Just this week, Drew Ditlefsen, a 27-year-old delivery man for Peace Coffee was targeted by a Molotov cocktail while riding the trail, reports Metcalfe. "But it's only the latest in a string of attacks on cyclists on the Greenway, an otherwise pleasant 5.5 mile trail for bikers and joggers sited along an old railroad track in south Minneapolis. Wanderers of the scenic byway have been punched, dragged screaming into the woods, had rocks thrown at them, basically everything except set on fire (and it seems the bad guys are working on that)."
Metcalfe provides a brief timeline of the variety of incidents that have occurred since 2007, which include robbery and assault.
"It's not clear if the path is any more dangerous than the city streets. Out of 1.5 million bike trips per year on the Greenway, there are fewer than five assaults on bikers, according to the Midtown Greenway Coalition. The trails are monitored by volunteer patrols and sometimes Minneapolis police in squad cars (some of whom, unfortunately, are yelled at by bikers to get off the trail). The coalition is also pressing the city for additional safety measures, like better lights and more security cameras, and has offered to subsidize Krav Maga classes to bicyclists who want to learn self-defense."