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What's a Cyclist to Do?

Old 11-14-09, 05:06 PM
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Commando303
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What's a Cyclist to Do?

So, in the event of an altercation, what's a cyclist to do? Early this week, I was biking around the west side (New York), when I heard a car fast accelerating behind me. I was already cycling on the side of the road, but put myself over right by the curb as I heard the sound. The driver going at least 40mph came close enough to hit my pedal on its side; the remainder of the avenue was mostly clear of traffic. As I barely managed to maintain balance, his (or her) passenger laughed out his window, screaming, "fuker!" I tried to catch the vehicle, but knew there was no way I would (of course, I didn't). I did, however, get the plate number and a mental imprint of the car's style and color.

I went to the police station, and they said, "That's too bad." I asked what to do, and they said there's nothing to be done, other than my filling out a generic motor-vehicle accident report and mailing it in. They wouldn't keep anything on file at the station.

Two days later, I saw the car that had tried to take me out. (It was red, and I'd been noticing every red car in sight over those two days). The plate number was right; it wasn't local, so I suppose its owner just was staying somewhere in the area (I found the car a reasonable distance from the site of the incident, though). It was late, and I was again filling with a magma of frustration, anger, and helplessness. I picked up a trash can and threw it at the windshield; the effect was upsettingly minimalistic. I got a brick out of the surrounding of one of those trees they plant into the cement of the City to make it seem less dead, and smashed it through the side window. That was the extent of my catharsis. A couple might have seen me, but, otherwise, no one really was around, and, altogether, even the couple neither said nor did anything.

I left (on foot no bike).

Is this a biker's resort? I don't know how I feel, now. I'm happy to have done what I did; at least the owner of the vehicle will pay a couple of bucks to fix up his (or her) ride, or suffer a marginal increase in insurance rates. That helps me, somehow, but it doesn't take away from my sense of safety's being destroyed by knowledge that, if anything like this happens, I'm on my own.

Is this biking? Is there anything else? Any advice from the world's veteran bicyclists? Any comfort, praise; denigration, disapproval? Anything at all from anyone?
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Old 11-14-09, 05:11 PM
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Here's the problem with your actions. It may not have been the driver's car. What if he had just borrowed it?
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Old 11-14-09, 06:01 PM
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Too bad for him or her, then, I suppose -- I don't care. Your sentiment noted, though, what do you feel would have been a better course of action? What "should have" happened?
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Old 11-14-09, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
Too bad for him or her, then, I suppose -- I don't care. Your sentiment noted, though, what do you feel would have been a better course of action? What "should have" happened?
You should ask yourself, WWJD: What would Journey Do?
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Old 11-14-09, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
Here's the problem with your actions. It may not have been the driver's car. What if he had just borrowed it?
This was my only thought. Though, if it was out of state plates, it doesn't seem likely.

Sadly, nothing much can (read: will) be done. Much the same as if someone is being a dick to you while you are driving. The most that can happen, is you could get them to go "have a talk" with them. You would have to find the right cop though.

It would be too easy to have witch-burning otherwise. Though, when something IS found, I think this country has turned into giant ******* in punishment. Like the kid who was texting and driving, running over the back of a high school teacher bicyclist, then fled, told the cops he "sold the car earlier that day" (even though the accident occurred less than a mile from his apartment, and other BS will likely get 7 years. 7 years for being ignorant, killing someone, and ruining his family, students, friends lives.
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Old 11-14-09, 06:21 PM
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Commando,

I -never read- your post above so I -never- knew of the altercation and -never- knew of the aftermath and this post we speak of.... I know not of what you mean by -this post-.

