating exactly what happened to them. The supposed reason being that you can not confirm it.. Can you confirm any of the story? Why not delete the whole thing?

    You left the quote alone in the forum. You then post an “update” that includes the information you deleted…

    Am I the only one that thinks this makes no sense at all? The name of the club is still right there for anyone to see.

    You also state that- “I’m more interested in the issues this incident highlights than blame of who did what.”

    So I am a member of, oh let’s say the KKK. I assault a black woman. Would you be more interested in the social issues leading to this assault, or finding the perpetrator and bringing them to justice?

    Who cares about the “issues” this incident highlights? What are they? Does anyone know? You do not lay them out for examination or debate. I usually like your stuff, but this is sloppy, sloppy journalism.

    We should care about the violent assault that took place and the individual that perpetrated it.

    Perhaps we should have a series of town hall style meetings to examine the underlying issues of…… BLAH BLAH BLAH!

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    “[W]hat she said in her response […] must have been pretty bad to make the man hit her.”


    First you cite to your own “article” as the definitive word on “passing,” then you blame the victim, then you call the assailant an “idiot.”

    Your posts are the incoherent ramblings of a fevered ego tainting the collective unconscious of Bikeportland.

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    Jonathan Maus February 22, 2007 at 1:23 pm


    Thanks for your input. I can tell you’re concerned with my reporting.

    I did not mean to minimize the seriousness of the attack.

    I wanted to write the story, however I didn’t feel it was right for me to promote the claim that the attack was by a certain group, when I had no way to confirm that fact.

    As for the issues. I thought my bullet points laid those out. Here they are again.

    -The Sellwood bridge is inadequate for bikes.
    -We need to report these things to the cops.
    -We need to use more care in sharing our paths.

    And yes, I never edit forum posts (unless they’re blatantly harmful or inappropriate).

    I hope this comment clarifies some things for you.

    Let me know if you still have issues or concerns.

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    Cecil February 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Anonymous said: “No cyclist I have ever known follows this rule; we all ride the Sellwood Bridge”

    Um, because he/she signed “anonymous,” I have no idea whether that poster has ever known me, but I walk my bike on the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk. Given the width of the sidewalk, the drop-off to the road bed, and the lightpole bases butting out every few feet, I think it is unwise, dangerous, and inconsiderate of other users not to.

    I also avoid using the Sellwood Bridge as a crossing point as much as possible because I hate walking my bike.

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm


    I thought the issues raised in the article were clear. But I also thought the deletion from the quote unwarranted because (a) it was a potentially relevant fact for people riding over the Sellwood Bridge and (b) I think it incorrect to believe that every assertion appearing in a quote is promoted by you simply because you include it in a story.

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    dennis February 22, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    The group running across the bridge at the time of the incident was the Red Lizard Running Club. Identified to her by a woman who claimed to be the coordinator of the evening run. She was struck by the individual as she passed him and she responded by calling him an asshole.

    When she arrived home she was hurt, angry, confused, and shaking like a leaf. I wanted her to call and report it but she just wanted it all to go away.

    I entered this incident into the Forum because she didn’t want to call the police but wanted someone to know what happened. There was a combination of things that contributed to this altercation that needed to be outed so others are aware. I’m sure it could have been easily avoided had better judgement ruled.

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    There is also a “bikes on roadway” sign, but I’ve never seen a cyclist actually ride on the roadway. Perhaps this is obvious, but the roadway is extremely unsafe for cyclists because there is no space to effectively move to the right for automobiles and the automobiles travel at high speeds.

    But I bet that if cyclists actually started riding on the roadway, and autos had to wait behind them the few extra seconds it would take to get across the bridge, two things would result: (1) more cyclists would get attacked/harassed, and (2) the new bridge would get built faster and with the appropriate lanes for cyclists.

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    In my passionate lust to retort I passed over your bullet points.

    That said, I am not sure any of your bullet points relate to this incident. The rider may have said something rude. She may have looked like the assaulters abusive step mom. Perhaps she ran over his foot.

    Point being, you don’t know, I don’t know, so why even bring it up? How about putting the focus on what actually happened and punishing the individual at fault? Why the leap to it being some great societal injustice? Perhaps he was just having a bad day? The conjecture is limitless and pointless.

    And to reiterate, you were never promoting the claim that a certain group perpetrated the event. The accuser is alleging that a certain group was present. There is no need or possibile way to confirm this. Hence the term alleged and in the context of a quote from the individual involved. No need or reason to censor or edit.

    That being said, you posted the name of the group a few lines below the article! It makes absolutely no sense to me…

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 1:35 pm


    I must say that I like to see people who do uncivilized things like attack other people get hit hard by the giant figurative hammer of the law. It’s one of the reasons that I became an attorney. Please encourage your wife to teach this guy the lesson that you can’t strike others who call you names. You’d have thought he learned that back in the second grade, but sometimes…

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    alan bluehole February 22, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    If she is unwilling to report the incident, I’m unwilling to feel much sympathy.

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    Matt P. February 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    “Obviously that Red Lizard runner who attacked the cylist is a total jerk, and the cyclist didn’t deserve to be physically attacked.”

    It doesn’t matter if she “deserved” it or not – assault is a crime.

    I’d rather not speculate on motivations, but rather focus on *actions*. It really doesn’t matter if the runner was a “total jerk”, or just an average guy having a bad day. He can be a jerk all he wants, as long as he confines his method of expression to something *legal*. This guy didn’t do that, he committed a felony. It’s NOT ok to hit someone. It’s not okay to kick them, or beat the crap out of them, or whatever. It’s bad. It’s illegal. We as cyclists, citizens, humans – should call out that behavior when we see it.

    You can’t legislate thought – nor should you. People have the right to believe whatever they want, even (especially) if we think it’s stupid. We can, however legislate behavior, and that’s what’s at issue here. I have a big problem with the fact that whatever group this guy belonged to, the other members apparently didn’t intervene in any way.

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    Torrey February 22, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    The reason the name of the running club was deleted from the story is because whomever was responsible wasn’t with the running club. Believe me, I’ve checked with them, and no one with the club was there at the time. The reason the Red Lizard Running Club was even mentioned in the original post is because several members of the club stopped to assist the woman after the incident.

    So, the story is that a cyclist gets attacked by an unknown runner. Then a group of runners who identify themselves as members of a running club come along, stop to help her, offer to walk her home, etc., and automatically the unknown runner is assumed to be part of the same group? Sounds like the Red Lizards are guilty by association – no good deed goes unpunished, eh?

    I’ve run and biked across the Sellwood countless times. I’ve even run across the bridge many times with the Red Lizards. They may be a running and multi-sport club, but a good number of the members are bike commuters. I can assure you that no one in that group is capable of assaulting someone, especially someone who is just trying to get home after a long day at the office…

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    Dabby February 22, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    I referred to my own article yes, but in no way did I ever call it the definitive word on passing. I simply referred to it.
    You might want to reread my comment. then reread it again.
    You have made that up.
    My opinions are just that.
    Do not put words into my mouth!

