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redneck almost killed me 2day(36 posts)

redneck almost killed me 2dayRubiks_Manuever
Jan 15, 2003 3:12 AM
OK here's the scenario:
I'm pedaling my way to work, after having rode my regular 42 mile route through the hills, aero backpak and look pedal/cleat combo, etc. when a HUGE all-black tow-truck blares his horn at me for several seconds and then roars past, immediately cutting over on the shoulder in front of me, forcing me to slam on the brakes. I stopped and asked him what the problem was. He growled at me, "Get off the f*ckin road, there's no bike lane here!" Of course, in Asheville, NC, there are no bike lanes ANYWHERE, but I let it slide and started to pedal on. I heard him say "Dumb-*ss", so I circled around on the other side of the road and looked for his plate #. At this point, he got out of the truck and started to try to come at me from the other side of the busy road, yelling and challenging me to a "fight". I memorized his plate #, and I as I was trying to re-clip in, he stooped down and picked up a lemon-sized rock from the side of the road and hurled it at me. I watched him do this, and ducked as it sailed over my helmet. I proceeded to the Farmer's Market security office, and called the sheriff's dept., giving them his plate #. I had to get to work however, and waited for them for about fifteen minutes. When I rode past the place he was already gone. I went to work, a little shaken up and a little angry. My friend at work who races locally told me he always carries a can of pepper spray and rides in group rides only. Did I do the right thing? Should I have ignored the whole event? Should I have attempted to un-velcro my pearl-izumi road flame shoes and have a hand-to-hand episode with this jerk? Should I file a police report? Agg! I am very bitter and need to know if I should even bother with this crap. Help? Does this only happen in the south? I used to live in Santa Barbara and had no problems. BTW I am six foot, 200 lbs but this guy didn't seem to care. My main concern was not to get my bike damaged and not to get physically hurt and thus be out of cycling shape. Wise? Wussy?
re: redneck almost killed me 2dayStevieP
Jan 15, 2003 4:01 AM
Sorry to hear you had aggro today. Not the best way to start a day.

I live in the Uk and we don't get that sort of aggro as often (or so it seems).

This topic has come up a few times in the last few weeks so it seems to be happening more frequently. I would suggest you scroll down the last 2 weeks threads as there was a lot of good advice.

What I would have personally done is hard to say - it depends on mood on the day really! I think you probably did the right thing in trying to preserve yourself and (more importantly:-))your bike.

Whether to press charges depends on whether you have witnesses. I know you are angry and want revenge but that might not be the best for you in the longrun as it would prolong your aggro.

Also, if you had a punch up at the time or you do decide to press charges, this bloke is likely to want to continue the feud.
Can you really risk that bearing in mind he drives a big truck? If he regularly drives your regular ride route then the chances are you will cross each others path again and I am sure you dont want that if you have p*ssed him off some more - who knows what he might do.

I think what I am trying to say is that I know you are cross & he was a grade A a$$hole for behving how he did. You want to stand up for your right to ride the road without aggro. However, how far are you willing to go for your right - far enough to put yourself at possible further risk?

It is prob best to put it down to experience & rise above it as best you can. It will be hard (male pride and all) but don't stoop to the drivers level.

Hope this helps. Ride safe and keep enjoying what you do and I really do hope that you never unfortunate to cross this guys path again.

Good luck
Steve
Here's My ThoughtsRoadrunner25
Jan 15, 2003 5:31 AM
You should have been late for work and waited on the local police and filed a report. The dude has at least two counts of assault, with the vehicle and the rock. (PS If the redneck police ever show up, leave your dog at home). You can still file a report today, do it!

He needs to learn a lesson.

Sadly, Bubba will seek revenge, it's a redneck thing. He will be looking for you again either way.

If he owns the truck, then you can sue him in civil court and subsequently you can own his truck. If not contact his employer and report him. He may be working for his cousin Clem by the way.

This is not a one time incident, he will try it again.

Try like crazy not to provoke any escalation of his anger if a repeat incident occurs. Nobody wins in those situations. Be assured Bubba probably carries a gun in his truck. He even has a name for it. I always carry pepper spray myself, but use it as a last resort.

Feel sorry for him, his dad is his uncle and he is a very confused person.
file a report, minimummadstork
Jan 15, 2003 5:31 AM
Sorry to hear you had to put up with this but I'm glad that you didn't get hurt.

I live in Burlington, NC and have had only one such episode in 15 years of riding. In my case, I didn't throw any punches at the guy as he had his family in the car (can you believe it!) and he may have had a "pistol packing mama" backing him up. Seemed too risky to take him on. He had buzzed my elbow, circled back I guess to do it again, so I stopped. He lectured me on how much space the law granted me for my bike, and he was entitled to the rest of the lane! I guess if I had taken more lane he would have run me over.

