Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Bike flies off car on I-5, owners now report it as stolen

Posted by on March 7th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Lost on I-5 south of Morrison Bridge.

Portlander Rebecca Bookman is heartbroken today because her beloved bike is missing. To make matters worse, it suffered a violent fate and it all happened in agonizingly slow motion.

Rebecca’s boyfriend, local bike shop employee Todd Foreman-Kinder says he was driving her to school on I-5 southbound near the Morrison Bridge overpass when a strap on their hitch rack broke and sent the Redline R550 road bike tumbling onto the freeway. Todd saw it happen, but was helpless. “I couldn’t just stop in the middle of the freeway,” he told me today.

Todd turned around at his nearest opportunity and headed north on I-5. As he rolled by where the bike had fallen off, he saw a guy on his cell phone stopped in the left shoulder. “It was the weirdest thing.”

By the time he could double back, there was hardly a trace anything had happened. “The people were gone and all that was left was a skidmark.”

Todd’s not sure if the bike caused a collision; but so far, calls to ODOT, PBOT and the Police Bureau don’t reveal any report filed. Nor has anyone called to report a found bike. Todd is surprised that someone would actually take a random bike that fell off a car on the freeway. “It’s even got a decal with her name right on the frame… It wouldn’t be that hard to look her up.”

Todd posted the incident to the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association email list. Jeff Tedder replied to say he’d seen the bike and that it looked like it had been run over. “I thought at the time,” wrote Tedder, “that’s weird because neither of the cars had bike racks on them.”

Todd and Rebecca are still hoping the $1,000 bike turns up. Todd is trolling Craigslist and he’s posted a stolen bike listing. Keep your eyes peeled for a Redline like the one in the photo above with a “Rebecca” sticker on the top tube and a few major dings.

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. Thank you — Jonathan

  • dan March 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Unfortunately, if has really been run over, it’s probably not rideable even if it were to be recovered. Maybe file a renter’s, homeowner’s or auto insurance claim?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Granpa March 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    If it fell in front of a motorcyclist that person could be in critical condition.

    Pity that the bike got dropped, but the consequences could be more significant than lost property.

    Recommended Thumb up 17

  • john March 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Whoa. Stuff flying off vehicles traveling at high speed is extremely dangerous. It’s YOUR responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen. If this had happened to me (which it wouldn’t, and never will), I would have been scared to death until I was sure no one got killed and the bike was removed from the roadway. Especially on a Freeway. People drive different on a freeway.

    If a good samaritan had removed it for me, I would be extremely grateful. I would feel lucky if a law enforcement officer didn’t haul me to jail, and very relieved if all I got was a ticket and a fine, because I would know I deserve it and the lesson learned.

    If I ever carry stuff outside my vehicle, in the bed or whatever. I strap it down. Then I tie it down. then I strap it some more. Then shake and try to pull it off or out of vehicle. Then I tie it some more. You get the idea. IMHO, You can’t be careful enough.

    All I can say is lucky lucky lucky..

    Recommended Thumb up 18

  • Zach March 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    The straps on racks seem pretty secure, but I’ve always doubled up with a bungee cord just to make sure.

    I’m going to keep doing that.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • 9watts March 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “If this had happened to me (which it wouldn’t, and never will)”
    glad you are so diligent about tying stuff down, John, but let’s not be too cocky.

    Todd probably knew what he was doing too. Freak stuff happens.
    My mom lost a bike off the trunk rack on her car on the same section of the freeway that I tied on. It too vanished without a trace in a very short amount of time. I know because I went looking for it on a bike 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 9

  • Jerry March 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    So sad. I passed by the scene probably minutes later. I saw the bike in the left shoulder of I-5. It was totalled. A truck and a car were pulled over just past the wreckage of the bike. I am relieved that it was just a bike that was run over. I’d guess that at least one of the vehicles that stopped had hit it. If so, Todd may be liable for the damage to the car.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • J-R March 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    A friend got a citation for operation of an unsafe vehicle for a piece of 2×4 that fell off his truck and that he immediately stopped to pick up. His mistake was admitting to the cop that it fell off his truck.