    Also, I asked what the victim said to him because we need to take all parts of an incident like this into reference.
    I never put the blame on the victim, I mentioned it must have been something said that is fairly bad for her to be attacked.

    Also, I called him an idiot.

    Any man who ever hits a woman is an IDIOT! Actually, much worse than an idiot, but I chose that simple word.

    This is not allowed, ever, in my book!

    If I had seen this, I would have thrown him into the river, after he recieved the same slap he gave her.
    No matter what she said to him, in no way is that allowed…

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    Fetishridr February 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    i ride on the bridge. that sidewalk is dangerous.
    when i’m going up, i ride next to the rail, when i’m close to the speed of traffic, i take the lane, and cars wait, or pass completely in the oncoming lane.
    ps- no one has yelled at me

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    Brad February 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    While I am sure the Red Lizards did not condone or encourage the “attack”, I do know from my experience as a formerly competitive runner in this town that there are quite a few jerks in that club.

    Younger competitive male runners seem to think of themselves as an oppressed class of people and are generally rather short tempered. They hate walkers because they are slow. They hate slow runners because they lack talent. They hate cyclists and triathletes because we are rich yuppies with expensive toys that lack the ability to run. Want a taste of what they are like? Go check out a site called Frightening!

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    Jim F February 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Dennis seems to have confirmed that the offender was a Red Lizard. The Lizard’s website says that they did have a training run at Oaks Bottom last night too.

    This incident shouldn’t taint the Lizards, but then then also shouldn’t tolerate this behavior by any one of their members.

    And not that punching a girl — or anyone — is ever OK, and while I can’t imagine an acceptable explanation for all this, but we’ve only heard one side of the story.

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    Dabby February 22, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    And by the way,
    On the Sellwood bridge, the only safe place to ride your bike is on the roadway.
    This is where I ride.

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Hey Dabby.

    Any person who hits another person is an idiot.

    Stop being so sexist.

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 1:52 pm


    If you didn’t mean to imply that your article was the definitive word on passing or that the victim was to blame, then I guess you’re just a poor writer.

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    Donald February 22, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Sorry, Jonathan, I’m with Erin.

    There’s a danger in “reporting” alleged behavior as reported third hand. You probably could had left this as a forum post.

    I really feel you failed to do your due dilegence and tried to pass along an unsubstantiated story as “news”.

    What proof do you have, beyond the forum post, that any of this happened? What makes any of this rise above hearsay or gossip?

    If indeed something did happen and it is not connected to the group that has been named in your reporting (both before and after your ‘edit’), what is your liability to this group?

    I feel that if you want to report, you should, to coin a phrase, follow some of the basic journalistic rules of the road.

    I also feel this was sloppy reporting at best and rumormongering to further an agenda at worst.

    Oh, and if I may, dudes, if there’s a sign that says walk your bike, walk your freaking bike. Blatantly disrgarding traffic directives just makes bikes more vulnerable to critisism.


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    Carl February 22, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    I’m not blaming someone who is clearly a victim here, and I know this will elicit groans, but the other option is to ride the Sellwood Bridge as cyclists are supposed to: in the vehicle lane (as the signs on the approaches to the bridge suggest).

    Why don’t many cyclists take the lane on the Sellwood Bridge? Because motorists get pissed at you and it seems like a deathwish. In fact, it’s kind of like being a pedestrian on that narrow sidewalk with bikes whizzing past.

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Really Dabby as I re-read your last post it is quite ridiculous.

    You want to assault a man because he assaulted a woman. You are advocating an eye for an eye, by returning the slap. Then a punitive assault by throwing him over the river.

    Why not just call the police and have him arrested? Why the rush to be judge and jury yourself?

    Because it was a woman being attacked and you are her big macho saviour? As a female and a feminist, I find your tone and words to be laughable.

    As well as childish to the extreme. We do not need your rooster like strutting thank you very much. Equality. Learn it, love it, live it.

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    DK February 22, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    What makes this even more revolting, is the fact that it was a physical assault/retalliation on a woman by a man. If this is an accurate portrayal of the event, I would hope the other runners present would feel a bit sickened by what they were a witness to, and maybe take some internal action of their own. Or at the very least, on their clubs behalf. Like, take away some miles from his frequent runners log.

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    Cecil February 22, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    A. O. said,

    “There is also a “bikes on roadway” sign, but I’ve never seen a cyclist actually ride on the roadway.”

    Me again – I have ridden my bike on that roadway a few times headed east, just to test how awful it might be. I rode like hell and I prayed the whole time. That said, when I did so I was treated with extreme courtesy by the cars behind me. Of course, because I was riding like hell and because traffic over that bridge is always so clogged, I was usually going as fast as they were anyway 🙂

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    And thanks for the “idiot” comment. That really added a fresh perspective to the issue that I hadn’t considered. Very enlightening.

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    Matt P. February 22, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    The Red Lizard club’s President just posted this to their forum:

    “A woman claims to have been assaulted by a member of our club last night on the Sellwood Bridge. A couple club members did stop to assist her soon after the incident, but sadly, the alleged attack is being linked to the club. Since the club has been named in the bike forums, I wanted to make this statement in a public forum:

    – we have no reason at this time to suspect a club member was involved
    – we will happily cooperate with any investigation (if there is one)
    – if a club member was involved and found liable, appropriate action will be taken
    – any inquiries or feedback should be directed to Torrey:

    I’d like to commend them for reacting so quickly, and hope that if anything comes of this that they follow through on it.

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    Curt Dewees February 22, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Here’s an “indefensible position”: I think perhaps it was a mistake for a pair of cylists to attempt to ride through a group of runners on a group run on that sidewalk.

    Here’s an analogy: Suppose you were a car driver and you drove up beind a large group of cyclists in front of you on a narrow road with not much shoulder. Would you say to yourself: “I’m going faster than these guys. I have just as much right to the road as they do. I’m going to drive right through this group and out the other side, and they are just going to have to get the hell out of my way.”

    Well, that’s basically what the two cyclists did when they tried to pass through a group of runners on the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk. The cyclists felt that since they were going faster, they had the right to ride through a slower group of runners in front of them, even though that sidewalk is narrrow and potentially dangerous if you get bumped off the sidewalk into the car lanes.

    It’s not surprising that at least one of the runners got alarmed and annoyed by that behavior.

    I’m not saying we should “blame the victim” for the attack. I’m just saying that for us cyclists to better understand this situation and why it happened, we also need to look at it from the other person’s point of view.

    PS to Cecil: I didn’t mean to post anonymously; in my haste I just forgot to fill in my name, and you’re right: I don’t think we’ve met.

