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Bike-a-Bee founder injured in hit-and-run crash

Bicyclist JanKinsman's was struck dragged by SUV early Tuesday. | JanKinsman photos

Bicyclist Jana Kinsman's was struck and dragged by a SUV early Tuesday. | Jana Kinsman photos

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Bicycling beekeeper describes Logan Square hit-and-run on Twitter
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Updated: September 22, 2013 6:28AM

The Chicago woman who launched Bike-A-Bee — a bicycling beekeeping project — was hit and dragged by a SUV while riding her bike early Tuesday in Logan Square.

Active in Chicago’s biking and social media community, Jana Kinsman, 27, took to Twitter hours later to describe the 12:20 a.m. hit-and-run crash in the 2600 block of North Kimball, even providing a police report number to help catch the driver: “So last night I was attacked while riding my bicycle,” she tweeted Tuesday morning.

Chicago Police say a maroon Chevy Tahoe apparently hit the woman as she rode her bike, with the SUV’s mirror getting entangled on a messenger bag she was wearing.

Kinsman ultimately crashed her bike into a parked car and fell to the ground while the SUV sped off.

But Kinsman believes a man in the rear of the SUV grabbed her messenger bag: “I didn’t see a hand, but I felt it, I felt a hand on my bag, and he grabbed me violently,” she told the Sun-Times on Tuesday.

Kinsman said three men in the car were “shouting things,” and when she began screaming, her bicycle smashed into a parked car: “I felt the weight of the arm just let go, and I just landed on the pavement.”

“They’re yelling angrily at me, but also laughing,” she tweeted.

Police said Kinsman refused medical attention. But she later went to the emergency room to be treated for cuts and scrapes.

Now, the beekeeper who relies on her bike to work and live has to stay off the road.

“I’ve got severe bruising on my upper left arm and a lot of road rash on my knees and my elbow, and just kind of a lot of body pain,” Kinsman said. “ . . . I can’t bike for a while.”

Kinsman said she bikes Kimball every day. She said, as a safe biker, she feels violated.

“It sounded like they were just screwing around, kind of like it was a game,” Kinsman said. “It just felt like a huge violation.”

Kinsman said she started describing the attack on Twitter as a way of notifying most of her friends. She didn’t realize it would spread to the rest of the city.

A Storify — a social media tool which creates a digital timeline — of the woman’s tweets, created by a friend, had been viewed more than 7,900 times Tuesday afternoon.

Last year, Kinsman, also an illustrator and graphic designer, raised $7,000 on Kickstarter for hive equipment and packages of bees for Bike-A-Bee, which she uses to maintain urban farms and gardens around town. For most of the year, Kinsman rides her bike two days a week and cares for about 16 hives located across the city, including in front of an elementary school in Lake View, according to her website.

“Beekeeping in Chicago is pretty active, and I wanted to do it in a really public way,” Kinsman said. “I’m all about advocacy and teaching people. If you keep bees in public gardens, people become more comfortable with them and understand why they’re so important.”


Twitter: @tinasfon

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