You were assaulted with a weapon. At least file a report, as I wish that I had in my case. No expert here, but if you have no witnesses (or the rock!), it's your word against his so charges may be hard to stick. But I bet the local authorities are familiar with this guy if not as a truck operator then as a criminal. The police may be on your side in a big way.

If the guy doesn't own his truck, then he works for someone else. The owner may not be happy with his employee throwing rocks at potential customers. If I owned the truck, that driver would be out of a job. If you file a report, maybe the owner gets a copy of it?

Just in the south? I don't think so. I've read similar accounts on this board, and they seem to be happening across the U.S. Mix in cars, bikes and the occasional nut case having a bad day and you have the potential for what occurred to you. Shake it off and keep riding.
Agree...file a reportbiknben
Jan 15, 2003 6:38 AM
Regardless of the outcome. It will alert police to his actions and will make this guy think twice about doing it again.

Personally, I doubt I'd be able to control myself if someone threw a rock at me and stood there waiting.
The South53T
Jan 15, 2003 9:53 AM
I live in the North, and I submit that this sort of thing only happens in the South, at least 95% of the time anyway. Up here, it just does not make sence to take time out of your day to harass cyclists. We have major traffic problems here in Mass due to overcrowding, and road construction (big dig anyone?). On the suburban roads (there are no rural roads) bikes don't slow anyone down, particularly a solo rider. On urban roads, the cars slow the bikes down. Stopping to harass anyone is just not a wise move up here. Anyone is lible to shoot back. Ironic that despite the very strict gun laws in MA, an armed society is still a polite society.
Oh, Please!Dave Hickey
Jan 15, 2003 10:24 AM
Have ever been South? If you want major traffic problems, go to Atlanta, Houston, or Dallas. I grew up in the north but I've lived in the south for 12 years. I experienced just as many rednecks in Michigan as I do in Texas.
Michigan's a funny placeAlex-in-Evanston
Jan 15, 2003 11:36 AM
Michigan's like an island of southern culture in the Northern Midwest. They celebrate the automobile (for obvious reasons) and have a serious car and pickup culture. Lots and lots of evangelical and baptist churches and very high overall church attendance. Big state for hunting and fishing, lots of sportsmen.

Very different from, say, Wisconsin.

Alex
Can't speak for the rest of the North but ...McAndrus
Jan 15, 2003 12:33 PM
Michigan is not a cyclist's paradise. I lived in west Michigan for 16 years and cycled there for 8 or so. I was harassed countless times including my most memorable when one guy followed me directly for several minutes then pulled up alongside and yelled profanities for a couple more. It was like a dog barking - I ignored him and he eventually went away.

I've know of an incident where a Michigan truck driver physically attacked a cyclist.

Now I live in South Carolina where the drivers' reputations are bad but I find them (the 99.9% rule) are quite considerate. They most often pass wide and slow down when they can't pass. Once in a while I get a friendly wave.

Of course, once in a while I get a one-finger salute and some cuss words but then I got those in Michigan too.

I really don't see much difference between North and South.

... except for the dogs. There are dogs everywhere here. But that's another topic.
Dogs. I was riding with my 12 year old son Monday...Dave Hickey
Jan 15, 2003 12:40 PM
He asked me which I was more afraid of, dogs or cars. I told him dogs. I can anticipate what a car is going to do. I never know what a dog is going to do. It probably has something to do with my worse crash. It was an encounter with a dog.
re: Dogs.. can't you sprint? 8-()cyclopathic
Jan 15, 2003 12:56 PM
?
Not when there are 4 of us in a pacelineDave Hickey
Jan 15, 2003 1:03 PM
and I was the last person. The dog started at the front and worked his way back. By the time it got back to me I had nowhere to go.
It happens here in Pennsyltucky on occasion (NM)mikebikr
Jan 15, 2003 10:32 AM
Watch what you say ;)Alpedhuez55
Jan 15, 2003 10:52 AM
Nascar has already invaded NH. It could be just a matter of time before fleets of black pickups with a #3 Dale Erndhardt Flags start invading our roads Massachuseetts roads in greater numbers ;)

Actually, most of honks I received have been from either old ladies who are too scared to pass or contruction worker/landscaper types in pick up trucks. I swear there is something about picups that makes them want to drive cyclists off the road.

