The Chainlink


Long time Chain Link lurker, infrequent commenter looking for advice.

I'm sure unfortunately someone else has had to deal with this nightmare.

I work on the loop, I parked entirely on the sidewalk, came back and the rear triangle is bent partially around the bike rack. Obviously no note.

I work in the area and some businesses said they could provide footage with a police report. Easy enough?

I asked an officer, he said I needed to call 311.

I called 311 they said ask an officer.

Someone else told me to go to a station.

I ended up reporting through the CPD online crime reporting form after an hour and a half of trying to figure out who to talk to.

The disagreement seemed to be if the bike was a vehicle (it is).

I'm not even entirely sure what to do when I find out who did the damage. Given the intersection I would guess it's a bus (LaSalle and Jackson). Should I work through my homeowners if I find out the driver?

Any advice is appreciated.

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I'm sorry to see this happened to you.  It looks like somebody came over the curb to hit your bike.

I don't know the value of the bike or whether the damage is repairable, or at what cost.  You need to check the deductible on your homeowner's insurance.  Commonly, it's at least $500.00 or more.  Depending on the situation, it may be as much or more as the value of the bike or the cost of repair.  In that case, there's no point in making a claim.  Plus, any claim will cause them to raise your insurance rate.  Insurance companies exist to make money for themselves.  They are not on your side.

Myself, I'd obtain any footage I could and see what it showed.  If it was a CTA bus, you could make a claim with the city.  It would be a hassle, but maybe you could recover something.  Good luck!  And on the plus side, at least you weren't riding the bike when this happened.


Thanks, I figured I'd wait on the insurance call for the police report and then if it wasn't the city they might be able to help identify the owner.

It is probably not worth making a claim. I would say the value of the bike is just over the deductible.

I just built up this 'cheaper' commuter bike late this summer to use in the bad weather on my 29 mile round trip commute. It had about 350 miles.

Talk to security at adjacent buildings TODAY and see what video footage you can get to see if you can identify the vehicle. Retention periods vary, so it's a good idea to act on this as soon as possible. 

Given the location, there's a good chance that it's a CTA bus, but you never know unless you've got video or a live witness.

Thanks, I have the same concern regarding retention of footage, all buildings are requiring the CPD to issue the report prior to reviewing footage.

Are they actually asking to have a printed report, or just have the case # you get after submitting a report (online or verbally)?

311 was right, the police officer was wrong. A crime was committed, and you needed to file a report - the police officer you spoke to should have taken one. Whether or not a bicycle is a vehicle is irrelevant. I'm sorry this happened to you - it sucks!

The bikes dead.

Replace it and move on with your life because I doubt you are going to get very little satisfaction for the time you have to put in.

I have basically come to this conclusion. I think you're right. Thanks.

Vehicle collusions would be covered under your automobile (including non-driver) policy.  Homeowners might cover non-vehicular damage, theft, removal of parts, etc.

Coincidentally, I had my bike crushed by a lift gate of a delivery truck in essentially the same spot. I had security footage that didn't reveal the driver or company but ultimately my deductible was too high to file a claim. Hopefully you have a better outcome. Regardless, I no longer lock up in areas where potential loading/unloading occur.
If you're interested in the outcome the ending is basically happy.

I did contact the police 4 times about this, but not with a ton of conviction and ultimately never successfully filed a report. I really just thought I needed a piece of paper to have the footage reviewed. I didn't believe that the CPD would or should investigate the accident. During this process I actually received confirmation that the footage was obscured by construction equipment in the intersection that day. Without footage of the damage I decided to stop pursuing a police report. This revelation was helpful as I bought the bike as a bad weather beater (a nice beater, but, I commute 29ish miles round-trip a day). It was time to let go and move on...

The next day I logged onto my credit card website (discover) and saw the banner ad for accidental damage coverage. $500 max for purchases in the past 90 days. Check and check. This is a great option as it really has none of the downsides of making a a claim on my homeowners policy. I started the process and was curious if I would need to start trying to get a police report again, nope. I did need to provide statement from the CC, receipt, photos of the damage, statements from bike merchants regarding the possibility of repair/replacement and am expecting a check in 7-10 business days for the purchase amount.

I hope none of you find yourself in a similar situation, but, if you do, this accident policy was very easy (although a bit slow to respond) to navigate with none of downsides of using my homeowners.

Good info on the update and a cautionary tale of where to lock up in this car sick theft ridden city.


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