Simply said, the post -never exsisted-. *hint think about it.....hint*


By way of hearing this story by the -internet- somehow and the internet is very -hearsay- I would recommend you to get a cheap helmet camera or digicam camera and mount it on the bike somehow. Obviously higher res video would be nice but longer runtime would be good as well. I don't know your route and ride time. You may want to factor that into the recording mode +5-10% extra run time should this incident happen again. Going to the cops and saying that is a good first step as you're there to make some record of it. At the least you're on their video camera for time/date stamp so they have some record shoud they keep the video of people entering the station or wait till it loops over. If you went in with video evidance of the situation I'm sure they would give you more time then just saying something happened as you have something to back your claim up with.

Hypathecially speaking if I was controlled by an alien mind control machine in that situation dispite my most inner urge not to do this but my muscles and movement controlled by such evil alien beings I think the aliens would if given the chance at a red light and you happen to roll up knife the back tire, front tire, and run the knife across the back to front paintjob then the aliens would teleport me out. I'm sure the aliens would have also wanted to have knifed all 4 tires on that parked car on top of the throwing a brick and trash can at it. This is all hypathetical and I'm totally against alien invasions. One world, one race the human race, aliens not welcome.
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Old 11-14-09, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
Too bad for him or her, then, I suppose -- I don't care. Your sentiment noted, though, what do you feel would have been a better course of action? What "should have" happened?
Well, you shouldn't allow yourself to get into a position where you potentially can get into legal problems. It's not worth it. If you're like the rest of us, you have people that count on you not getting into trouble. Sounds like there may have been a witness, so you may not be out of the woods yet.

I understand your anger about the situation. I would have been pissed too. But revenge is almost never the answer ... especially if you, or your loved ones, were not hurt physically.

You won't like my advice, however since you had the license plate number and description of the vehicle, I would have asked to talk to the cop's supervisor. If I had no success with that person, I would suggest to them that this situation, and the lack of police interest, would make a great editorial in the local paper. If that doesn't get any action, write your story and send it in to the local media outlets. Worth a try.
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Old 11-14-09, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
*Crazy alien talk*

This is all hypathetical and I'm totally against alien invasions. One world, one race the human race, aliens not welcome.

You might like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIJAfbiRX7s

Shame the ending is cut-off in a separate video.

Lyrics here (song #8)

https://toolshed.down.net/lyrics/10kdayslyrics.php
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Old 11-14-09, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JFlurett View Post
You might like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIJAfbiRX7s

Shame the ending is cut-off in a separate video.

Lyrics here (song #8)

https://toolshed.down.net/lyrics/10kdayslyrics.php

I wrote that, that way because read the third link here under the Wikipedia with the (CYOA). Also it was a hint to the OP to CYOA. The post is already archived here. Thus if the driver found out here the OP would get a spanking.
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Old 11-14-09, 07:22 PM
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That was a stupid thing to do, and I probably would have done the same thing.
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Old 11-14-09, 07:30 PM
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HAH!!! The thing w/ the garbage can made me lol. Probably not the *best* thing to do but still... whatryougonnado. You might wanna delete your post on here though (or at least edit it to leave out any specifics).
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Old 11-14-09, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mikewille View Post
That was a stupid thing to do, and I probably would have done the same thing.
Please go back and let the air out of all the tires.
Thanks
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Old 11-14-09, 07:39 PM
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Oops, had to go get my valve core removal tool.
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Old 11-14-09, 07:39 PM
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hmmm, You should have lied to the police and told them they threatened to kill you instead of just calling you a name and they turned around to come back at you a second time but you evaded them on a sidewalk. Thus they could have been arrested for attempted murder which would have been plea bargained down to assault, that would have still been a serious charge with serious legal costs that I bet they would never want to repeat.