Actually there was a family from my church (Mom, Dad & 2 teenage kids) who got arrested for causing a disturbance on a flight back from the Daytona 500 a few years ago. It was strange. I heard the story on the radio on my way to work. I looked on the cover of the Boston Herald and could not beleive I knew the people.

Mike Y.
can't spell Earnhardt bubba? watch out fer me truckcyclopathic
Jan 15, 2003 11:25 AM
actually I was always wondering what kind of people name their roads "Dale Earnhardt Ln" or "Harley Davidson Dr". think I'm kidding? legit names here in FRED (or is it Fredneck?) county
Huh? 95% in the South?madstork
Jan 15, 2003 12:09 PM
Sorry, 53T, but I have to stick up for my region here. I realize you are submitting your opinion here, but I take a different view. There is great riding here, just like elsewhere, and we have our share of jerks like everyone else. Saying that the South is responsible for 95% of these incidents is like stating that 95% of Northerners are rude and obnoxious. Neither is true.

If I have to move to Mass or a crowded city to avoid these encounters, no thanks, I'll take my chances with the rednecks. :)
yeah, right ...tarwheel
Jan 15, 2003 12:11 PM
And racists only live in the South too. ... This sort of thing (like racism) happens everywhere, not just the South. I live in Raleigh, NC, and rarely ever experience any problems with motorists. The only problems I've ever had are generally carloads of teenagers yelling stuff like "get off the road." In fact, I feel a lot safer riding in rural "redneck" areas where every other vehicle is a pickup truck. I have ridden on rural roads all over the South and haven't experienced any more problems in these areas than I have riding in areas like Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois.

There is a small percentage of people who account for incidents like this, as well as other types of road rage. If you ride enough, occasionally you're going come across an asshole. These sorts of jerks could just as easily be a yuppie running late to work or a soccer mom on her cell phone as a so-called redneck. Lots of cyclists also bring these problems on themselves by blocking lanes, riding 2-3 abreast, running traffic lights, etc. Anway, I think Rubik did the right thing in not trying to provoke the idiot further and reporting the incident to police. That's about all you can do.
Rural South??????????Dave Hickey
Jan 15, 2003 12:41 PM
Atlanta Traffic
Congested Northeast????????Dave Hickey
Jan 15, 2003 12:45 PM
Vermont country road. It makes no difference whether it's the north or the south. There are good people and A$$holes everywhere.
Congested Northeast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Kristin
Jan 15, 2003 12:55 PM
I earned my driver's lisence in Vermont. There is a joke about Vermont drivers that everyone tends to drive in the middle of the road. (But if they didn't want us to drive in the middle, shouldn't they paint some lines?)
I'm not saying the northeast isn't congestedDave Hickey
Jan 15, 2003 12:59 PM
All I'm saying is 53T shouldn't make blanket statements.
I know your notKristin
Jan 15, 2003 1:13 PM
Vermont is mostly rural. Except perhaps Burlington. And maybe Stowe in ski season. The image is from Boston.
I know your notAlpedhuez55
Jan 15, 2003 4:12 PM
Yeah but in Burlington, I swear they time the traffic lights so you hit every last one of them. It is their own form of congestion. But they do have a Bike Ferry over one of the rivers nearby, which is very cool!!

Mike Y.
No silly, they time them so thatKristin
Jan 16, 2003 2:00 PM
They time the lights so that if you drive the actually speed limit you will clear every one of them. My drivers ed teacher used to go on and on about how they set it up so that speeders hit every light and people who do the limit have smooth sailing.
I live in New York!Alexx
Jan 15, 2003 1:39 PM
And it happened to me once, too. No, it wasn't some Jethro in a pickup, but rather a young black male in a full-sized chrysler. I called the cops, they went to see him, and arrested him on an oustanding assault warrant.
agreed!!!!!laffeaux
Jan 15, 2003 11:35 AM
File a report. Let the guy know that what he did was illegal.
File the Police ReportAlpedhuez55
Jan 15, 2003 6:24 AM
THis maniac is probably on the road 40 hours a week. To honk a horn is ignorant. To cut you off in a car is violent. Throwing the rock is just too much and you should not let this slide. That can kill or disable someone. You were right not physically confronting him. You need to file a report with the police. You also need to make sure they take action on this.

If this guy is an employee of a company, he needs to be fired. His actions were criminal. Try to find the rock if you can. Report it to the police and an assault, not just a traffic incident. He should not have the opportunity to do this to someone else. I also doubt this was the first time he did this to a cyclist.