    Sorry about the bike. Be thankful if no one got hurt and if you avoid having any other expenses for traffic citations or damage to others.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Chris I March 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Why is admitting to something that you did a mistake? Your friend could have killed someone with his negligence.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Zaphod March 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    It can happen to those that are extremely careful. I had a wheel tightened quite snugly do a jumper some years ago. My error was that the sliding cam on an unfamiliar skewer design was not aligned such that it slipped into equilibrium and the wheel was no longer secure. I pay attention to how things work but there are lessons learned. Surely one could say, “not enough attention perhaps” and it’s hard to argue that point. But these things can happen to anyone.

    Since, I always run a cable lock through every bike/wheel thus creating a backup because I don’t want this happening again.

    I don’t put bikes on cars much anymore, unless it’s a zipcar.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • dwainedibbly March 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Not totalled. The chainring bolts might still be good.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • jim March 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I was following a flatbed truck one morning that had a bike sliding around on its bed. I was honking, flashing lights… but couldn’t get his attn. before he pulled onto the freeway onramp at which point the bike was right at the edge of the truck. I didn’t go on the freeway. I’m sure his bike was missing in no time though.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Todd March 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Jonathan, thank you for your article. My first and primary concern when the incident happened was the safety of the other drivers on the road. The bike was strapped down securely, the same way it had been hundreds of times before hand. It even had additional straps to tie it down. Things happen out of our control sometimes.

    I am more than willing to exchange insurance information with any driver involved, however they need to come forward and contact me first. I made every effort to return to the scene, recover the bike, and exchange info. The bike is probably done for, but we could at least have some closure rather than wondering.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Machu Picchu March 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Person on bike:, Person in car, Person driving truck: SECURE YOUR LOAD. Hey, well-meaning low-impact vulnerable road user – no excuse for losing crap on the road. It’s true that the freeway is a bad place to recover lost loads, so don’t lament them when someone spares them from impending wheels before you return.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • meh March 8, 2012 at 6:31 am

    The first conclusion was that it was stolen?

    How about it was taken as evidence by the driver who ran it over, so they could prove to their insurance company that the damage incurred was due to debris on the road?

    Or what about the possibility that at 60mph a piece of debris hit on the highway was thrown well clear and could not be found?

    There’s a name on the bike.

    Are you sure it is still there, and legible after falling off and most likely being run over? So how about giving it a bit more time than a day for someone to try and contact you. The bike is most likely in the hands of an insurance company.

    I really have to question the implication that somehow the driver who may or may not have taken the bike is the bad guy. Why is it that even when not at any fault because it is a driver and a cyclist, it becomes all about the mean old driver.

    And you are worried about your “closure”? What about the person who may have hit the debris or had to take evasive maneuvers to avoid hitting it? What kind of “closure” do they get after what can be a terrifying experience.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • middle of the road guy March 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

      Zero accountability

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Kristen March 8, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I’m a little aghast at the comments here.

    He went back immediately to pick up the remnants and, if needed, exchange insurance info with anyone who may have hit it and incurred damage. That says to me that he was practicing his due diligence.

    By the time he got back there, the bike was gone and so were the two people who had pulled over. He posted on the stolen bike listing and has this story here. I think the next thing to do is post on Craig’s list, or take an ad out in the newspaper or something.

    Straps fail; it’s not like he just stuck it on the rack and took off. Sometimes straps look just fine before they fail, sometimes they have obviously stressed spots that could fail. It happens, to everyone.

    He knows and acknowledges his fault in this; why heap more blame and shame on him?

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • matthew vilhauer March 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

      due dilligence-he drove off after he realized the bike fell off then reported it stolen…. AFTER IT FELL OFF HIS CAR! yes it fell off by accident but no one took the bike from him or off his property, it was removed from a freeway. if he bumped fenders with another car he would have pulled over, why did he not pull over when his bike FELL OFF HIS CAR ONTO THE ROADWAY!?!?