    As for walking your bike on the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk, you seem to be the exception to the rule. I ride across that bridge 3-4 times a week, and virtually all of the other cyclists I encounter on the bridge ride their bikes across it, too.

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    TomasCoSauce February 22, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Runner, pedestrian, or another cyclist, assault is assault.

    I have run with the Lizards on many occassion and have been met with respect and courtesy.

    I don’t want to see any comments condemning the Red Lizards as all jerks otherwise we get no where trying to share resources that we all fight for like traffic calming, paths, lanes and pedestrian safety measures.

    If we get into this shouting match, then any group that I regularly socialize with will have jerks…PUMP, Shift, OBRA, Red Lizards, PWTC.

    I’m sharing the road. What are you doing?

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    Dabby February 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    True Erin,
    Anyone who hits anyone is an idiot.
    Here a man hit a woman.
    That was all I was referencing.
    Chivalry is not dead. I was raised well, by loving parents.

    I am not in the slightest bit sexist, by the way.
    In fact, I am as far from that as is possible.
    I cannot believe you would even type that.
    You obviously do not know me in the slightest.

    And Attor…
    It would be pompous for me to believe that my article is the definitive word on passing.
    I wrote my perspective on an issue.
    It is up to the reader to decide whether it would be the definitive word.
    Judging from the comments I recieved, this may just be the case.

    But, as a poor writer (literally, you had that right, no one pays me to write anything), I know that you cannot please all of the people, all of the time.
    You appear to be one of those people.

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm


    Now you are at it too! Why is it more revolting that it was a man against a woman?

    All violence is revolting. Tall people against short. Lesbian against lesbian. One legged christian fundamentalists against hermaphroditic paratroopers. The act is the problem, not the type of hoo-haa that the aggressor has.

    All violence has the issue of power discrepancy. Two equals rarely assault one another due to the whole mutually assured distruction thing.

    Violence is the problem, not the gender of whomever is involved.

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    Carl February 22, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    …and Dabby, “the incoherent ramblings of a fevered ego tainting the collective unconscious of Bikeportland” has a really nice ring to it. I think you should thank A_O and run with it.

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    Thom February 22, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Ride your bike on the road, or walk your bike on the sidewalk. That’s the rule, period, not just on the Sellwood Bridge.

    As for an assault, it probably should’ve been reported, but as she was riding on the sidewalk, she might be cited as well. It’s like a drug dealer calling the cops because he’s been robbed. You know, but less so.

    Anyway. The Sellwood Bridge is stressful. Cars don’t like it because it’s too narrow. Bikers don’t like it because you’re either walking your steed or hammering like hell so you don’t get run over, and pedestrians/runners don’t like the fact that they’re on the bottom rung.

    People must chill.

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    Brian February 22, 2007 at 2:12 pm


    I’ve ridden across the bridge in the traffic lane. Not comfortable for sure, but easier for me than riding or walking on that sidewalk.

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Dabby, you may not be sexist but your words certainly are.

    You are back pedalling now. Your original post clearly shows that you feel it is worse for a man to assault a woman than another man.

    That is a sexist point of view.

    Just as bad for a large man to assault a smaller man. Happens all the time, though no moral outrage.

    Sexist way of thinking. Think about it instead of being so quick to try and defend your fragile ego.

    If women are more in need of protecting due to simply being women, how are we equal?

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    Dabby February 22, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    I am done with these stupid comments.

    I am being attacked by a self proclaimed feminist, for having high qualities instilled in me by my loving mother.
    I am being attacked by a “attorney”, for not proclaiming my own writing to be the definitive word.

    I have nothing more to say.
    Argue amongst yourselves.

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    dennis February 22, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    OK, enough of the war mongering. This was a simple mistake by two people who though they were right. It doesn’t condone either. Let’s all try to do something people seem not able to do and let it go, learn from others mistakes, and not let it happen again.

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    tonyt February 22, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    You know, the level of venom in some of these posts is just ridiculous. Take a freakin chill pill, get the chip off of your shoulder, pick your battles with a bit more discretion, and prove yourself to be more eager to build alliances than make enemies.

    Frick and Frack! Sheesh.

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    J Price February 22, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Here is my 2 cents:

    I don’t frequent the Sellwood Bridge but I have crossed many times over the years.

    I have walked my bike as the sign says; this not only takes a LONG time but when walking a bike you occupy twice the space either a pedestrian or cyclist would occupy. It makes little sense.

    I have ridden on the sidewalk. Though because this is not suggested in the official signage I do two things – pull over and stop for oncoming traffic and slow to the speed of the same-way traffic. This works but often elicits abusive comments from pedestrians/joggers.

    I have ridden the roadway. This ultimately is how I prefer to cross the Sellwood Bridge. I do not dawdle and I do not address the cars that may honk. The automibile/truck traffic speed has not normally been that much faster on the occasions I have crossed.

    As for the offense, regardless of her response, it should be reported. Witnesses should have have assisted as well. Ultimately, it is a lousy crossing for the amount and types of traffic that occurs there and it is every users responsibility to act accordingly until the improvements are made.

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    Tbird February 22, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    I think this kind of behavior by an adult is shameful, heck I wouldn’t tolerate a child behaving this way. It doesn’t matter if the violence is Runner on Cyclist, Driver on pedestrian, or Tri-cyclist on Pogo-stick rider. Violence is unacceptable, period!
    I think there are too many people ready to prove they are in the “right” in situations like this. Sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective.
    I feel sad for the person who was assaulted, but I feel worse for the person who felt it was justified to SLAP another simply because they wanted to cross a bridge.

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    Morgan February 22, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    This is worse than middle school…..
    Stick to the issue. An act of violence against another human being. That is all.

    (I just hope I don’t get flamed by a middle school-er now……)

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    Andy G February 22, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    I am a biker and runner and have run across the sellwood bridge many times with no problems. If I am going downhill I have no problem moving off to the side for a second while a biker passes. However if I am going uphill and the biker is going downhill I expect the biker to stop for me. This has always happened in my experience. I have never had a biker pass me from behind but as I run I look over my shoulder a few times to stay aware of any bikers coming up from behind. I have seen several bikers just on the road instead of trying to ride on that narrow walkway. The bridge definitely sucks to run or bike across but when you have to do it just a little common courtesy goes a long way.

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    Cecil February 22, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    There was a very interesting article by Daniel Goleman in the NY Times the other day about the psychological and neurological aspects of flaming in on-line discussion forums, and why many (if not most) folks find it all too easy to communicate certain ideas via e-mail that they would never in a million years say to someone’s face. Today’s thread makes me want to go back and read it again 🙂

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    Dabby February 22, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    And Carl,
    You may just be on to something there…

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Should someone else proclaim me to be something Dabby?

    Did your mother instill all these nasty words and attitudes in you as well? I bet she would be real proud of you slapping someone and throwing them over a bridge. Insulting others, way to go son! My mom would think you are an “idiot” to use your words.

