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Company Van Cuts It Close On Commuter

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Company Van Cuts It Close On Commuter

Old 04-19-12, 08:11 AM
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Bingo
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Company Van Cuts It Close On Commuter

One of the cycling bloggers that I follow on Facebook is based here in Clearwater Florida. He commutes daily to and from work and writes a lot about it along with other ride stuff. (Pedal Power Touring if any of you are familiar with it)

On his commute home last night a company van from Clearwater Disc Golf did a really close drive-by on him. He was clearly too close mostly due to it not being a safe place to pass due to the oncoming car.

Even worse though, when the rider caught up to the van a few moments later he (in my opinion) pretty calmly just tried to educate the driver about Florida's 3 foot law for cyclists, about how cyclists are absolutely allowed on the road (Which even the passenger tried to tell the driver!) and to try to be a little more courteous when the driver just started acting like an idiot.

The driver basically told him he should be on the sidewalk and that "it's dangerous out there".

The driver is (again in my opinion) totally out of line. Should have just owned up to it and apologized.

What do you think?

http://youtu.be/LoHO_e40Ick

Bunch of people have also posted on the Facebook page for the store as well
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clearw...re/75358538982

(Edited to fix missing digit in URL for FB Page - it should work now)

== Update ==
The business responded on FB by saying it was the cyclists fault.
Clearwater Disc Golf Store wrote: "It seems around here we have a lot of aggressive bicyclists with helmet cams that go out and try to antagonize drivers. We talked to the police about it and it seems its an ongoing issue. Too bad they want to take it out on a struggling mom-n-pop local business.

If you have an issue take it to the local police. Don`t slander hard working people on a public forum. I promise I won`t try to move my bike in front of your car and film it and blame it on you.

I have a teenager who rides his bike around here too, all the time. 3 feet is the rule and everyone I know tries there best to abide by it.

Now if you want to hate on us there isn`t much we can do about it.

Last edited by Bingo; 04-19-12 at 09:52 AM. Reason: Fixed url
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Old 04-19-12, 08:26 AM
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Yeah, driver should have apologized. Fact is though that even when people know they F**d up, they will often be defensive when confronted about it.

If you want to educate a driver about traffic laws, that's fine, but I think it's naive to think that it will be well received. Say your peace and move on. Hopefully the message sinks in.
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Old 04-19-12, 08:30 AM
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I usually have a cager do something boneheaded to me at least once a week. Why, just yesterday, I had a close call... with an aggressive Prius driver! Unfortunately, it just is what it is. Do I think it's wrong? Hell yes. Am I going to get all worked up about it? No.
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Old 04-19-12, 08:30 AM
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Unfortunately that drivers attitude is not uncommon. Interestingly the disk golf facebook page isn't available now, if it is because of backlash over this video than maybe one driver will reflect and change their attitude. Of course he may snap and start riding bikers down to prove he's right...

Education is the only way to improve the situation, but some drivers will always be dangerous.
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Old 04-19-12, 08:36 AM
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Good job to the rider for making a point in a gentle way. I would just about gaurantee that next time the van driver passes a cyclist he will give more room. In the video he was on the defensive and will say just about anything to not take responsibility for his actions, but it will sink in.

Funny that the driver says it is dangerous and suggests the rider should not be there, but the driver is the one causing the danger!

Also, might have better to take more lane and not give them the room they "think" they have to pass.

Last edited by Ridefreemc; 04-19-12 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 04-19-12, 08:39 AM
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Some of the worst driver behavior towards bicyclists I've seen is from someone driving a vehicle with some business name plastered all over it. On at least one occasion my SO or I have actually called the business to report the dangerous behavior of the driver.

Once, several years ago, at a stop light in town, a jackhole in a pickup (with wife and kids in the truck) with a Jazz Tile logo on the door purposely bumped the back wheel of my SO's road bike. We had the plate number and called the police but didn't hear anything more. I searched online and in the phone book for that business name but didn't find it. I hope he is out of business and divorced by now - ahole!

Conversely, my SO once called a company of a dump truck driver to report that the driver had been very consciencous of giving a bicyclist plenty of room when passing, and suggested that the driver get a raise or promotion!
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Old 04-19-12, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
Some of the worst driver behavior towards bicyclists I've seen is from someone driving a vehicle with some business name plastered all over it. On at least one occasion my SO or I have actually called the business to report the dangerous behavior of the driver.

Once, several years ago, at a stop light in town, a jackhole in a pickup (with wife and kids in the truck) with a Jazz Tile logo on the door purposely bumped the back wheel of my SO's road bike. We had the plate number and called the police but didn't hear anything more. I searched online and in the phone book for that business name but didn't find it. I hope he is out of business and divorced by now - ahole!

