Hit and Run
A dark red Land Rover -Range Rover model pulling an open wood+metal trailer with ATV equipment intentionally hit me yesterday. The Greenville Police Dept. and myself are looking for information. Driver: mid 20's. Passenger: mid 20's, white skin, not wearing shirt.
27 August: 7:25pm, Altamont Road
Descending Altamont Rd. down towards Rt. 276/ Old Buncombe Rd., hear 'honk-honk' behind me. I squeeze over to the shoulder and wave on dark red/ maroon Range Rover trying to pass.
Driver does not pass, he attempts several times. Too many curves, no opportunities. Driver lays on horn continuously, and drives <1 ft off my rear wheel. (this is while descending ~30 mph).
I give middle finger. Driver pulls up besides me.
ME: "Chill out or pass me man!"
DRIVER & PASSENGER: "You're gonna f$@king die!"
I apply brakes, but realize the trailer he's pulling is wider than his car, and if I slow down the trailer will run me over. The driver pulls over towards me (on the right) until the right-rear door on his 4-door SUV makes contact with my left shoulder. (still descending ~30mph) There's only 10-15 inches between my tire and the edge of the road. The driver's front passenger side wheel is directly behind me. Even without contact, realize this is completely abnormal and dangerous.
After the contact and the drivers lack of reaction to it I realize this guy is intentionally trying to hurt me and run me over/ run me off the road. We've all had cars buzz by too close or honk their horns to intentionally frighten us, but this terrified me. Upon this realization I become EXTREMELY frightened. Within a few more seconds I am forced off of the pavement.
I crash at the best possible spot on Altamont Rd. I miss the guardrail, the steep drop-off, the metal street sign and take my big tumble across 20-30ft of leafs and dirt. I walk away from accident, with minor scrapes and soreness from impact. My trusty Spinergy wheelset is all done :<. Haven't inspected frame.
I wake up the next day very sore, but mostly sad. Sad because I felt the need to flip this guy off and stick up for cyclists' rights on the road. There weren't places to stop, but I don't know why I didn't try to just find a way off the road after he began tailgating within an arms reach of my rear wheel. And sad because the enraged driver felt the need to respond by intentionally trying to hurt/ kill me. I'm still in disbelief. He just kept pulling right.. and made contact with me, and still kept on going right... and more right and more right and more right... Even his own tires were over the right side of the white line when I took my spill.
Knowing this other human wanted to shmush me, and how he kept driving and speeding off after I crashed. -The whole thing left me with a bone-deep sense of pure horror. I really can't explain it.. it's ...well its just horrifying. It just doesn't seem human. Sheesh, I'm really still in a strange state of disbelief, confusion, horror, and thankfulness.
Did anyone see a couple hooligans driving a dark red, mid-90's Range Rover pulling a trailer on Tuesday, August 27 near Altamont road? It's likely these guys live right on Altamont Rd, since it's not the type of steep twisty shortcut anyone would take while hauling a trailer.
Greenville Police are trying to find the guy. They'll talk to him, hear his side of of the story. A woman in a nearby house may have hear the beeping and yelling. They'll evaluate how strong of a case can be made from all of this and go from there.
I just blew a bunch of $$ on bike stuff. Until this guy is found and an agreement/ trial happens I'm stuck with the repair bills. Which probably means the running shoes and 29'er will be working double duty for a while. Gosh. We really are fortunate foe these things, and even more fortunate for our health. So ride fast and safe!
"I give middle finger." That never works with someone without a shirt on.
But I guess it really made you feel GOOD?
While flipping the bird did not help, don't beat yourself up about it too much. This driver was already endangering your life and out to f**k with you.
Spend some time in the car in that area and find this kid. Don't let it go and do everything you can to get the investigating officer onto him. It's a unique vehicle and should be easy to spot again. If you do find him and he still lives at home (probably not many 20-somethings driving around in a range rover, paying all their own bills), knock on the door and talk to a parent about his actions towards you.
10 Wheels, Number400. Thanks for reading and replying. I'll passively search around for the guy and keep my eyes peeled, I think it's best to hold off from personal confrontation.
