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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-08-06, 10:41 PM   #1
caffinated
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deliberate hit and run in SF

I hate to announce this but watch out for those ****ing rush hour drivers out there. Hope this doesn't happen to anyone else but unfortunately i found myself in one of those "worst-case" scenarios tonight riding home from work. So here i am, riding home with my girlfriend on a nice evening. As usual, i take Sutter St from the financial distict. (Sutter st for those of you outside of SF, is relatively flat compared to some of the major hill around this part of town. It has its share of shops and hotels, but most importantly, its got a big lane for buses that cars aren't suppose to drive on.) anyway, i'm riding up from Grant (chinatown entance)and almost past the Stockton tunnel when out of nowhere, i hear a honk and a screech from my left, and suddenly a gun-metal grey Toyota Van comes out of nowhere and almost takes me out. Pissed i was. Actually more shock than pissed at the moment...but once everything settled, which took about 5 secs, i chased him down to the next block of on Sutter and Powell. Fortunately for me, it was a red light with a cable car crossing in the middle. I came up on the left side of the van, knock on his window and for some reason, i actually told him nicely to watch out for cyclist. He was on the phone at the time and carrying 2 passengers, 1 in the front passenger seat and 1 in the back of the van. He turned over and brushed me off. I knocked on his window again and told him in a more sternly manner to watch out. By this time, the light turned green, i gave him a dirty look and began to ride off. Right at that moment, he turned his wheel and gun his van at me. Out of the corner, i saw it coming and braced myself for it. turning my wheel to lessen the impact. I felt his van come up and pushed me to the curb. People on the side walk gasped and screamed when they saw it. Miraculously, i composed myself and chased him down to the next block where he made a quick left turn and escaped. Luckily for me, some guy on the bus saw the entire thing go down and got the van's license plate #. I called 911 to fill a hit and run and goddamnit, i hope this bastard gets caught so i can have the pleasure of seeing him put behind bars for using his car as a weapon against cyclists.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:43 PM   #2
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no ****...glad you're okay...but seriously. **** that mother****er. he needs to get hit by a car.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:45 PM   #3
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Good luck. This has happened to me several times, IME the car driver always gets let go with a 'stern warning'. Hope you have better results.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:45 PM   #4
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Wow. These stories are becoming too frequent - glad you're okay, and please let us know if/when they catch the guy.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:45 PM   #5
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What's the plate number?
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Old 03-08-06, 10:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eyefloater
Wow. These stories are becoming too frequent - glad you're okay, and please let us know if/when they catch the guy.
yeah, really...i think the cagers are starting to get really pissed...being trapped in that glass and metal cage breathing recycled air has always been bad enough, now gas prices...
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Old 03-08-06, 10:51 PM   #7
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I had something similar happen to me a few years ago while I still bike-jockeyed. I was on a deserted road, riding on the shoulder (def off the road) and this ass in a F-150 clipped me. Bastard crossed a few lanes to do it too.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:51 PM   #8
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crazy, hope he gets what he deserves... karma's a ***** when you are on the wrong side of it.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:51 PM   #9
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Glad you're okay.
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Old 03-08-06, 10:56 PM   #10
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Glad you're ok. With the right plate no. and van description and a description of the driver, they should be able to find the guy quick, his two accessories to assault and w/ enough witnesses, he can be found guilty of something.
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Old 03-08-06, 11:03 PM   #11
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get google page creator/blogger and blog it, rant it on Craig's list the usual stuff, shame the bastard. Put a descripton of the guy etc as well
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Old 03-08-06, 11:17 PM   #12
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give us the plate number,
i was in one of those couple weeks ago.
it was also a Van.

seriously guys, we gotta have like a a database where we all store the number plates of these drivers..

like a blacklist, and we can go hunt em down....muahahhaahahah
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Old 03-08-06, 11:34 PM   #13
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unfortunately, road rage is often directed towards those who aren't protected by a steel shell or airbags. what suprises me is that ******bags like this don't fake swerve to scare, they swerve with the intention of making contact.

maybe this shouldn't be surprising, as pedestrians and cars will yeild to cars, but rarely to cyclists. almost every day, a car trying to make a left hand turn across the opposing lane of traffic that i'm in starts the chain of cars who are concentrating on going as fast as possible as close to the car in front of them, instead of oncoming traffic.

what it comes down to is that most people have no clue what to do because they've never ridden a bike in the city. i don't remember learning anything about how to share the road with cyclists during my driver's ed or licensing tests.

i beleive the only way to make a difference is to have stiff penalties associated with endangering cyclists' lives and active enforcement. the guy who hit you should be charged with attempted murder, even if he's able to plead it down to reckless endangerment. frisco should have a large cycling advocacy group, see if they can hook you up with a lawyer who's out for blood.

if i was in your situation, i'd probably do some investigation on the intraweb and send letters to his employer and insurer detailing his "mistake"
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Old 03-08-06, 11:52 PM   #14
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right, i was thinking "assault with a deadly weapon" would cover swerving at--and hitting--someone with a car. i don't know if attempted murder would fly. but, by the definition i'm familiar with, assault with a deadly weapon sure flies in this case. or, wait...assault AND battery.
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Old 03-09-06, 12:01 AM   #15
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too bad your $2000 custom frame was cracked and $800 handbuilt wheeldset was mangled in the process, be sure to let the police know that too for the insurance report.

