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  1. #1
    vol
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    The effect of exhaust fumes from vehicles

    Someone once posted here about half year ago about a driver who seemed to be deliberately releasing fumes while passing him. Today I experienced the same. Sudden, very thick, blueish fume directed right at me when the vehicle (seems to be an off-duty ambulance) made a close pass by me. So it's another "weapon" for drivers to deal with cyclists whom they don't like to see around them.

    I found this old thread and it seems to be a valid concern for those of us who often ride on city streets.

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    Mos likely the ambulance had an automatic transmission, as most fleet vehicles do these days. The "intentional" unloading of fumes was probably the result of a downshift and not in the driver's control.

    Stuff like this happens, and we need to avoid thinking we are at the center of the universe and everything is about us.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  3. #3
    vol
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    It's a guess, of course, and I hope I was wrong, but it's a possibility given the circumstance. The driver seemed to be have been impatient because while passing a parked bus I hesitated a moment whether to go left or right of the 5th ave. some distance before a car that was before the ambulance (so the ambulance was not directly behind me then). Then after that car passed me, the ambulance sped through and literally shot me with the very thick fumes, right to my face.

  4. #4
    Randomhead
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    I wouldn't think an ambulance would be chipped with a switch to cause smoke. OTOH, there are plenty of idiots that have chips in their pickups. You can search on youtube for smoking diesel or rolling coal. I think it should be a good reason for the government to crush a truck, to be perfectly honest

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    It's a guess, of course, and I hope I was wrong, but it's a possibility given the circumstance. The driver seemed to be have been impatient because while passing a parked bus I hesitated a moment whether to go left or right of the 5th ave. some distance before a car that was before the ambulance (so the ambulance was not directly behind me then). Then after that car passed me, the ambulance sped through and literally shot me with the very thick fumes, right to my face.
    Probably simply a question of the driver's use of the throttle. Usually modern engines have a fuel cutoff when the driver suddenly backs off the throttle or during shifts to prevent the fuel overload when engine RPMs drop, but this may be badly maintained.

    You're in NY and the driver as probably focused on his next maneuver to pass or make a light, and not you since a second has gone by and you're now history to him.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  6. #6
    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    Um this seems pretty improbable to me. Do you really think that some guy in an ambulance no less has set up his car to deliberately release fumes when you ride by? And what would this do? give you cancer in a few decades down the road? If someone was going to mess with you they would be more direct about it!

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    vol
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    Ok...

    Is that possible, then (if a driver so desires)? Maybe it requires a vehicle to have the "chips" referred by unterhausen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    Ok...

    Is that possible, then (if a driver so desires)? Maybe it requires a vehicle to have the "chips" referred by unterhausen?
    Anything is possible, but let's be real. Would the owner of the ambulance modify the engine so the driver could harass people?. Most likely a combination of poor engine maintenance and aggressive throttle use.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

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    vol
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    I was not referring to this particular case, but was wondering if, in general, a driver could release fumes whenever he wishes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I was not referring to this particular case, but was wondering if, in general, a driver could release fumes whenever he wishes.
    A driver with an older diesel engine and manual transmission can if he knows how, and might without intending if for example he upshifts and engages the clutch causing a large drop in engine rpm. You often see this on sudden short steep hills, where the driver shifts too late.

    The fuel cutoff valve will reduce this on newer engines but it's still possible. I's more difficult with gasoline engines, but can be done to an extent if one really tries.

    Before steering interlocks made it too dangerous, some drivers used to cause intentional backfires by turning off the ignition for a second or two while rolling in gear. This sent unburnt fuel mix into the exhaust system which could be ignited when the ignition was turned back on, causing a loud backfire, and sometimes a jet of flame out the exhaust. This doesn't work on modern computer controlled engines, though I'm sure there are ways to fool the computers into making it possible.
    FB
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  11. #11
    vol
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    Thanks for the explanation. The buses on 5th Avenue often generates heavy exhaust when leaving a bus stop. Occasionally would see some trucks on the streets drop a "smoke bomb".

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    Randomhead
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    having been on the receiving end of someone that had a chip and a switch on their diesel, it's pretty obvious when it happens. No acceleration or any of the other things that are obviously tuning related is required, they just flip a switch. It's not hard to find evidence of this on the internet. A modern diesel in good tune doesn't smoke.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I was coming home from the shop one night and a couple of young guys in a big diesel pulled behind me... I was moving at the speed of traffic and they then changed lanes and pulled along side and smoked me out.

    I was more concerned about getting pushed into a row of parked cars and then they sped off only to get stopped at a red light.

    It stopped being funny after that.

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    The answer is yes, "Rolling Coal" can be done intentionally by a diesel driver who knows how to it.


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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Due to our state's strict emission controls, there's several phone numbers to call to report a "rolling coal" incident in our state.

    http://www.arb.ca.gov/enf/complaints/smoke.htm

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    It's not hard to find evidence of this on the internet.
    It is not hard to find evidence of "anything" on the internet. Hence the numerous posts made here of worldwide outrageous conduct directed at cyclists (often trolled/culled from the internet), by A&S' perennial victims of evil motorists.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    It is not hard to find evidence of "anything" on the internet. Hence the numerous posts made here of worldwide outrageous conduct directed at cyclists (often trolled/culled from the internet), by A&S' perennial victims of evil motorists.
    It happens all too frequently... have seen it in person far too many times.

  18. #18
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    It is not hard to find evidence of "anything" on the internet. Hence the numerous posts made here of worldwide outrageous conduct directed at cyclists (often trolled/culled from the internet), by A&S' perennial victims of evil motorists.
    A&S is the forum to discuss outrageous conduct directed at cyclists, so it's all good.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    It happens all too frequently... have seen it in person far too many times.
    I've seen bad driving too while riding my bike, as I'm sure everyone has, but as FBinNY pointed out, not every motorist maneuver near a cyclist is always with/about deliberate anti-cyclist intent as some A&S posters seem to assume.

  20. #20
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I've seen bad driving too while riding my bike, as I'm sure everyone has, but as FBinNY pointed out, not every motorist maneuver near a cyclist is always about deliberate anti-cyclist intent as some A&S posters seem to assume.
    The "rolling coal" or smudging that seems to be a popular pastime by folks who drive gigantic penis enhancers seems to be a rising problem.

  21. #21
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The "rolling coal" or smudging that seems to be a popular pastime by folks who drive gigantic penis enhancers seems to be a rising problem.
    Could be, but I've only heard of it through the reporting of this "trend" in A&S. Of course it could be as real in the minds of posters as the stereotype about "folks who drive gigantic penis enhancers."

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    It happens all too frequently... have seen it in person far too many times.
    Several years ago, "rolling coal" was prevalent among a number of diesel truck owners in my locale, with it quickly stopping after word got around about tickets being issued, accompanied by substantial fines.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Could be, but I've only heard of it through the reporting of this "trend" in A&S. Of course it could be as real in the minds of posters as the stereotype about "folks who drive gigantic penis enhancers."
    You need to come and visit sometime...

  24. #24
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Could be, but I've only heard of it through the reporting of this "trend" in A&S.
    I've been a recipient of "rolling coal" several times, and it was so prevalent in my locale at one time, that this trend was even mentioned in our local bike club newsletter several years ago, along with steps on how to report it.

  25. #25
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenhog View Post
    The answer is yes, "Rolling Coal" can be done intentionally by a diesel driver who knows how to it.

    Oh my! I could smell it! I hope there is a way to punish such drivers. At the least it causes such terrible pollution, not to mention the smoke could result in accidents due to blocking the cyclists' views, or causing them to hit objects/vehicles in avoiding it.

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