    I thought you were done here?



    How is dragging someone from their bike and slapping them a mistake? And a simple mistake no less?

    Ooops sorry my bad! Didn’t mean to slap you upside the head… Just a simple mistake, you understand!


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    Morgan February 22, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Can’t we all just sit in a circle on the rug and drink our juice boxes?

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    Evan Manvel, BTA February 22, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    This sucks, and is the sort of thing that happens when we try to make do with substandard, unsafe facilities.

    When I cross the Sellwood, I take the lane.

    While I definitely hurry and feel some pressure, I find that it’s usually ok. It’s pretty much defined by one person — the driver of the car behind me. If that driver gives me plenty of space, doesn’t honk, etc. I find that the crossing isn’t so bad. If, on the other hand, the driver tailgates me or tries to pass, I feel completely threatened.

    The BTA’s surveys of regional cyclists affirmed that fixing the Sellwood Bridge is the single most frequently mentioned project on people’s wish lists.

    We’re going to be bringing it up with Congressional people when we go to DC in March, and continue to check in with electeds at all levels. I suggest you do the same, as it will take all our resources to fund a fix (Multnomah County, Clackamas County, Metro, City, state legislature, congress).

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    sh February 22, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    discussion officially disintegrated.

    (nice juice box comment though, that cracked me up, uh-huh.)

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    Morgan February 22, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    Just to clarify my apparently asinine comments. To bicker over someone’s perceived intent through the written word does little to further the situation as a whole.

    While everyone who has flamed today has a valid point, almost none of it pertained to the assault on a person on the bridge.

    That was all.

    None of the personal attacks needed to happen.
    I felt by joking that we were being a bit sophmoric and suggesting a delicious juice-break would instill a touch of levity to the hostility so apparent in the recent forum posts. Apparently my gentle jests were mis-understood, so now I’m afraid I won’t be able to share my crackers and peanut-butter…;)

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    Coyote February 22, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    My we are a little fussy this afternoon. Anyway, I have to agree with Donald (#21).

    Jonathon I am continually amazed at both the volume and quality of the content on this site. You have my admiration. However, perhaps this article would have been better phrased as a request for information about the incident.

    Dabby, AO and Erin perhaps a nap?

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    Dabby February 22, 2007 at 3:52 pm


    My mom would be proud of me standing up for the rights of others. Especially a woman being attacked off of her bike by a man. Or even by another woman. Or two men attacking each other.
    I cannot tell you the amount of times, as a messenger for going on 20 years, I have stopped domestic violence on the street.
    How many times I have seen it happen, alerted the police, and then stopped it by the time they showed up, while holding the perpatrator at bay.
    How many times I have chased purse snatchers.
    How many times I have helped fallen elderly up, and onto the sidewalk. (or generally wherever they needed to go)
    I have comforted the dying in their last moments, their blood on my skin.

    If I came across a situation like this, I do not think a greeting card or a smile would suffice.
    It would not at all.
    I do not care how, (once again, this is not to be negative but) how your feminist (I am using your word) thoughts play into this.

    Maybe I should just carry around a big tub of popcorn and a lawn chair, in order to better view the violence?
    Would that make my mom proud?

    I know that this comment will make you happy, simply because you irritated me enough to post again after claiming I would not.

    Do you have any grape juice boxes?
    I need to go back to my happy place.

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    tonyt February 22, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    I have apple!

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    tonyt February 22, 2007 at 4:20 pm


    Did you know I can make fart noises with my armpit?

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    Donna February 22, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Dabby – *I* appreciate your sentiments and your actions. I’m just as smart as a guy, but not as strong, and I most likely never will be. Thank you.

    I would just like to point out that when the police say they don’t see a trend in violence against cyclists – this is a perfect example of why. Many of us don’t report it to the police. Folks, it’s not like they use Ouija boards to keep track of the numbers here. They need us to report! It’s not too late for the cyclist in question to file a police report. As a woman and a fellow vulnerable user of the road, I hope she reconsiders.

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    Erin February 22, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Dabby, your continued insistence on sounding like a self aggrandizing ego monster says more about you than I ever could.

    All hail the great god dabby! The holy and noble bike messenger saves the day again!

    I have never said this before but your post actually has me rolling on the floor laughing.

    And it made me blow my juice out my nose!

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    Donald February 22, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Maybe I’m getting jaded, but I still consider this incident very “alleged” and I feel that any reluctance to report it to authorities is either because it was a mutual combat (“This was a simple mistake by two people…”) or because it really didn’t go down as reported in the forum post. You can see above how Dennis backpedals from the incident.

    By elevating this alleged incident to a post on his blog, Jonathan gave it the appearence of “news” but a close reading seems to reveal that he had no other source than the forum post. What makes this all the worse is he furthered an allegation of relationship with a local running organization, despite his effort to later revoke this allegation.

    Covering public meetings is one thing, but reporting breaking news is tough business fraught with hidden dangers and I hope to see better on this blog in the future.

    This sort of reporting-by-repeating on this blog about alleged activities in my neighborhood raised my blood pressure before and this posting makes me doubt further that the author can cover breaking stories as well as he covers public affairs. Only this time, it’s not a neighborhood that’s getting a baseless bad rap, it’s an atheletic organization peopled by folks who instead of besmirching we should be embracing.


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    adam February 22, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    do not drink the brown juice, for chrissakes. blue juice? well, that is up to you.

    To the victim: PLEASE REPORT THIS to the PPB. I am sorry that it happened to you but we HAVE to get these incidents on record.

    For the rest of us – the best(safest) way to cross that bridge is in the MIDDLE of your lane with at least one other cyclists. That sidewalk dropoff is terrifying. I am not certain as to why this helps, but cars seem to react much better to a mini mass of bikes than to a solitary rider. This should be easy to do, especially during commute hours.

    If you have to go by yourself, then ride like the wind!

    AO, Dabby, and all others who contribute to these comments – thanks and keep standing up for what you believe in. words, no matter how vitriolic, are better than a smack to the face(no matter how satisfying 😉

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 5:20 pm


    I think you’re going a bit far in your criticism of Jonathan. The title of the article is “Cyclist *alleges* attack…” So it seems to me that Jonathan considers it alleged as well. Also, it’s not clear to me why you suggest that something cannot be “news” simply because the source is a post on the forums.

    I think it’s pretty clear from the article that Jonathan used the initial post as a vehicle for discussion of the Sellwood Bridge, multi-use path etiquette, and the public policy value of reporting incidences of violence.

    I do agree it is reasonable to assume the reluctance to report is possibly due to some relevant differences between the posted account and reality. I find it unlikely that someone whose partner was attacked by an easily identifiable assailant would simply say “let it go” if there weren’t more to the story. Otherwise, they would no doubt put out the Bat Signal and Dabby would arrive in a flash to “hold[] the perpetrator at bay.”