@10 Wheels. Jeeze dude. No, I feel sad, frightened and terrible inside and out about all of this. It was a terrifying sensation being tailgated by this car. I've never seen a car this close to me while riding this fast on a bicycle, the whole thing was a frightening experience for my perceptions. I mean.. I really could have reached back and rested my palm on his hood. It's much different than pedaling along a flat road in the low 20mph's and exchanging water bottles with someone in a car. If not for the trailer he was towing, I could have nailed the brakes for a split second and tucked back in behind him. My brain was saying this car couldn't possibly be there/ didn't belong there, it was too close to be real. But my eyes were seeing it. It was a bizarre feeling, mentally.
Slowing down obviously wasn't an option, if there was a spot to pull off I probably would have tried at that point, speeding up didn't make a whole lotta sense, and allowing the situation to continue without any reaction at all wasn't safe or acceptable. I really believed he was going to hit my rear tire. I don't know why he decided to hit from the side instead. Of course I'm thankful he knocked me off the road instead of running me over and making me part of it. Frantically trying to wave the guy past me with my hand and middle finger were pretty decent reactions man.
I agree with the others, take a drive around the area and see if you can spot the vehicle. Range Rovers aren't too terribly common
I can't think of a delicate way to say this, so I'll be blunt. If the guy was actively trying to hurt you, it probably occurred to him that running you over would leave evidence on his vehicle, whereas pushing you off the side wouldn't.
Originally Posted by PJ 1999
This punk needs to be found. period.
Hope you find the dirtbags, that's all I can say. As far as I'm concerned, if found, the driver should be charged with assault with a deadly weapon (a car can count as a weapon), a felony offense, in addition to hit and run.
I'm confident the police will find the dirt bag. A simple DMV search or area "Red Rovers" should end the search quickly! In the meantime--glad you are okay...lesson learned and thankfully you were not seriously injured. Scary!!
For a minute I thought you were in Greenville, NC... I was like "I totally know that guy!!" But apparently we live in different Greenvilles... which both apparently have Altamont Rd's. Twilight Zone, man...
I agree a bit with 10 Wheels. Flipping the bird, whether to stick up for rights or not, probably just escalated the situation. In my town, I have to ride with rednecks in pick em up trucks, white kids in denial in Mustangs and rice burners, and hood rich hoopties on hydraulics.... all who think they live in some twisted version of GTA where cyclists are 200 pts and if the bike is expensive, it's a 1UP. To me, if they're being dipthongs like that... it's easier for me to just let them be dipthongs. Greenville, NC is somewhat slim on bike lanes, and when I take my long distance rides, the country roads weren't made with cyclists in mind. If they want to drive behind me and honk... I just let them honk while I wave them through. If it's that bad, I'll just let them honk and yell until I get to a place where I can let them by. I stay as far right as I can, but if they want to pitch a fuss, then meh. If I give them the finger, that is just asking for the situation to get worse.
I mean, the dude wasn't any less of a hockey puck for running you down. And I agree he belongs in the prison from Oz. Just saying.... maybe the finger wasn't so hot an idea.
I don't antagonize anyone in a vehicle that weighs more than me. Part of your problem may have been the last cyclist the driver met a few miles before encountering you. In both the Corvette and Miata forums I follow cyclists are a hatred group....and I hate to admit it, but much of the behavior that causes it is exactly how the A level roadies ride when on the road. It hurts the rest of us because of their actions. Increasingly, I exercise my right to concealed carry while cycling. If I have to defend myself against somebody like you ran into (regardless of why they are upset), I will. All you can do now is follow up, help search out the vehicle and press charges.
Man, you had me RIGHT up until concealed carry..... :lol:
Originally Posted by AerobaticDreams
I agree with you that a lot of us kind of act the fool out there and make it a suck for the rest of us. I'm a pacifist, so I really hesitate to mix it up with strangers out there. But you're right, we're not carproof.
Just the other day, I had someone pull out of a parking lot and stop dead in the bike lane, missing me by maybe half a wheel's length, despite me having thrown on the brakes right when I noticed her head wasn't going to turn in my direction. When a lot of people would have said "You stupid blankity blank! I hope you blank in blank with a blanking blank up your blank....", I was really calm and was like "Hey, you know you just almost hit me?" and she turned and had an "oh holy crap" look on her face and realized what she did. Rather than starting what could have been a cautionary tale, in the end, she learned to respect a bike lane, and we both tipped heads and went on our way as wiser people. Much easier than screaming at strangers....