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • woogie March 8, 2012 at 10:11 am

    There may not be a report made to ODOT until the driver goes to their insurance company and gets an assessment of the damage. You have 72 hours to report an accident and only then if damage exceeds $1500, or there is personal injury or death.

    So maybe giving some time to allow the person to get the proper forms, fill them out and submit them to ODOT would be a better reaction to this incident.

    While recovering your bike is your priority, I’m sure to the driver getting their car fixed. A little patience and understanding goes a long way.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Oh Word? March 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    “Todd is surprised that someone would actually take a random bike that fell off a car on the freeway”


    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • dwainedibbly March 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Abandoned property? Finders keepers? Law of salvage?

    Seriously, if you don’t pull over immediately, you are essentially giving up your rights. If I have to swerve to miss your trash in the road, I own it if I remove it from the roadway.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • steve popp March 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Bad Karma

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • 007 March 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Whatever it is, if it’s not locked, bolted down, tied up…someone will think it’s free game. Can’t leave your kids’ trikes and bikes lying in the yard, someone will think they’re entitled to it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Howe March 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I know Todd, great guy! I would bet he has fastened more bikes to cars then all you combined! He works a a bike shop! For all the “haters” you better start “triple” checking your tie down jobs because Karma is a b#tch!
    I would say he did all that he could do to resolve this situation! With the exception of standing on the side of the highway with a big sign!
    I imagine if it had caused a HUGE accident there would have been people there when he got back to the scene!
    To all the people out there who just want to be “negative” aren’t there some political forums you could be HATING on?

    John Howe
    Team Beer!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • woogie March 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Maybe it’s because everything he said here really came across as self centered.

      Saying the bike was stolen.
      Wanting closure.
      Complaining that no one waited around for him.
      Getting upset that nothing was reported the same day.

      A great guy who really didn’t consider the other persons position or point of view.

      He really didn’t come across all that great in this case.

      Just an observation.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • jeff March 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    If it fell off the top of their car at high speed, its no longer worth $1000.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • JF March 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I have hit a bike that fell off a rack on I-5 three years ago on a roadtrip in CA. And I have NO sympathy for the person whose vehicle it fell off of.

    In this case, it appears the driver Lost the bike, plain and simple.

    Why doesn’t everyone who has lost a bike get an article on Bike Portland? Maybe this should be more of a ‘lessons learned’ type article instead of a sob-fest for the person who lost their bike.

    Perhaps a friendly reminder that anyone can have this happend and double check connections on bike racks, even if you have done it a thousand times.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Howe March 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I wish all the “haters” would actually use their real names instead of being annonamous! That way if you meet them in the real world you would know they are just negative d-bags!
    Jonathon might write an article about you, if you had something worthwhile to say!
    Todd is just trying to sort out a “bummer”!
    Maybe he should just take the “heaping loads of cash” he makes at the bike shop and buy his girlfriend a new one!
    Maybe he should have chalked this up as a loss and not said anything, but he is trying to make it right!

    To the “annonamous” person who ran over a bike on I-5 on your way to California, maybe YOU should have been paying more attention! Not tailgating! Or talking on the phone! Maybe you should have stayed in California! Learn to drive!

    John Howe

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • matthew vilhauer March 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      john-have a beer, or two, chill… everything will be fine.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

    • matthew vilhauer March 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      and please use spellcheck…

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • jim March 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    It always sucks to lose something of the back of your truck (or car) it was too bad it happened to be a $1000 bike. Kudos for coming back, If he were able to pull over right away he might have got it back, or me might have got injured or killed attempting it. TG nobody was injured, a bike can be replaced, …

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • John Howe March 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Bike was recovered, not totaled and nobody was injured! Spellcheck is for the unimaginative!



    Recommended Thumb up 1