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    Donald February 22, 2007 at 5:29 pm


    I’ll buy that: Perhaps I am being a bit unfair. But as I peruse the responses that treat this alleged incident as fact, I guess I feel I can only hold the poster responsible.

    I hope my posting made it clear that I appreciate Jonathan’s efforts to report on cycling. His work is certainly very valuable to our community mediascape.


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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 22, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    And I was compartmentalizing that issue. It is sad that people often can’t seem to hold judgment in abeyance when they were not present at the events in question. It’s an all-too-common tendency on the part of homo sapiens and one of the reasons why saying something that damages another person’s (or organization’s) reputation can get you sued for slander.

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    Sara February 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    I agree with Jonathon and Donna that it’s important to report violence to the police. Even if they don’t do anything, it goes on the record and can be helpful for compiling crime stats.

    Can someone remind us of the non-emergency number to call when you are assualted but no longer in danger?

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    N.I.K. February 22, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Erin, if Dabby chaps your ass so bad, so be it, but we heard you the first time…and the second time…and the third time… I agree with much of what you’re saying, but you’re pretty well away from the discussion at this point. Please put the personal attacks away.

    All told, everybody saying to take it to the police is absolutely right. They might not take it seriously, but if the report is made, and there’s more of them, we’ve got official record of these sorts of incidents and are in a better place to make demands on them.

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    Jen February 22, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    I’ll tell you exactly why it does matter that it was a man that hit a woman and not some other combination of individuals. From an anti-oppression framework (see Bell Hooks, especially if you consider yourself a feminist)men hold agency and power that women do not. There are many other axes on which one might hold agency and power, and not all men hold more agency and power than all women. However, the power differential cannot be ignored. It is important for everyone to be aware of the areas in which they hold agency and power and to be aware when they are abusing that power and reinforcing oppression.

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    JV February 22, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    N=1, for what it’s worth:
    I don’t take the Sellwood bridge often, but when I do, I always take the (whole)lane.

    As Evan said, the experience is defined by the first car following. I try to drill it so as not to inconvenience drivers; that sidewalk is intolerable (for me).

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    Curt Dewees February 22, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Of course, we cyclists would like the victim to report this attack to the police, but I can think of a couple of reasons why she may prefer not to:

    First, after telling her story to the police officer, the officer might say to her, “Did you know that you just admitted to three moving violations?”

    1. Failing to observe a traffic-control device [The signs say walk your bike on the sidewalk, but she chose to ride.]

    2. Reckless driving: An ornery police officer could say that trying to ride one’s bicycle through a crowd of runners on a narrow sidewalk on top of a busy bridge during rush hour qualifies as reckless driving.

    3. Failure to yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk. Even if it were legal to ride your bike on the Sellwood Bridge sidewalk (which it’s not), you would still have to follow the law that says bicyclists must yield to pedestrians in the sidewalk. By her own admission, she failed to yield to a whole group of pedestrians.

    Two, there is the problem of identifing her assailant. Did she get the guy’s name? Address? Driver’s license number?

    Perhaps the dude wan’t even a member of the Red Lizard Club. He could have been a friend of a friend, or someone who found out about the training run on the Red Lizard website and just showed up to check it out. It’s possible that none of the other runners even knows who he is.

    Does the club have a sign-in sheet documenting who was on this run? I doubt it.

    I also doubt the assailant will turn himself in. And even if there were other people on the run who know who the guy is, they may be reluctant to come foward and turn in their running buddy. We may never find out who he is.

    I can understand why this young lady might not feel like reporting this incident to the police. Let’s give her a break already.

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    dennis February 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Donald, I’m not backpeddaling on this incident or downgrading it in the least. I was not present but had to deal with the aftermath. My wife fears retribution and after speaking with others today, is looking into filing a report. It did happen as the post states although the use of the word attack seems to have elicited a firestorm. I do apologize for that.

    And, Johnathan is correct in stating alleged because he was not there and every other witness that was, ran off without lending a hand. And as AO knows, he said she said, doesn’t hold much weight in law without witnesses.

    I posted this to make people aware of the challenges of riding the Sellwood bridge and as a call to be careful out there. That’s all, so please stop the flame wars and let’s move on to make this a better community for all of us.

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    Donna February 22, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Dennis, I’m glad she is thinking about reporting it. Even if they do nothing, it becomes a statistic that could point to a “trend”. If she does get into some hot water over any traffic infractions, please pass along to her that that there are some of us who greatly respect people who take ownership of their mistakes. No one who commits a traffic infraction deserves to then become a victim of violence. (alleged, of course) Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us.

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    Qwendolyn February 22, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    It’s a wonder that Dabby ever finds time to ride a bike, he posts here so much.

    Even when he doesn’t post he posts.

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    gabrielamadeus February 22, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    sheesh, jonathan goes to salem for one afternoon and look what happens in the schoolyard. Grow up.

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    Macaroni February 22, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    I don’t use the Sellwood bridge, have never taken my bike across it, but judging from the picture, the sidewalk is too narrow to ride a bike and share it with pedestrians or runners.
    Have some respect for others and walk your bike across the bridge.
    I bike commute 365 days a year, BTW.

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    Mr. Know it All February 22, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    The story said:
    “The runners mostly stopped to let her and another rider by, but one hit her as she rolled by slowly.”

    By “hit her” does it mean intentionally or does it mean he bumped her by accident? If he hit her on purpose, where did he make contact? Was it a pat on the hiney because he thought it was a nice one? (That wasn’t meant to be sexist, it’s just a question.)

    Just wondering what really happened.

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    Tom February 23, 2007 at 12:14 am

    There is some animosity between runners and cyclists it seems. Riding home across the Hawthorne bridge a couple months ago I guess I was too far to the right and a runner jumped out in front of me as I passed shouting in my face before jumping out of the way. I was shocked by this and rolled along trying to figure out what just happend. I know that a lot of runners are also cyclists so what’s with the attitude? I don’t get it. Is it really that big of a deal? LIke we need one more thing to argue about…geesh!

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    Enginerd February 23, 2007 at 7:52 am

    As Evan Manvel (#52) noted, fixing the bridge is a high priority with the public…possibly higher than the Columbia River Crossing. The problem is, “build date” for the CRC is something like 2010, and “build date” for the Sellwood is closer to 2015. As noted in other forums, the whopping cost of the CRC is going to empty our local and federal piggy banks for a long time, so funds to replace the Sellwood need to be earmarked or otherwise set aside now.

    (I know, I know, no decision to repair vs. replace has been made yet…I’m just hoping…)

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    Jonathan Maus February 23, 2007 at 8:15 am

    A few words about criticism of my reporting and about comments in general…

    I truly appreciate criticism of my reporting on this story (see comments 4, 8, 11, 23, 68 and 71).

    These comments not only improve my work but they show me that you care about the quality of this site’s content. Thank you.