Seriously though, it's great that you're OK. good to know someone got a plate number at least.
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Old 03-09-06, 12:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
right, i was thinking "assault with a deadly weapon" would cover swerving at--and hitting--someone with a car. i don't know if attempted murder would fly. but, by the definition i'm familiar with, assault with a deadly weapon sure flies in this case. or, wait...assault AND battery.
technically it's vehicular assault. if the cyclist isn't seriously injured, i think the max penalty is around $1000 and/or a year in the clink. if the cyclist is seriously injured then the max is something like $10000 and/or 10 years in the clink.
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Old 03-09-06, 12:21 AM   #17
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I'm glad you're still caffinated and not coffinated! People don't usually fare so well after getting creamed by a van badly enough to trash a bike frame.

Do you guys really think it would be a good idea to make a database to track these incidents? It wouldn't be very hard to do and could be made rather elegantly where you can look up incidents based on location and whatnot and automatically red flag vehicles that show up more than once, etc.

I could whip something up pretty quickly, but I'm curious if people really think it is a wise idea or have opinions for/against it. Maybe this should get a new thread.
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Old 03-09-06, 12:27 AM   #18
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i don't know why it would be a bad idea...if the cops won't do that sort of thing to protect people, why shouldn't people do something like that to protect themselves? it's not outside of the law or anything, is it?
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Old 03-09-06, 12:40 AM   #19
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thanks everyone for their concern. yea. i'm definitely fortunate enough to be survive this one. i have faith the cops will catch this guy, since me and the good samaritan, Jose, basically handed them the license plate #. either way, ride safe out there.
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Old 03-09-06, 12:41 AM   #20
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no, I think it's all legal and could probably be a good tool as long as it was planned somewhat carefully and people used it properly.

Maybe even split it into a blacklist and whitelist, so in addition to amassing the dangerous/careless/stupid driver incidents, unusually good driver encounters can also be noted.

I think the most important thing for a database like this would be to try and make it be as accurate as possible. Forcing people to validate an email address (so there is a halfway certain way of contacting the author) before their item is logged is probably the best way to prevent people spamming bogus stuff anonymously. I think it would also be good if the original author of an event could log in to edit the information later if need be. I've seen threads here on BF where a particularly bad incident was discussed and the author later redacted specific information from their post because they were persuing legal action and didn't want to encounter any trouble from what they had posted on the web. I think I can make a pretty decent system where a button could be clicked from the post that would email the author with links to edit or censor the data. Without this, some people probably wouldn't want to post anything for fear of not being able to control the information later and having it bike them somehow.

If a few people chime in and say this is a good idea, I'll whip something up and we can work from there. Right now I think it would pretty much take one database table with the following main fields:

assigned ID number
date/time
location description
location lat/lon
license plate number
vehicle description
driver description
incident description

The lat/lon would be a pretty integral part of the system and would allow me to write it so that other people can specify a city/state or zipcode or whatever and get a listing of the incidents that happened within an X mile radius of their area. You can get the latitude and longitude really easily by visually finding the site on google maps.
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Old 03-09-06, 01:01 AM   #21
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hahahahahaha coffinated.


that sucks.

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Old 03-09-06, 01:43 AM   #22
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glad to see you are ok caffinated. these stories make me happy i am not riding my bike in the city much since i work in south bay. then again, riding in the city is fun.

you could do a google maps mashup with a hover over that displayed data for each incident on a map. i know i remember seeing something like that for some cycling database. i think it was for accidents but i can't seem to recall the page.
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Old 03-09-06, 01:43 AM   #23
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that sucks to hear, i witnessed a similar experience right there on sutter too a couple months ago. watched a pissed off SUV driver try to ram another rider cause they were taking the whole lane.
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Old 03-09-06, 02:34 AM   #24
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Yea I ride through soma and down market every day. Scares the crap out of me. Hope they get caught, glad you and your bike didn't get ****ed up.
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Old 03-09-06, 03:13 AM   #25
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assault and battery/radiator/grill. damn.
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