In Boston I have had some people honk their horns and yell at me. One time I had someone swerve and force me off the road. I am actually considering a move the Raleigh-Durham area. I think incidents like yours are all to common and they need to stop. THis guy probably went to a bar an bragged about throwing the rock at a the guy in spandex and goofy shoes. If he is has to face the consiquences of his actions, I am sure it will doscourage him and anyone else he knows from trying ths again.

Mike Y.
re: redneck almost killed me 2dayKeeponTrekkin
Jan 15, 2003 6:33 AM
I'm adding paper and pen to my seat bag. Under stress like this, it's hard to memorize plate #'s. I think fighting is the absolute last resort; the risks are just too great. You did well.
talk to the district attorneyMike-Wisc
Jan 15, 2003 6:56 AM
Ask the district attorney what your realistic options are, and what are the chances of retribution. With that in mind I'll keep my reply on the legal side of the fence.

Tow truck driver usually means a commercial license. You now have both criminal and civil actionable causes against both him, and the company he works for or who owns the tow truck.

File the police report. This way in case any other cyclist is hit and left for dead in a ditch the police may be able to track down the truck and get paint samples off his bumper, or skin samples from the cyclist off the trucks bumper. At the very least it will begin a record history on the driver.

The police report should be for road rage, vehicular assault, aggrivated assault, and assault with a deadly weapon (the lemon-sized rock), and assault with intent to inflict great bodily harm. This should put the case into the felony category and even with plea bargains he should end up with jail time.

Next file a restraining order against him preventing him from coming within 30 feet of any cyclist on the roadways. This will do two things: it will disarm him if he is carrying a firearm, and it will give you credence to defend yourself should he approach you again. Also, if you end up dead in a ditch someplace due to a hit and run it will give the police a likely suspect.

Next, after talking with an attorney, decide if any civil actions are warranted against both the driver and the truck owner or company. He should have liability insurance, and this will equate to a deep pocket for a hungry ruthless attorney.

Finally, decide if it is all worth it. If not then you may not find any comfort in riding on the roads and may have to keep your cycling off road or on a track, or limit your riding to group rides only.

You may try writing the editor of the local newspaper. And also contact your state's tourism board and ask if they encourage cyclists to visit the state. Also write to your state's attorney general and ask if the tow truck's driver was justified in his actions.

But be aware, similar incidents were acted upon in Illinois and the courts ruled that cyclists were not the intended users of the roadways and cyclists there were dealt the heavy blow relegated to totally pedestrian status. I assume this means that pedestrians in crosswalks are now fair game there in Illinois now. I don't get to Illinois much anyway, and less so now.

Research your options and the consequences. Either live as a victim, or defend your rights. Either let the driver get away with his acts, or denfend yourself by attacking his livelihood and abuse of his freedoms and yours.

A 20 pound bike with a 200 pound rider stands no chance against a 150 pound driver in a 4,000 pound tow truck with a heavy duty front bumper. This is why we have laws. This is also why I don't live in some states due to lack of enforcement of various laws and abusive violations or rights relative to other laws. You live there, only you can decide your risk and reward potential. Fight or flee, your life, your choice.
file report but don't hold you breathcyclopathic
Jan 15, 2003 7:54 AM
police usually writes it off/no action taken. No witnesses, no damage, just your words against his. Been there done it. In my case it was a plastic 20oz bottle still had 1/3 Mnt Dew in. Still filing and threatening to sue company may get guy fired if you wanna act on it.

You did a right thing avoiding confrontation. Unless you're sure you can put guy down (shot of pepper spray in eyes is way to go) you're in trouble. Babba can always get back in truck and run you over like it happened in Chicago.

It may be a good idea to carry something to defend yourself next time like spray, full size pump, etc.. bike lock is very serious weapon if you know how to use it. If it happens again have no mercy make sure guy is not capable of driving, then claim self defense and sue for assault as preventive measure
re: redneck almost killed me 2daypjmonterey
Jan 15, 2003 9:54 AM
Sorry to hear that.
I had a similar "redneck" experience in San Diego! Seems rednecks are bicoastal (maybe omnipresent). I agree - file a report, do everything possible under the law. Make it at least a real inconveinience for this jerk. Be a pitbull about it and don't let go. In my situation, I couldn't get the plate number, and I think the guy would have killed me in the process.

By the way, we as riders must pay attention to the laws . In CA, bikes have the same rights AND responsibilities as autos. We have the stay to the right, stop at signs, ect... I'm sure you were peddling w/in the law but maybe redneck was recently cut off or similar. Althought this is absolutely no justification for his actions, it points out that we cyclists have way more to lose from the tiny minority who would use their vehicles as weapons, with or without provacation.