But I had something similar happen to me as well. A pk-up accelerated to get pass me to turn right in front of me and my elbow hit his mirror and literally hooked on to the mirror dragging me and the bike upright as I fought for control of the bike. He accelerated up to 45mph for a city block with me attached then slowed down to 5mph so I could get free and he then sped off. The police had the same reaction yours did. About an hour later I spotted the Pk-up in a parking lot so I removed his mirror but left a note with my phone number telling him he can call me if he wants his mirror back and we can "discuss" the incident...he never called.
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Old 11-14-09, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Commando303 View Post
So, in the event of an altercation, what's a cyclist to do? Early this week, I was biking around the west side (New York), when I heard a car fast accelerating behind me. I was already cycling on the side of the road, but put myself over right by the curb as I heard the sound. The driver going at least 40mph came close enough to hit my pedal on its side; the remainder of the avenue was mostly clear of traffic. As I barely managed to maintain balance, his (or her) passenger laughed out his window, screaming, "fuker!" I tried to catch the vehicle, but knew there was no way I would (of course, I didn't). I did, however, get the plate number and a mental imprint of the car's style and color.

I went to the police station, and they said, "That's too bad." I asked what to do, and they said there's nothing to be done, other than my filling out a generic motor-vehicle accident report and mailing it in. They wouldn't keep anything on file at the station.

Two days later, I saw the car that had tried to take me out. (It was red, and I'd been noticing every red car in sight over those two days). The plate number was right; it wasn't local, so I suppose its owner just was staying somewhere in the area (I found the car a reasonable distance from the site of the incident, though). It was late, and I was again filling with a magma of frustration, anger, and helplessness. I picked up a trash can and threw it at the windshield; the effect was upsettingly minimalistic. I got a brick out of the surrounding of one of those trees they plant into the cement of the City to make it seem less dead, and smashed it through the side window. That was the extent of my catharsis. A couple might have seen me, but, otherwise, no one really was around, and, altogether, even the couple neither said nor did anything.

I left (on foot no bike).

Is this a biker's resort? I don't know how I feel, now. I'm happy to have done what I did; at least the owner of the vehicle will pay a couple of bucks to fix up his (or her) ride, or suffer a marginal increase in insurance rates. That helps me, somehow, but it doesn't take away from my sense of safety's being destroyed by knowledge that, if anything like this happens, I'm on my own.

Is this biking? Is there anything else? Any advice from the world's veteran bicyclists? Any comfort, praise; denigration, disapproval? Anything at all from anyone
?
How did that not knock you down?
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Old 11-14-09, 07:54 PM
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That's why I'm figuring a way to mount/carry a 2nd handlebar -- cheap steel flat bar from a wally bike -- as a defensive weapon; draw, swing, break whatever,... oh, you want to stop and escalate this? Make my day.

HUH? WHA!? Damn, I hate it when I sleep-post!
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Old 11-14-09, 08:09 PM
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Legal issues aside, the problem I see with this is the r3tard's car you smashed doesn't know why their car was vandalized. To them it is just some random, unfortunate act. As a result, they have no chance of learning a lesson. Ironically though, if they did know they would probably just run over the next cyclist they encountered.

Back in my mis-spent youth there was an old lady walking her dog. It started sniffing my motorcycle (which was parked in front of my friend's house) like he was going to pee on it. I asked her to pull him away, which she briefly did, but as she continued yapping with the other neighbor the dog went back to my motorcycle, hiked its leg, and wizzed on it. I yelled at her to stop him and to pay attention to her dog, at which time she responded, "Oh, I am sure it isn't the first time it has been peed on." At that moment I walked to her house, which was right next door, and peed all over her classic convertible Cadillac that was parked in her driveway with the top down. She came completely unglued, about swallowing her dentures and breaking a hip to run over and stop me. In the middle of all her ranting and raving I looked calmly into her eyes and said, "I am sure it wasn't the first time it has been peed on."

One of the highlights of my high school days. She called the police. They put on a show in front of her, then privately laughed with me about it as they thought it was the funniest thing they had heard in a long time. I wasn't cited.
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Old 11-14-09, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dlester View Post
...
One of the highlights of my high school days. She called the police. They put on a show in front of her, then privately laughed with me about it as they thought it was the funniest thing they had heard in a long time. I wasn't cited.
Brilliant!

Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
You won't like my advice, however since you had the license plate number and description of the vehicle, I would have asked to talk to the cop's supervisor. If I had no success with that person, I would suggest to them that this situation, and the lack of police interest, would make a great editorial in the local paper. If that doesn't get any action, write your story and send it in to the local media outlets. Worth a try.
You apparently missed the part about this being NYC.

To the OP, don't know what to say. Someone nearly killing you can justify a lot.
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Old 11-14-09, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
I wrote that, that way because read the third link here under the Wikipedia with the (CYOA). Also it was a hint to the OP to CYOA. The post is already archived here. Thus if the driver found out here the OP would get a spanking.
Oh, I was aware. I just thought it was fitting with your alien scenario.
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Old 11-14-09, 09:18 PM
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so something almost happened...and that justified something actually happening.

how did it not knock him down? probably because it wasn't nearly as close as the post lets on.

htfu and stop being such a dick, OP. nothing excuses your idiotic actions. nothing actually happened aside from your feelings being hurt.

no wonder people hate cyclists.
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Old 11-14-09, 10:36 PM
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Your violent reaction is completely unwise.

You went to the police station telling them you were busted by a driver.
Then within 48 hours that guy's car is damaged. Now he is going to report it to the police for his insurance claim for SURE. You just make yourself the automatic prime suspect of this case because you have the motive.

Now filing that routine traffic accident report is like filing an application for a lose-for-sure law suit.
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Old 11-14-09, 10:43 PM
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OP Did you post this on your home computer? Do you know how easy it is to track your physical address by your IP address once the police start to look into it?
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Old 11-14-09, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
Commando,

I -never read- your post above so I -never- knew of the altercation and -never- knew of the aftermath and this post we speak of.... I know not of what you mean by -this post-.

Simply said, the post -never exsisted-. *hint think about it.....hint*


By way of hearing this story by the -internet- somehow and the internet is very -hearsay- I would recommend you to get a cheap helmet camera or digicam camera and mount it on the bike somehow. Obviously higher res video would be nice but longer runtime would be good as well. I don't know your route and ride time. You may want to factor that into the recording mode +5-10% extra run time should this incident happen again. Going to the cops and saying that is a good first step as you're there to make some record of it. At the least you're on their video camera for time/date stamp so they have some record shoud they keep the video of people entering the station or wait till it loops over. If you went in with video evidance of the situation I'm sure they would give you more time then just saying something happened as you have something to back your claim up with.

Hypathecially speaking if I was controlled by an alien mind control machine in that situation dispite my most inner urge not to do this but my muscles and movement controlled by such evil alien beings I think the aliens would if given the chance at a red light and you happen to roll up knife the back tire, front tire, and run the knife across the back to front paintjob then the aliens would teleport me out. I'm sure the aliens would have also wanted to have knifed all 4 tires on that parked car on top of the throwing a brick and trash can at it. This is all hypathetical and I'm totally against alien invasions. One world, one race the human race, aliens not welcome.
I hear what you're saying, and while this isn't meant to be a foolhardy post, I'm in no mood to cower from the po-po or the social order that did $h!t for me, when I haven't done anything of which I'm ashamed.

I've wondered, in the wake of the original incident, as to many "what ifs"; one of them was, "What if I had a recording of this?" I pondered, though, what good that ultimately could have done. What if the matter indeed was caught on security tape? The cops wouldn't take a complaint; there was no query into the event, let alone some effort to see if a neighborhood camera (maybe a security recording outside a bank, or something) captured the event. If I'd gone in with a self-made recording, I can't help but feel no one would've even taken the time to look at it not when "investigation" was the last word on the tip of anyone's tongue. At most, it could have ended up being a YouTube.com video, the responses to which would have been along the lines, "Yeah, so? It's the back of a car. One star" (a helmet-cam would've captured the vehicle only as it had passed me recorded, the whole matter would surely have appeared nothing but mundane).

