Bumps in the road. Potholes. Dogs nipping at heels. Cars rocketing past, inches away from knocking you into a ditch, or worse "” oblivion.

Life has always been a bit dangerous for a cyclist. And it didn't help when, in June, two morning DJs on WMJI FM in Cleveland began a free-for-all discussion on ridding the road of cyclists. Suggestions, reportedly, included edging bikers off the street or unexpectedly opening car doors as they cycled past. Days later, more suggestions were being tossed out on the air, like throwing penny rolls and cans at cyclists.

Ever since, there have been mutterings of lawsuits in the cycling community.

Talk like this catches the attention of Steven Magas, perhaps one of the nation's premier bicycle attorneys.

Olivas & Magas, Magas' law practice based in the Cincinnati suburb of Newtown, has befriended the bicyclist. An attorney who specializes in personal injuries, Magas also has a passion for the pedal. While coming to the legal rescue of a cyclist doesn't sound like much of a business, consider the fact that there are 140,000 bicycling accidents every year, according to the American Public Health Association.

And Magas, 46, handles more than his share of shoddily constructed handlebars, representing injured parties and victims of good dogs gone bad.

For example, nearly 30 percent of Magas' cases each year are dedicated to assisting cyclists recover financial compensation for injury. Magas advertises his services in cycling publications and he promotes himself as "the Bike Lawyer."

Defending the cyclist from harm is Magas' mission statement. It's also lucrative work.

"From an income standpoint, a bike case will always be worth more than an automobile wreck," Magas says, "because there are worse injuries." Magas notes he has never seen a wreck between an auto and bike in which the car driver was as badly beat up as the cyclist.

An avid cyclist himself, Magas regularly embarks on 20-mile trips. He's also busy raising two sons, Andrew, 14, and Daniel, 9. In his off time, he's playing trumpet in four different bands, mostly with the Cincinnati Rhythm Band, but also with Dangerous Jim and the Slims. (He's one of the Slims.)

Magas is well known throughout the country, but particularly so in Ohio. A few years ago, Magas was involved in a case in which the city of Trotwood sued a cyclist for backing up traffic during rush hour. Magas represented the cyclist and lost, the only bike case he has lost. But he won on appeal.

His caseload is always diverse and usually spread throughout Ohio. He's recently been working on cases in and around Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.

One of his clients is a young man who had been riding 26 or 27 mph on a 40 mph road "” "a pretty hardy pace for a bike," Magas says. A car turned in front of the cyclist and sent him flying. He fractured his hand and is now facing about $4,000 in medical bills.

Magas, meanwhile, is trying to determine if a senior citizen has a solid case. The man was racing in the Senior Olympics on a $7,000 bike that started shimmying as he was racing downhill; the senior was sent flying, shattering his hip socket.

And he has several dog cases. "Those are big these days. I'm not sure why," says Magas, whose clients have crashed after being chased by canines of all sizes, from a 12-pound puppy to a 160-pound St. Bernard.

"It's usually the same story," Magas says. "The dog gets entangled in the cyclist's feet, or the cyclist stops in a sudden way to avoid running into the dog, and the laws of physics take over, and they go head over handlebars. And the law, when it comes to dogs, from a lawyer's perspective, is great. The dog owner has absolute liability. It doesn't matter how caring the dog is, or how careful the dog owner was; if the dog gets loose, it's the dog owner's fault."

Magas has collected as much as $30,000 for an accident caused by a dog. But Magas notes that except in extreme cases, "I don't sue people who don't have insurance." He believes he's on solid ethical ground for going after homeowners whose dogs have escaped or bike manufacturers that have let a poorly constructed cycle slip by.

"I feel good about protecting people's rights. I've seen injuries from simply bad to brain-dead to death," Magas says. "That's why people get so upset about what happened with the radio stations. It goes from humor to literally life or death."