Unhooked bike brakes make ‘scary’ ride

The brakes on Jennifer Centers' bike were disconnected by, she believes, people who were trying to steal her tires. She managed to avoid an accident, Sept. 9, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
The brakes on Jennifer Centers' bike were disconnected by, she believes, people who were trying to steal her tires. She managed to avoid an accident, Sept. 9, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While Jennifer Centers was in a grocery store in the Cully neighborhood on Sunday, she thinks somebody tried to steal the wheels from her bike. Instead, they disconnected the brakes.

Centers stopped at the store on her way home from the Albertsons store at NE Prescott and Cully. When she left, she got on her bike and traveled down a hill — and noticed her brakes weren’t working.

She had to stop with her feet.

The brakes on Jennifer Centers' bike were disconnected by, she believes, people who were trying to steal her tires. She managed to avoid an accident, Sept. 9, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
The brakes on Jennifer Centers’ bike were disconnected by, she believes, people who were trying to steal her tires. She managed to avoid an accident, Sept. 9, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

“Thankfully, there were no cars coming. There was nothing I had to do — any kind of maneuvering or anything — but it was scary nonetheless,” she said.

Centers said she remembered “some guys” standing near her bike as she left the grocery store.

“One of them was scurrying that way and, in hindsight, I realize he was probably trying to take the tires off my bike.”

She avoided a serious accident and now wants others to be aware of the issue.

“I’ve posted it on Facebook and I’m trying to tell everyone I know [who] cycles to check your brakes before you leave,” she told KOIN 6 News.

Centers moved to Portland in June and brought her bike with her — just one of many places she has taken the bike.

“I’ve had this for a couple years now,” she said. “I took it to Ireland.”

She rides her bike to work and her normal route takes her down a steep hill at a fast pace. So she’s thankful she was just around the neighborhood Sunday when her brakes were disconnected.

“This is a very cycle-friendly, cycle-safe city, or so I thought. But obviously you have to be aware.”

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