MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s not something you would expect to see out on a bike ride on the Midtown Greenway. On Wednesday, a bicyclist narrowly avoided a Molotov cocktail, that was tossed from the bridge.
For most of us when we think of going for a bike ride you would think you’d have a nice, pleasant ride — certainly not having to worry about dodging homemade weapons or rocks being thrown at you.
But, that’s exactly what happened to the bikers we talked to on Thursday that were on the Greenway — and their trips went from nice rides to dangerous escapes.
“I heard the glass break and almost immediately it was just a wooosh,” said Drew Ditlefsen, cyclist.
That was the sound Ditlefsen heard when a Molotov cocktail thrown from the bridge above him hit the ground — just barely missing him on his bike.
“Turning around the flames were pretty big, three-feet high, like an explosion,” he said.
It’s the most recent incident of bikers dealing with all kinds of things being thrown at them on the Midtown Greenway.
Patrick Kane remembers the night in 2007 when he had to hide under a bridge and wait for help.
“Stuff was coming over the edge, flower pots, rocks and trees and bottles,” he said.
He said one biker tried to go through and got hit by a rock.
“I was frightened, of course, very frightened,” he said.
Still, Minneapolis Police said incidents like these are isolated.
“It’s very rare that we have something to this level occurring along the Greenway,” said Inspector Tony Diaz, of the Minneapolis Police.
Police are still looking for the people responsible for the Molotov cocktail.
They want bikers to be aware of the issue and pay attention to their surroundings on the Greenway.
“The more people know, the safer they can be,” Diaz said.
For Ditlefsen, he’s shaken from his experience but said he won’t stop riding on the trail.
“I would say it would probably be something that would happen to me so I think of it as a small percentage and something wild,” he said.
Midtown Greenway Coalition Executive Director Soren Jensen said every year about 1.5 million bike trips take place on the Greenway and of those, there are less than five, at most, incidents like these reported. So while these things do happen, they are still rare.