Monday, May 18, 2009

Car used as a weapon against cyclists

... or at least that's the impression one gets.

A motorist - most likely a semi-Neanderthal who thinks he's entitled to the road - had a run-in with a couple cyclists Saturday evening in downtown Boise. (This was just a short time after the "Pedal Power Parade" - I hope it's not related.)

Evidently he honked at a couple cyclists, then passed them, then slammed on his brakes, causing one of them to plow into the back of his late-model black Dodge Charger. Then he drove away.

Were the cyclists "asking for it"?


Well - very improbable.

Unless they were threatening him with physical harm (which seems unlikely), he has no right to endanger them by his own actions.

(Although, to be totally honest and frank... who hasn't seen uppity cyclists who think they are entitled to the road, and at least briefly entertained the thought of giving 'em some redneck driving lessons? Cyclists can do a lot to avoid angry road-rage confrontations. Too bad some of them are hellbent on behaving like the stupid rednecks who drive cars and pickups with a hostile, confrontational attitude.)

The fact that this musclehead drove off afterwards is certainly an indicator of who is likely the guilty party. I hope his shiny black Charger was severely damaged, and somebody identifies him. Car-as-weapon should be automatic forefeiture of driving privileges.

The official news story can be read HERE.

"Can't we all just get along?"
- Rodney King, 20th century statesman/philosopher


Anonymous said...

A great many of the cyclists I've observed (ESPECIALLY Bike Week participants) have been - unfortunately - riding like complete and utter idiots.

4 abreast in the road alongside a bike lane. Headlong directly TOWARDS traffic - in between lanes - on Capitol (causing people to slam on brakes) during the Basque Block Kick Off.

And my favorites: 1. Dark clothes, dark bike, no lights on dark North End and other streets, and 2. Tear assing up sidewalks expecting pedestrians to step aside (WRONG! I WILL stand my ground!).

I am a long time cyclist - both motorized and pedal - and it saddens me to say that most cyclists around here appear to be narcissists or completely ignorant of their responsibilities on the road.

Wait, wait... I almost forgot Three!

3. People who drive their cars to within a few blocks of a favorite hang, park, unload the bikes and bike up all spandex'd out to quaff a few beers - ride back to the Range Rover, load up the bikes, and drive home drunk.

Seen it plenty around Hyde Park.

Bikeboy said...

Dear Anonymous...

Your accusations are both startling and accurate. THANKS for sharing. (Wasn't aware of the "poser" behavior being so blatant... but I s'pose is the bicycling equivalent of the "bikers" who trailer their righteous Harleys to Rapid City, then ride the 30 miles or so into Sturgis. Hahahahaha!)

We all tend to stereotype. Some yokel in a pickup does something stupid... I tend to characterize all pickup drivers as dumb hicks, when it truly ain't so! Same thing with cyclists... motorists see some 2-wheel moron operating in the dark without lights, riding against traffic, ignoring traffic signals... and we all get a black eye. (But still... no excuse for administering the penalty with your vehicle.)

db said...

Yes, there are bad cyclists, just as there are bad auto drivers. Neither justifies deliberately assaulting a cyclist or a driver.

Unrelated to this post, but of interest to cyclists: the downtown association wants cyclists to weigh in on bike lockers.

- Downtown assocation website.- The survey itself.

bob t said...

The cyclist who was injured in this incident has posted an account here.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I was subscribing to stereotypes (above); but certainly recognize that the great many cyclists are doing the right thing.

And regardless of whether it's a tandem bike with Satan and Rush Limbaugh weaving through traffic or me sainted mum, no cyclist should have to fear rolling steel.