I talked of my trying to catch the car, and failing. Hell, even if I'd succeeded, I don't know what I would've done. Picked up my u-lock and killed the driver and his/her passenger with it? It's easy to be a glorious vigilante in fantasies, but, come reality, I'm afraid I might fall into the category of the majority: easily intimidated by a new and confusing situation. If they'd stopped, seeing me pedaling like mad, gotten out, and kicked me into dust, what would that have accomplished. I wonder if law enforcement would've cared, at that point...

Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
Well, you shouldn't allow yourself to get into a position where you potentially can get into legal problems. It's not worth it. If you're like the rest of us, you have people that count on you not getting into trouble. Sounds like there may have been a witness, so you may not be out of the woods yet.

I understand your anger about the situation. I would have been pissed too. But revenge is almost never the answer ... especially if you, or your loved ones, were not hurt physically.

You won't like my advice, however since you had the license plate number and description of the vehicle, I would have asked to talk to the cop's supervisor. If I had no success with that person, I would suggest to them that this situation, and the lack of police interest, would make a great editorial in the local paper. If that doesn't get any action, write your story and send it in to the local media outlets. Worth a try.
I appreciate your comment, but one thing with which I heartily disagree is the notion, "If no one was physically harmed, the situation isn't so dire." The consequence might have been worse if I'd fallen off the bike, been run over by a truck coming from behind. The driver's actions, though, would have been identical dangerous, and, I'd hoped, unlawful. As I see it, part of the problem in handling this sort of situation a problem that allows like incidents to occur as rampantly as they do (judging by every other thread in this forum, it's pretty god-damned rampantly) is the general feeling, "No harm, forgivable foul." Police see it as a non-issue if no one's dead. Lawyers view it as a non-case if no one's bleeding or in need of long-term physical therapy. Even well-wishing acquaintances, from my experience, pat you on the shoulder in an "I'm-glad-you're-OK-but-you-have-to-just-move-on" manner.

I guess I only wish we were more concerned with behavior than with outcome. It might end up better or worse hell, someone might fall off a bike, lightly scrape a knee, and find himself on a wad of c-notes but the serendipitous result oughn't to excuse the criminal action.

Actually, I do like your advice, and it's something I hadn't fully considered. This is still reasonably fresh maybe I don't have any standing in the eyes of the system, but, non-celebrity as it may be, I have a voice. Maybe I could make greater effort to use it... Thank you.

Originally Posted by froze View Post
hmmm, You should have lied to the police and told them they threatened to kill you instead of just calling you a name and they turned around to come back at you a second time but you evaded them on a sidewalk. Thus they could have been arrested for attempted murder which would have been plea bargained down to assault, that would have still been a serious charge with serious legal costs that I bet they would never want to repeat.

But I had something similar happen to me as well. A pk-up accelerated to get pass me to turn right in front of me and my elbow hit his mirror and literally hooked on to the mirror dragging me and the bike upright as I fought for control of the bike. He accelerated up to 45mph for a city block with me attached then slowed down to 5mph so I could get free and he then sped off. The police had the same reaction yours did. About an hour later I spotted the Pk-up in a parking lot so I removed his mirror but left a note with my phone number telling him he can call me if he wants his mirror back and we can "discuss" the incident...he never called.
I'm sorry: I can't tell whether you're being facetious. For the sake of conversation, I'll assume not. I didn't think to lie to the police, probably partly because I felt what I'd been through was traumatic and wrong, and embellishment was unnecessary. Call me pampered by after-school specials, in this regard, but it just didn't enter my mind a station full of cops would consider my telling them someone intentionally almost killed me (even if it's hard to claim the act was "attempted homicide," which I didn't, it damn well clearly was reckless endangerment or whatever Boston Legal term is pertinent) akin to my walking in and asking if it would rain later during the day. Taking your suggestion in retrospect, I still think it's poor: Exaggerating/fabricating the tale to the extent it would warrant an investigation from people who otherwise deemed it "nothing," would likely have finally proved me a liar, if it would have had any ill effect whatever on the driver of the car, and I'd have wound up in trouble. The fact is, I maintain, what the motorist did was wrong enough in itself without turning the story into an unbelievable Hollywood screenplay.

