Bike-A-Bee Founder Attacked By Men In SUV While Biking

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 20, 2013 6:00PM

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Cyclists dedicated to commuting everywhere on pedal power can tell you stories of close calls and late-night encounters with motorists who want nothing more than to intimidate them off the road. On some occasions those encounters can turn violent. This is one of those stories.

Graphic Designer and illustrator Jana Kinsman is best known as the founder of Bike-a-Bee, where she tends beehives in community gardens across Chicago, biking to each hive. Kinsman was biking from Logan Square to a friend’s house in Albany Park last night when she was accosted four men in a purple Chevy Tahoe. According to Kinsman, the truck got so close to her it touched her. One of the men reached out, grabbed her messenger bag and pulled her and the bike in close to the truck, which by then was speeding down Kimball. Kinsman was rightfully frightened as her bike slammed into a parked car and the man let go of her bag.

“I’m tired today,” Kinsman told Chicagoist over the phone. Her roommate came to her assistance and took her to the hospital. Kinsman has pain in her left arm, road rash on her knees and bruising. As for her bicycle, her front wheel is totaled and her front fork and headset may be shot, but the good news out of this is that these were the only physical injuries she suffered.

“It’s the worst act of street harassment to be fucked with by someone driving a car,” Kinsman said. She took to Twitter to detail her experience, where a friend compiled the tweets into the Storify below. Kinsman filed a police report (HW415248 on Beat 1412) and police told her they’re considering the case a hit and run. If anyone has more information that could lead to arrests in the incident, please call 311.

Kinsman is meeting with attorney Jim Freeman, who specializes in bicycle accidents, and a fundraiser to cover her medical expenses may be in the works. "Thank God Chicago has such a solid bike community," Kinsman said. "The reaction and support from them has been amazing."