Good luck and safe riding.
Is this common for Ashville? I was thinking about calling it home.Kristin
Jan 15, 2003 10:47 AM
But if morons like this own every other house (trailer...whatever) then perhaps I'll stick with Chicago.
Asheville..... South vs North East..........CARBON110
Jan 15, 2003 1:03 PM
Well having moved here from Vermont and averaging 20hours a week on my bike 3 weeks out of each month I wuld say it happens. I am not to worried about rednecks, they are everywhere. I am more worried about the peopl on cell phones or changing a cd or sending email or lookin at the woman in the car next to them then rednecks. I ride in down town Asheville and I have ridden all over Burlington Vermont ( vermonts argest city ) I tend to stick to the " rural " roads that most rednecks like to drive their pickups with dual exhausts on. They love to rip up pavement with there worn tires but something ike this is highly unusual anywhere. I get cut off, horns blown at me or someone slamming on the brakes etc. Its just as dangerous as guys in pimped out hondas going 65 up a hill cutting corners im going 45 down. It happens everywhere. It hasnt happened anymore or less in NC then in VT.
Last summer I was going up " town Mtn road " a very sttep 6 mile hill right downtown that has only 2lanes but heavy traffic due to it leading to the parkway. Some guy in a red Jeep pulls up and blows a boat horn in my face... can you believve that? Damn it was loud too, but h just drove on. As long as they drive on and don't throw stuff like bottles, I will make my extra effort to be aware. Its a risk you take of being a cyclist on the road with people who probably should NOT be driving but are. If someting does happen like this.... take it to the law and a lawyer, use what legal means you have always. If you eve want to ride by the wy, let me know :)
So far in Chicago I haven't encountered much troubleKristin
Jan 15, 2003 1:39 PM
And I never rode when living in VT or Ticonderoga. How often would you say you have a negative encounter with drivers while you're riding? Where did you live in VT? How would you compare the two states...asthetically speaking? Though nothing beats a sunset over Lake Champlain...

It would be a long commute from IL to NC for a bike ride. But if I get out that way in 3-5 years I'll give you a shout.
Kristin.......a little longCARBON110
Jan 15, 2003 3:51 PM
I grew up in the Sugarbush valley and went to school for awhile in Burlington. I would say Vermont is more beautiful but by far more harsh weather wise. Skiing inst great compared to the west and recently its rare for there to have alot of snow... its more ice. The summers are unbeatable although I would like to see Montana. North Carolina though is amazing due to the fact its like being in Vermont during July and August but from March to November. The Mountains are more defined and the roads are perfect. Also, I don't like to generalize but North Carolina is much more friendly. People actually dance and drink without being paranoid and hostile to eachother like the post below about Bob Roll.
I havent met one hot head on a ride yet! As for riding, I would say I have a negative experience everyweek. Alot of times though drivers go out of thier way for me too. But I get the finger or people pointing to the sidewalk or driving really close to me going like 45+. Get this though, the other day I passed 4 cars on a hill at a stop light. I have mastered tha art of keeping my bike still and staying in my pedals, so when the light turned I went. The first car was surprised to see me and I startled her. So she pulled over up the street and stopped me and told how I scared her even though I was like 3 feet away from her car. Despite what you hear about Asheville, on alot of the roads here there is plenty of room, especially downtown.
Anyway, she introduced herself and we spoke briefly and she was very cool. I didnt think twice about it since thats what I would expect a normal person to do. Then I took my dogs to the dog park with my girlfriend and some 70 year old guy called her an "a-hole" and threw a tantrum about my dogs being off the leash. I wanted to rip his head off but I approached the park directer instead and asked him to handle it. Interesting how people behave about different things. Anyway, there are plenty of rednecks in VT as well as NC, but the towns in VT are smaller so you know you will see them again. In NC they are more likely to get away with it. I would recommend pepper spray for use against dogs much more then volitile motorists. I got tackled by a 60 lb dog 2 weeks go going 25mph but by pure luck stayed on my bike. My buddies behind me came to a scretching halt. They were sure I was going to fall. We have a good size womens club .ABRC.net I hope this helps.... didnt mean to be too loquatious
Kristin.......Asheville (long)Dream plus
Jan 16, 2003 12:58 PM
I just visited Asheville at Christmas. I didn't bring my bike ( thanks for the ride offer, Carbon110)but I was impressed with how friendly in general people were. I was also jealous of the variety of terrain there. I drove up Town Mtn road and thought wow! This would be a great ride. The Parkway is there although it was closed North of Asheville. The city seemed OK for traffic, except out by the Mall, where I was staying. I have ridden the Bridge to Bridge ride 12 times and I can't imagine better riding than in NC.