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Old 06-23-10, 01:55 PM   #1
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From the Stanford Cycling Group - be aware: White Ford F350 SD in Woodside, 6P88487

to Stanford

show details 11:05 AM (1 hour ago)

White Ford F250 or F350 pickup with metal construction workers framing in the bed (looks like a construction truck). License Plate 6P88487.

Yesterday afternoon at 3pm, I was heading east on Highway 84 from Skyline. For those familiar with that descent, I was about 20yds in front of the first turn when the above mentioned truck was just crossing the 84 / 35 intersection (so approx 100yds behind me at a stop sign). He must have floored it because as I was coming out of the 1st turn he was inches off my back laying on the horn. He continued a single long honk through several turns while riding on my tail or trying unsuccessfully to pass me on the left over the double yellow, due to oncoming traffic. All this took place before the long straight with a shoulder that's approximately 1/2 way down the descent, which is the only safe place to pull over and allow someone to pass, IMO. Finally, he forced himself beside me on my right (I was riding a defensive line to black further attempts to pass with oncoming traffic), rolled down the window to yell something at me, and then cut hard left while braking, forcing me into oncoming traffic. I avoided being hit and dragged under his back wheels by about 4 inches. Thankfully, I stayed upright and stopped right there to call 911. While doing so, a woman pulled up who had witnessed the whole thing and provided her contact info, corroborating what I believed - that despite the fact that I was 'flying' (in her words) the guy continued to harass me until he tried to run me off the road. Here I'd just add that I am a very fast descender, and I was going at or above the speed limit the whole time. In fact, I gapped the officer by 30-45 seconds coming down after he took my statement. I say this to show that my speed should not have been an issue to provoke the guy, as most cars travel slower than I do down that road.

About 30 minutes later a San Mateo County deputy arrived to take my statement. Unfortunately, when I told him my intent to press assault charges, he told me that it will be my word against his, but that he would take it to the DA. He gave me the impression that nothing will come of it (likely he won't put much legwork into it, even), despite my story and a witness. According to the deputy, the truck is registered to a business, though he didn't say which and I didn't notice a name on the side. It was driven by a dark complexioned male (I thought white but very tan).

Please note the description of the truck, and the incident itself, is VERY similar to a hit-and-run case that occurred in September 2008 in the same Woodside / Portola Valley area. The victim suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs. Riders with him were able to get a partial plate. A link to a forum that includes the Mercury News story and ensuing discussion is here. In addition to this other incident, I've seen other forum posts describing the driver of a white pickup in that area throwing drink cups, etc. at cyclists.

In the article an active cyclist / racer named Janet Gahagen described the hit-and-run as a witness. She is a Mountain View, CA resident and races for Kalyra/Bella Nova Women's Cycling Team. If anyone knows her, please send her this post and ask that she contact me. If we can match the plates we'll be one step closer to making sure charges can be brought against the driver. Also, please post this message to anybody other message boards you deem fit. Word needs to get out about this truck, plate 6P88487. I'd hate for this guy to become another case like the one in LA involving an ER doctor with road rage. It wasn't until after he actually seriously injured someone that he was charged and sent to jail.

I wish I had more details to provide than that, but will update as I learn more. Ride Safe.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:17 PM   #2
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Good, now we have a license plate number to look out for.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Finally, he forced himself beside me on my right (I was riding a defensive line to black further attempts to pass with oncoming traffic)
The driver sounds like an a-hole, but I'm a little confused by the "defensive line" part. Seems like this would provoke the driver even more.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:28 PM   #4
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I'm confused about

The officer saying "your word against his" if you do in fact have a witness to corroborate your story. I think you should ask to talk to the officer's supervisor and get an explanation for any inaction. It sounds like the pickup driver has anger management problems. What was he determined to do that was worth risking someone's life for? Get to the bottom of the hill 30 seconds faster than you?

Last year on one of the occasional early morning rides I do up to Skyline on workdays, a pickup truck very recklessly passed me on a hairpin corner on Page Mill while I was descending just past the vista points. It was truly like a statement that he didn't give a damn about me or anyone else (and I wasn't going slowly) and given that I had just seen a group of cyclists ascending, it made me shudder.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:49 PM   #5
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This isn't my story, I reposted from the Stanford Cycling google group, as we have a lot of people who ride in that area. I don't think the orig writer frequents this site.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:50 PM   #6
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The driver sounds like an a-hole, but I'm a little confused by the "defensive line" part. Seems like this would provoke the driver even more.
But, I understand what Jason is saying here. When you have an aggressive driver that is acting unsafely, I too will sometimes take the middle of the lane. If you are too close to the right, they will try to (dangerously, without concern for your life) try to pass in an unsafe place. If you're in the middle, they may be pissed, but you're safe unless they run you over from behind.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:53 PM   #7
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I was sent this link from RBR: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...d.php?t=216598

I've updated the title of the thread to make sure word gets out about this scum.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SClaraPokeman View Post
The officer saying "your word against his" if you do in fact have a witness to corroborate your story.
The problem in this case is that the truck is registered to a business, and no one got a clear look at the guy driving.

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But, I understand what Jason is saying here. When you have an aggressive driver that is acting unsafely, I too will sometimes take the middle of the lane. If you are too close to the right, they will try to (dangerously, without concern for your life) try to pass in an unsafe place. If you're in the middle, they may be pissed, but you're safe unless they run you over from behind.
Yep. A lot of the time in these situations, taking the lane is the only safe option, whether or not the car is piloted by a psychotic like this guy.
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Old 06-23-10, 05:40 PM   #9
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Yep. A lot of the time in these situations, taking the lane is the only safe option, whether or not the car is piloted by a psychotic like this guy.
proverbial "give them an inch and they will take a mile"

I took the center lane to block a car from passing me on a recent Page Mill descent. The guy in the SUV was irritated for 30 seconds, then was dropped hard on the next set of turns. I hope he figured out why I did what I did an is kinder to the next cyclist he's about to endanger.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:15 PM   #10
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Thanks for the heads up, will definitely look out for this one. I was at Woodside today, but I saw the post right after I got home. Hope he gets his karma.
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Old 06-25-10, 08:59 PM   #11
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Looks like there's some progress being made toward getting a serial harasser so punishment.
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...=216598&page=2
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Old 06-30-10, 09:21 PM   #12
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Yet more information: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...1&postcount=59
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