    I’m learning as I go. I make hundreds of quick editorial decisions every week. Some you might like, others you might disagree with. Either way, rest assured I have heard your input and I will move forward with it in mind.

    As for some of the comments: I’ve deleted several of them having to do with juice boxes, cookies, and armpit noises.

    PLEASE (and I don’t use all caps very often) remember that this comment section is not here for you to be silly, leave personal insults, or have off-topic back-and-forth remarks with each other.

    This site is my business and I will always reserve my right to delete comments that I perceive to detract from its value.

    If you don’t have something real to add to the discussion, please resist the temptation to comment.

    I apologize if this sounds harsh, but I am growing tired of reminding people about this.

    I would rather spend my time bringing you great stories.

    Thanks for reading.

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    Val A Lindsay II February 23, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Just curious;

    Does anyone dismount their bicycle and walk this length of sidewalk? The animosity the cyclists in this case are facing is the same one they have towards cars on the street, or at least that’s what it seems to me.

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    Cecil February 23, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Val – see my comment #7 – when I am crossing the bridge headed west, I do walk my bike the entire length of the sidewalk. That’s one of the reasons I prefer other river crossings.

    Jonathan, I apologize for adding to the “cookie” posts – I agree they were off topic and silly. In my defense, I believed that most (if not all) of the cokkie/juice box posts were done in an attempt to defuse the tension that had been building on-line throughout the day. At least that was my intention.

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    Val A Lindsay II February 23, 2007 at 8:36 am


    Cool! Sorry I missed that. Just a lot of posts that are long-winded and didn’t see it. Thanks for walking the bridge, by the way. It’s my experience pedestrians consider it respectful and lowers the animosity levels.

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    Geezer February 23, 2007 at 8:40 am

    About post #77.

    You’re a good man Jonathan, keep up the good work !

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    Drew February 23, 2007 at 8:46 am

    I have commuted across the Sellwood bridge on a bike for a couple of years now.

    First I used the sidewalk for a month or two, like most bicyclists. But it’s slower, illegal (to ride), and probably not really safer anyways.

    So I started using the roadway, riding fast all the way to the right. I got honked at, engines gunned, yelled at etc, maybe 33% of the time. Riding the bridge roadway is kind of a rush for me, actually.

    Later, I began riding at my normal pace. Why should I knock myself out so some motorist can get to the next traffic light a few seconds earlier? Aggressive driving incidents decreased, less than 20% of the time. Maybe some agressive motorists sensed that I was not afraid of them, and failed to go into attack mode.

    So now, I always take the road, pretty close to the right. Most cars pass me with no problem. Wide flatbeds can’t pass me of course; no big truck has ever tried. If they are tailing me and leaning on the horn, I look back at them and take the lane. I figure if they are frustrated and think that I can’t be passed safely, I shouldn’t even offer up the opportunity.

    The nearest thing to a “close call” was an elderly motorist who passed within 6 inches. Perhaps oblivious. Her head wasn’t elevated much higher than the steering wheel.

    Most traffic is going slow, and most everyone slows down before passing me. Purposeful agression is unlikely because of so many witnesses. That bridge is busy all the time.

    I think that the speed limit should be reduced to 20mph, and large “sharrows” painted on the roadway. Some motorists needed to be reminded that they must share the road. Painting the sharrows could go a long way to convincing bicyclists to use the roadway, and reducing conflicts. Who can do this?- or should I just get a can of paint and do it myself?

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    DK February 23, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Erin. Thanks for your reply (#33), sorry I bumped into your soapbox. There is still something to be said about what this person may well be capable of doing, possibly in his own home, if this was an insignificant action to take, in his mind. True, man vs. man, woman vs. woman, it’s should be treated all the same. But there’s still something inherantly wrong, in societies eyes, and in law (not just my own), when a man lifts a hand to a woman. Sorry, I guess I worked in a Sheriffs dept. too long.

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    sheldon February 23, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Here’s some perspective on what cyclists in another part of the country are facing.

    http://www.lubbocko stories/020207/ loc_020207074. shtml

    Trail of terror for cyclists may lead to prison



    A man who police say used wires, broken bottles and nails to wage an
    eco-terrorism campaign against Lubbock cyclists could spend time in

    David G. Knape, 62, of Lubbock staged at least a year-long campaign
    against unsuspecting cyclists, according to police reports. He
    stretched wires between trees at “neck level” and put nails and glass
    in the pathway of cyclists.

    “This could kill someone,” said Dewayne Wallace, an avid cyclist
    whose friend was flung from his bicycle and cut across the neck by
    one of the wires.

    Wallace spent months looking for Knape, who now faces two felony
    charges of attempted aggravated assault with a weapon. Each count
    is a third-degree felony, carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in

    Detective Rene Martinez questioned Knape about the traps placed along
    the mountain biking trails, just east of Martin Luther King Jr.
    Boulevard and along Canyon Lake No. 6.

    The trails are used by families and joggers and are designated for
    biking. Amateur and experienced riders frequent the paths.

    Knape told the detective he was only trying to protect the

    “He just loves nature,” Martinez said.

    Phone calls placed to Knape went unanswered.

    Cyclists did not always have a name to connect to the traps found
    along the trails. But many knew of the hazards and would even warn
    each other on Internet message boards.

    “There were numerous traps along the trails, including wire strung
    between trees and chest/neck level,” according to a March 26, 2006,
    posting on the Caprock Multi-Sport Club Forum. “Be careful out

    Lubbock Police Capt. Lance Slack, who also rides a bike, said
    cyclists need to warn each other, but they also need to notify
    authorities, particularly when people can be seriously injured
    “People have been seriously hurt or killed just because they are
    cyclists,” he said.

    Wallace said he tracked Knape for about six months. He photographed
    the wires and footprints. He then turned it all over to police. At
    first, he suspected teenagers, but whoever was setting these traps
    was “too energetic,” he said.

    Large rocks had been pushed into the trail and wires that cyclists
    had taken down would reappear. Whoever was setting the traps was just
    too persistent.

    “I was memorizing his pattern,” Wallace said. “We were not out to
    beat him up or kill him. We just wanted him to stop.”

    Wallace caught Knape during an afternoon bike ride in November.
    Knape was tying a wire to a tree, according to reports. In
    statements to police, Knape said he was trying to protect area

    “He was trying to protect something we care about, too,” Wallace
    said. “I care about nature. That’s why I ride a bike.”

    A Lubbock County grand jury is scheduled to review Knape’s case next
    week. To comment on this story: jason.womack@ lubbockonline. com
    766-8707 This story first appeared on our Web site at 6:16 p.m.
    Thursday. LubbockOnline. com

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    brad February 23, 2007 at 9:17 am

    The government must be facing a real dilemma now with that one…do they try to lock him up forever for being a so-called “eco-terrorist”, or do they just give him a fine, since it was bicyclists he was targeting?

