By Alan Gionet

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Artist Nard Claar paints bright, colorful mixed media images. Many show the bicycling he loves. But what happened last Thursday is all a blur.

Nard Claar (credit: CBS)

He was out on a simple ride with a friend on March 28 in Colorado Springs when he didn’t see a cord stretched across a bridge on the Rock Island Trail east of Academy Boulevard near Constitution Avenue.

“A criminal and very violent act,” a banged-up Claar called it.

(credit: Trails and Open Space Coalition)

His right side is heavily bruised and his arm in a sling. He has three broken ribs and a broken clavicle.

“If I wasn’t wearing a helmet, or even if a little bit different action, with the helmet I could have easily been killed,” he said.

(credit: Trails and Open Space Coalition)

The helmet shattered. While he doesn’t remember much and was knocked out for about 20 minutes, he thinks the cord caught in his front brakes and he went over head first. The cord broke, which is fortunate for his riding companion right behind him who also went down but is less seriously hurt.

69-year-old Claar is a lifelong biker, having competed in road and mountain biking in the past. He has taken the trail hundreds of times.

Police have no arrests. There was word of teenagers in the area, and there’s a school nearby, but there’s nothing pointing to either. The incident brought an angry response from Trails and Open Space Coalition director Susan Davies.

“The offender is as much a criminal in our eyes as the person who hides along a road and shoots at unsuspecting passing cars.”

Claar shows some of his bruises from his crash. (credit: CBS)

Claar cannot paint with his injuries or ride. But he plans on riding again.

“I wish they would understand the consequences and the pain they caused,” he said.

Alan Gionet