You sound much more cavalier in your handling your unfortunate situation than I think I do in my handling mine. Perhaps it's because you're instinctively more audacious than I, or because enough time has passed for you to recall it without too much emotion. Either way, it's despicable what you describe, and it's good you wound up all right (rolling down the street at >40mph, on a bike, with no control, could easily kill anyone). What's particularly alarming, though maybe not so uncommon, is, again, the utter uninterest the authorities seem to have taken in your case. People in this forum (including I, I suppose) often advise bicyclists who've had bad experiences to "at least file a complaint with the cops"; seemingly, this isn't even an option. So, to the title of my thread, what is a bicyclist to do?

Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
How did that not knock you down?
I felt the car at a point swipe the side of my pedal. I struggled to maintain control of the bike, and was fortunate to have been able to do so. "How" did I not end up knocked down? I can't detail the physics of it.

Originally Posted by dlester View Post
Legal issues aside, the problem I see with this is the r3tard's car you smashed doesn't know why their car was vandalized. To them it is just some random, unfortunate act. As a result, they have no chance of learning a lesson. Ironically though, if they did know they would probably just run over the next cyclist they encountered.

Back in my mis-spent youth there was an old lady walking her dog. It started sniffing my motorcycle (which was parked in front of my friend's house) like he was going to pee on it. I asked her to pull him away, which she briefly did, but as she continued yapping with the other neighbor the dog went back to my motorcycle, hiked its leg, and wizzed on it. I yelled at her to stop him and to pay attention to her dog, at which time she responded, "Oh, I am sure it isn't the first time it has been peed on." At that moment I walked to her house, which was right next door, and peed all over her classic convertible Cadillac that was parked in her driveway with the top down. She came completely unglued, about swallowing her dentures and breaking a hip to run over and stop me. In the middle of all her ranting and raving I looked calmly into her eyes and said, "I am sure it wasn't the first time it has been peed on."

One of the highlights of my high school days. She called the police. They put on a show in front of her, then privately laughed with me about it as they thought it was the funniest thing they had heard in a long time. I wasn't cited.
I thought about that point, briefly, that night about the motorist's possibly not even knowing why his/her car was attacked. It didn't much influence whatever satisfaction I felt, and I wondered if I'd have left a note with a phone number, as someone else recalls he did in his situation, but nothing of the sort occurred to me as I did what I did.

I absolutely support your pissing on the woman's car lol.

Originally Posted by jsmonet View Post
so something almost happened...and that justified something actually happening.

how did it not knock him down? probably because it wasn't nearly as close as the post lets on.

htfu and stop being such a dick, OP. nothing excuses your idiotic actions. nothing actually happened aside from your feelings being hurt.

no wonder people hate cyclists.
You wouldn't happen to drive a red car without a window?
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Old 11-14-09, 10:55 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by JimJimex View Post
Your violent reaction is completely unwise.

You went to the police station telling them you were busted by a driver.
Then within 48 hours that guy's car is damaged. Now he is going to report it to the police for his insurance claim for SURE. You just make yourself the automatic prime suspect of this case because you have the motive.

Now filing that routine traffic accident report is like filing an application for a lose-for-sure law suit.
Then maybe I won't mail in the form (I don't even know where it is). It's not as if there's a report on file, anywhere.

Originally Posted by JimJimex View Post
OP Did you post this on your home computer? Do you know how easy it is to track your physical address by your IP address once the police start to look into it?
I don't care. Frustration and fury can do that.
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Old 11-14-09, 11:00 PM
  #25  
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Jim, you really think the NYPD are going to bother with such a low crime? Child pornography, definitely, but probably not this.

Good job OP, i hope you got the right car.

Just try to remember that not all drivers are *******s and in the City, most drivers will be courteous to you since bikes are becoming more and more prevalent. Things seem to be getting better. That's how i see it from my experience here.
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