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    Dan February 23, 2007 at 9:22 am

    When I ride across the bridge, 70% of the time, sidewalk, 30% road, based on the amount of traffic.
    Over the years I have heard of several altercations between cylists and peds. There is no good solution.
    I am curious, is it truly illegal to ride the sidewalk?

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    ridealot February 23, 2007 at 9:28 am

    Go Dabby… I’mw with you.

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    Torrey February 23, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Torrey Lindbo, president of the Red Lizards responds:

    This is a great discussion, and I completely agree with many of the points which have been made. The Sellwood is dangerous and needs upgrading. Bikers and runners should be courteous to one another. And yes, Dennis’ wife should certainly file a claim if an assault occured.

    As promised, I will provide any information I have and will continue to gather. An allegation has been made in a public forum, and unless it’s followed through with, my club is being found guilty (until proven innocent). This certainly isn’t helping improve runner/biker relations.

    The Red Lizards do have a group run every Wednesday evening that crosses the Sellwood. I wasn’t there this week, but from the details I have gathered thus far, a couple members of the group did notice Dennis’ wife on the bridge. The reason details within our group were easy to come up with was because several members of the club came across her after the incident, talked to her, and offered her assistance. So Dennis’ claim that “every other witness that was [there] ran off without lending a hand” is a little puzzling. But because of their encounter with her, the group discussed who else had seen her when they were done with the run.

    The group was on their way back to the Fulton, and so most were very fragmented into smaller groups of 2-3 people. She would have passed most of the faster runners somewhere along Macadam. So, there wasn’t a large group of 20 people on the bridge at the same time. When broken into small fragments, we typically always hug the rail for bikers that are riding the walkway. Three group members who think they saw the same cyclist in a yellow jacket described by those who came across her after the incident said that they had hugged the rail and let her pass. It sounds like some comments may have bee made – “walk your bike” – but the 2 ladies at the back of those 3 don’t fit the male in his 40’s description.

    There wasn’t any member of our group between those 3, whom she passed on the west side of the bridge, and the next 2 people who were the first to stop for her. No one recalls seeing anyone else on the bridge at the same time. So unfortunately, no members of our group were witness to this assault.

    Dennis – contact me and I will provide you all of the details I’ve gathered thus far. This kind of behavior is inexcusable, regardless of whether or not bikes are/aren’t supposed to be on the walkway of the Sellwood. And your wife certainly doesn’t need to fear any retaliation from us – we’re just a friendly group of runners. I may not have any eyewitnesses, but I can at least put you in contact with all of those who were in the vicinity and/or had contact with her.

    Please have her file a report so that the incident is documented, and most importantly (for me) that our club can be cleared of any association with this brutal event. The more she waits, the fewer details she’ll remember.

    Good luck and let me know how I can help.


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    felix February 23, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Fighting on the internet is like racing in the Special Olympics – even if you win you’re still a retard.

    No go ride your bike!

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 23, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Did Dennis slander the Red Lizards, or is Torrey leading a coverup? Stay tuned…

    OK, probably neither. I’d just like to point out that neither of these gentlemen witnessed the alleged incident, so all of this is hearsay.

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    nuovorecord February 23, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Hey Felix,

    While I agree with the point you’re trying to make, the terminology you used was not acceptable.

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    Torrey February 23, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    A.O. – good point. My investigation and accounting of the story from what I’ve pieced together on this end is just heresay. But I assure you that I haven’t found anything that merits a coverup. Until (and even if) our victim or assailant come forward, we may never know.

    But I can assure you that the club will continue trying to determine if any club members were involved, and if they were involved, we will take prompt action toward resolution.

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 23, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Let me be clear that I was just kidding on the cover up thing. All indications are that you’re taking this seriously as it relates to your club, and for that you are to be commended.

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    felix February 23, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Let me be clear that I was not kidding about the retard thing. 😉

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    dennis February 23, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    In the heat of the moment it’s difficult to reign in the adrenalin and by identifying the individual in question as being a Red Lizard club member I miss represented the running club name. I should not have refered to the club name. I can’t speek for my wife but Please accept my apology. I did not intend to slander the club.

    This in no way deters the fact that the individual was running on the bridge at the same time or that my wife was indeed assulted.

    I’m hoping we can put this behind us and chalk it up as a learning experience, albet not a good one but one we can overcome….dennis

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    Dabby February 23, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    I agree Felix, that your comment was horribly insensitive….

    People can be mentally challenged…

    The spark, and timing that powers your car can be retarded..

    Just feel lucky that you yourself are not mentally challenged.
    Wait, if going solely by your insensitive comment, maybe you are after all….

    By the way, we should all respect Jonathan’s efforts to bring situations like this to light here.
    In no manner are things going to be presented in a way that pleases everyone, everytime.
    Each of us has to take what we can out of it, and work with that.
    Remember back when we didn’t have this highly publicized, open forum to discuss matters and problems?
    I knew you could…

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    Deborah Meron February 23, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I’m a reporter for The Oregonian and am writing an online post/possible story on this incident. I think it’s significant, especially to a city with such strong biker and runner communities.

    First, though, I really need to talk to the biker and/or Dennis. This incident has not been reported to the police and I can not report on this without checking its validity. I also would appreciate if Torrey would contact me so that I could include his viewpoint.

    An interesting discussion thus far. If anyone would like to contribute their input, please call me at 503-221-5368.

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    Attornatus_Oregonensis February 23, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Here’s what I learned: I should not believe the things Dennis posts on the Forums.

    And what “heat of the moment” and “adreneline” are you referring to? You did not witness the alleged attack, correct?

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    jeff February 23, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Deborah, I think you should just drop it. Perhaps I can suggest an article on the new velodrome, or some of the bills the BTA is trying to pass in Salem to protect bicyclists instead? Oh wait, that’s not sensational enough, my bad. Stick with the fights, fires, and murders. That’s how you sell the news.

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    felix February 23, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Welcome to the gReat North West whEre everything is politically correct and everyone thinks Their opinions should make headlines. Don’t tell me what lAnguage to use. YouR opinion of my vocabulary mean very little to me.

    Again… Go ride your bike, I just diD for lunch and its much better than pointless bickering on the net.

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    jeff February 23, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    “everyone thinks Their opinions should make headlines” and “its much better than pointless bickering on the net”

    And yet, here you are. It’s easy to be a dick on the internet, thanks for the laugh.

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    Dave Thomson February 23, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    There is no excuse for physically assaulting anyone.

    That said, the bridge sidewalk is signed requiring that bikes be walked. This is valid as the sidewalk is very narrow.

    As cyclists, we have three choices regarding the Sellwood bridge:

    – Ride across in the vehicle lane
    – Walk across on the sidewalk
    – Use another crossing

    Personally I ride in the vehicle lane. If you aren’t confident enough in your vehicular cycling skills for that, then be considerate of others and WALK your bike on the sidewalk.

