Injured Ogden cyclist raises road hazard alarm

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:56 PM

Bubba Brown, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — Greg Bean considers himself an experienced bicyclist. But experience, he says, isn’t always enough to stay safe from road hazards bikers can face.

Bean said he was riding his bike home Monday when his tires slipped into large, unmarked grooves in the road caused by a construction company. He estimates he was going about 30 mph when he hit the grooves, and he was thrown from his bike, giving him a concussion, a sprained shoulder and a hefty amount of road rash.

Similar grooves along the road had been filled in, he said, and he had noticed them before. Dangers like the grooves are why vehicle traffic isn’t the only thing bikers need to be aware of when riding in the street.

“Hazards like that are common for bicyclists,” said Bean, who added he likely would have seen the grooves if he hadn’t been approaching an intersection and watching for traffic. “I’ve seen them all over.”

His medical costs are covered, but he’s trying to get the construction company that made the grooves to help pay to repair his bike.

“Under the circumstances, I feel that it should have been filled in or marked,” he said. “… I’m not looking to get rich or hose anybody. But I would like to get my bike fixed. I’m a student that doesn’t have a lot of money to get it fixed.”

Though the company, which Bean declined to name for legal reasons, has since filled in the grooves, it seems to Bean that the company is reluctant to pay for the bike’s repair. To support his claim, Bean is hoping to track down a woman driving a Ford Mustang who saw the crash and helped make sure he was OK.

“Anyone who saw what happened would think the construction company kind of blew it,” he said.

Though the grooves that caused his crash were wide and deep, it doesn’t always have to be a large hazard to be a danger, Bean said.

“Sometimes, a narrow crack in a road is enough,” he said, noting many road bikes have tires narrower than an inch. “If you’re not careful, you can catch in them.”

Vic Saunders, spokesman for Utah Department of Transportation, said UDOT doesn’t get many complaints from bicyclists getting hurt from hazards on the road, but he agreed that hazards do exist.

“We try to repair them as soon as possible,” he said, adding that Utah has some of the best-kept roads in the country.

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