Sunday, November 30, 2014

NaBloPoMo - 29 Nov 2014 - Upon being pushed off my bicycle

I need to record some thoughts about Tuesday's incident and what I think should happen as a result. To recap, I got a super close pass, followed by the guy stopping his car, jumping out, and pushing me off the bicycle. The event was captured on my dual video cameras. I reported it to the police straightaway and they will press a harassment charge.

It wasn't an assault charge; not my decision. The evening desk sergeant's reasoning was that I was not injured. I did want them to press the four-foot violation, but I don't think that that is going to happen. Well, let's see how far this goes.

I'm a little worried about the publicity so far. Ideally there should not be any until the case is closed. I tried to keep a lid on it, but it's out. As soon as the videos got posted to YouTube so the police could see them, they were also on Google Plus and thus publicly available, and everyone knew it.

I am not interested in seeking a punitive damage award. That's not how I operate. I am interested in seeing this guy change his mind about cyclists on the road. There is no reason he could not have passed me. Possibly he did not know he legally could cross the center line. Or maybe he just has a seed under his dentures about cyclists in the street.

Some other specifics:
* He needs to know cyclists have a right to use the road and to use the traffic lane.
* He needs to know that cyclists are most safe if they are not hugging the right edge of the street and parked cars.
* He needs to know that if he's going 38 mph in a 25 zone, and encounters traffic going 23, that he needs to modify a behavior, not the other traffic.
* He needs to deal with anger management. That close pass was intentional, as was his exiting his vehicle, as was pushing me off the bike. All of that was under his control.

I never exited my vehicle. I remained astride it despite going horizontal. Indeed, I never took either hand off my handlebars. Neither did I speak to him, other than a "Yo!" when he passed, and the word "Video!" after he pushed me. In no way did I escalate that situation.

Then there's the police. Neither desk sergeant -- morning or evening -- nor the evening supervisor, was interested in pressing the four-foot violation, despite my video evidence. That's wrong and needs to change.

I want there to be greater publicity about treating cyclists respectably. The videos show that I was and had been fully in compliance with traffic law for the several minutes before the guy appeared.

This whole thing is only getting started. I have no idea how it is going to turn out. I have no hope that anything useful is going to happen. I really do hope anyone learns anything from it, including me, as it's almost certain to happen again.


  1. Some reflections on last week's encounter with an angry motorist and how the police handled it so far.

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