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    lyle February 23, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    how can you not report this to police? i realize sometimes people are in shock and don’t make the most sound decisions possible.

    but god, someone had to have had a phone nearby, and if this guy was on foot going over the bridge, he would have most likely gotten nabbed before he could have disappeared into a neighborhood.

    run into the road and flag down a car and ask the driver if they have a cellphone if you have to. do anything.

    i just don’t get it. that something like this could happen and you refuse to report it to police is mind-blowing.

    the only explanation i can come up with is that she was a little more of an ‘active’ participant in the fight than the story leads us to believe, and didn’t want to deal with the counter-accusations that the alleged attacker would have.

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    an uninformed opinion February 23, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Erin, you are everything that’s wrong with feminism (and I consider myself a feminist). Yes, it is worse when a stronger, abler person hits a weaker person. Usually this is the case (and this is genetics, not Dabby’s fault) with men and women. That’s why when adults hit children it’s worse. You are reading way too much into Dabby’s comments. I’m pretty sure his heart is in the right place.

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    Erin February 23, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Well, you know what they say about opinions….

    Especially uninformed ones.

    As far as I can tell all Dabby is concerned with is feeding his own ego. I don’t know him of course, though that is where his words lead…

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    Burr February 23, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    If you walk your bike on the sidewalk you will no doubt block the whole sidewalk and force the joggers into the street to pass you.

    So it’s all about cooperation, ride slowly and pass cautiously or walk your bike and be a sidewalk hog. I second everyone who said there’s no excuse for an assault in this situation.

    Someone who takes offence at being called an asshole – a relatively minor expletive – when they were in fact acting like an asshole, is, well, an asshole.

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    notacyclist February 23, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Can we find some common ground here?

    Go to and tell Multnomah County that we need action on the Sellwood Bridge now. They’re taking public comments until Feb. 28.

    The Sellwood is a tragic accident waiting to happen. It’s only a matter of time before a cyclist or pedestrian is forced into the river or into traffic and something awful happens. The bridge is in serious need of fixing and is a major safety hazard. Take action! Go to and let your voice be heard!

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    MaTa February 23, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    DABBY– r0ck on. . . if only more people stood up for those on the losing end of a power differential confilict, maybe there wouldn’t be so many examples, there of. . .. (whether it be differneces in gender, age, physical size, mental capacity, etc. etc.)

    Rule Sticklers Yeah, its technically illegal to ride on the sidewalk. . .great, and you must be used to only riding downtown in friendly, liberal cities, right? Where I live now (Parkrose) and where I have lived before (back east) there are plenty of areas that if you AREN’T riding on the sidewalk, you are a dumb ass. I don’t care if you are lawfully in the right and there is a bike lane, you have a helmet on, bright clothes, whatever . . .there are plenty of places where bikers are just flat out disrespected, ignored, and even lashed out against.
    If there aren’t crowds of people on the sidewalk and you are riding on it respectably with your bike, big friggin’ deal – it beats being run down, assaulted, and/or yelled at in not-so-nice areas.

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    Dabby February 23, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    Illegitimus Non Carborundum…

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    PoPo February 24, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    The non-emergency number for the Portland Police is 503-823-3333.

    I cannot think of any officer who would be called to an assault call like this and then cite the victim for chippy traffic violations. Please don’t let such worries deter anyone from reporting crimes.

    This website is a tremendous communty-builder. Fear is a tremendous community destroyer. As we focus on and discuss the causes and details of this particular incident, which was terrifying for the victim, let’s please not forget the thousands of times a week people cross the Sellwood Bridge peacefully, with runners and walkers and bikers working together and respectfully to negotiate a narrow sidewalk on a very old bridge. Such human, decent interactions are by far the majority, but of course don’t make any news because love and respect doesn’t sell advertising. Anger and outrage and FEAR sell advertising. And at the same time slowly erode community as we lose our trust and respect for each other.

    I wish our media outlets would take more responsibility in this area and spend more time peddling the community-builder of the day, rather than the fear of the day. But then again it is also up to us to let them know that is what we want.

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    PoPo February 24, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    So I guess I’d better walk the talk….

    In response to your request for input, Ms. Meron (#96), while I don’t at all want to downplay the significance of this event for the victim, I would have to say that building this into more than an isolated incident (such as suggesting major discord between two quite similar athletic subsets of our city [joggers and bikers] in a news article), based solely on this posting, might be making something out of nothing. And I fear that it could potentially be detrimental and divisive to Portland’s community as a whole. I would say that the amount of respect and cooperation between these two groups as they negotiate the same roads and sidewalks every day far outweighs the occasional hiccup.

    If that is not the type of article you had in mind, I apologize. That’s simply what my mind jumped to.

    I know that tone is hard to discern via e-mail. Please know that mine is intended to be respectful and open.
    If you would like to chat about this, or would like any additional perspective for your article based on what I see working the streets of Portland in a police car and on a police bicycle, please feel free to contact me (Ofc. Pickett) at SE Precinct–503-823-2143.

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    erin g. February 24, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    This website and related forums provide an excellent opportunity for people to exchange ideas and dialogues about important issues that impact our community (thanks, Jonathan!). I hope that folks start to primarily use this avenue for problem-solving, rather than as an outlet for slinging personal insults and accusations. As I look at responses to this and other serious topics, it is disheartening to see that oftentimes the potential for unifying, proactive discussion is overshadowed by angry rants that tend to veer from the very issue at hand.

    In the case of the allegedly assaulted Sellwood Bridge cyclist, kudos to all who offered forward-moving means of addressing the problem, from encouraging the victim to file a police report to providing a web link for concerned citizens to express concerns about Sellwood Bridge safety online.

    I understand that people don’t always agree, and that there are infinite perspectives to each situation. But I also encourage everyone to embrace this online community as a tool and an opportunity to connect and take action, rather than wasting time, energy, and space on arguments that that go nowhere. After my bike was stolen and described in an article ran in The Oregonian, I was astonished to see what occurred here online after the fact.

    Most importantly, my heart goes out to the possible assault victim. I hope that she files a police report. It is such a shame that these things happen. Many of we avid cyclists have a tale or two to share about being physically attacked while riding, and the only way to lessen the frequency of such incidents is by showing perpetrators that there are serious consequences. I hope we can all support her by showing solidarity and proactive behavior as opposed to furthering the tangential arguments manifested in this forum.

    Best wishes to all, and ride safely,

    erin g.

    (not to be confused with the Erin above with the “passionate lust to retort”…btw, I think you all should either kiss or go for a ride and make up!)

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    Scott February 25, 2007 at 6:03 am

    I couldn’t have said that better myself. Bravo, Erin. That post deserves front page news, in my opinion.

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    Reverend Ebb February 26, 2007 at 11:43 am

    (Scott, you mean ‘erin g’, right?) 😉 Jonathan, keep up the good work. Thanks for providing this forum.

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