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Biking Portland’s Protests

For more than two months now, downtown Portland has been the site of daily protests. Local bicycle groups have mobilized, lending their numbers to the thousands of others at the scene. While riding is an effective way to protest and provides some additional safety benefits, it is important to take the steps needed to protect yourself against bicycle accidents and injuries. 

Bicyclists Swarm on Protests

Protests over racial injustice have been raging nightly in cities across the country. Those in Portland have gained national attention due to the large turnout and the aggressive tactics of federal officials who patrol the streets. 

In addition to the thousands of people marching, bicyclists have turned up in large numbers. According to a news report by, alongside individual riders, organized mass rides have mobilized in cities on both coasts. Bicycling can provide a certain level of protection for protestors. In addition to wearing helmets and other protective gear, bicyclists can easily maneuver in and out of potentially dangerous situations, dodging police and any aggressive tactics they are likely to employ. Rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, and batons are generally easier to dodge when riding a bike. 

Bike Portland has a long history of hosting group rides and ‘bike swarms’ in support of area protests. When bicyclists assembled in large numbers, they can provide important support by leading marches, effectively blocking intersections, and protecting protestors from police and passing vehicles. 

Preventing Bike Accidents During Protests

Bicycling offers certain advantages in protests, but it also carries certain risks. Putting yourself between aggressive law enforcement officials and angry protestors can increase the likelihood of being caught in the crossfire. Blocking intersections or simply riding around the outskirts of the protest also increases the risk of being attacked by those who oppose the movement and by drivers in passing vehicles. 

To protect yourself during bike protests and to prevent potentially serious injuries, Gear Patrol offers the following tips: 

  • Stick with a group: Riding with a group of others is generally safer than riding alone.
  • Know the plan: If you are attending a group ride, familiarize yourself with the organizers and the route they will be taking. 
  • Maintain your bike: To prevent mishaps, give your bike a maintenance check before you go. 
  • Listen to protest leaders: Follow instructions and heed any warnings issued. 
  • Stay alert: Amidst all the crowds, be aware of nearby traffic, flying objects, and other potential hazards. 
  • Keep your hands on the wheel: Use a backpack to carry water and first aid supplies. If you make a sign to take to the protest, attach it to your bike rather than holding it. 

Let Us Help You Today

If a bicycle accident does occur, make note of exactly where it happened and who was involved. File a police report as soon as possible and seek medical care for your injuries. At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., are here to help you in filing a claim. To request a consultation, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland bicycle accident attorneys online today.


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.