Conversely, my SO once called a company of a dump truck driver to report that the driver had been very consciencous of giving a bicyclist plenty of room when passing, and suggested that the driver get a raise or promotion!
Different mode of travel, but I was severely harassed on the Interstate by a guy and gal in a big pickup. Finally, when the bumper to bumper traffic let up (they were upset that it was completely clogged and I somehow could make it better for them if I just moved my little car over - getting them 18 feet closer to their destination - some 400 miles further up the road) he was able to pass by. I let I go.

Was getting back on the Interstate about 6 hours later (took a different route) and saw the same guy pass by as I entered on the ramp, but this time I took down his business name and number (large letters plastered on the back window). He worked in the next town from where I was heading. I called his business the next business day and the seceratary said he was out of the office, but could she take a message. I said sure, "let him know that I didn't appreciate what he did, someone with a mean temper may have pulled a gun and shot him, suggested he not do that again - especially whilst driving his company vehicle, and as far as the woman/blonde in the car was concerned she should learn some manners." My hope was that was his mistress (in the pick up) and I was talking to his wife. I then told her that I would agree not to pursue it any further if she promised to pass on my message. She agreed (and seemed shocked).

On another note, I rode with an especially good bus driver for over two hours one day and when I was about to depart I asked him his name. He was reluctant to give it but did, probably fearing some kind of criticism. I then said that on Monday (the next day) that I would write to the transit company to tell them how well he did - how courteous he was to all passengers, how well he drove the bus (no jack-rabbit starts and put your head through the windshield stops), and that is was a pleasant trip.

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Old 04-19-12, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
Some of the worst driver behavior towards bicyclists I've seen is from someone driving a vehicle with some business name plastered all over it. On at least one occasion my SO or I have actually called the business to report the dangerous behavior of the driver.

Once, several years ago, at a stop light in town, a jackhole in a pickup (with wife and kids in the truck) with a Jazz Tile logo on the door purposely bumped the back wheel of my SO's road bike. We had the plate number and called the police but didn't hear anything more. I searched online and in the phone book for that business name but didn't find it. I hope he is out of business and divorced by now - ahole!

Conversely, my SO once called a company of a dump truck driver to report that the driver had been very consciencous of giving a bicyclist plenty of room when passing, and suggested that the driver get a raise or promotion!
+1. If cyclists would call the companies or city depts. and complain about their drivers, change will occur. I've seen it in action, no sane company or city wants to deal with a wrongful death lawsuit.
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Old 04-19-12, 08:55 AM
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Wow. This just went from bad to worse. The company has responded on their FB page to the post and says it is the cyclists fault for being aggressive and deliberately trying to cause a problem!! I'm honestly stunned that anyone would think that, much less a business.

Clearwater Disc Golf Store wrote: "It seems around here we have a lot of aggressive bicyclists with helmet cams that go out and try to antagonize drivers. We talked to the police about it and it seems its an ongoing issue. Too bad they want to take it out on a struggling mom-n-pop local business.

If you have an issue take it to the local police. Don`t slander hard working people on a public forum. I promise I won`t try to move my bike in front of your car and film it and blame it on you.

I have a teenager who rides his bike around here too, all the time. 3 feet is the rule and everyone I know tries there best to abide by it.

Now if you want to hate on us there isn`t much we can do about it.
From here: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph...f&notif_t=like

Hopefully that link works as I had to jump through a few hoops since FB is blocked here at my office.

The first link for their FB may be incorrect as well. Someone tell me if this one works?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clearw...ore/75358538982
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Old 04-19-12, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Bingo View Post
Wow. This just went from bad to worse. The company has responded on their FB page to the post and says it is the cyclists fault for being aggressive and deliberately trying to cause a problem!! I'm honestly stunned that anyone would think that, much less a business.



From here: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph...f&notif_t=like

Hopefully that link works as I had to jump through a few hoops since FB is blocked here at my office.

The first link for their FB may be incorrect as well. Someone tell me if this one works?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clearw...ore/75358538982

And small local businesses wonder why we all shop on the internet.....
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Old 04-19-12, 09:01 AM
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Amused about the motorist's comment about the cyclist needing to be on the sidewalk, anybody see a sidewalk?, yet another clueless comment........

Reminds me of the one motorist yelling out her side window for me to get into the bike lane, even though the bike lane ended some two blocks earlier.
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Old 04-19-12, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Amused about the motorist's comment about the cyclist needing to be on the sidewalk, anybody see a sidewalk?, yet another clueless comment........

Reminds me of the one motorist yelling out her side window for me to get into the bike lane, even though the bike lane ended some two blocks earlier.
Haha. That's kinda sad but funny right there.
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Old 04-19-12, 09:57 AM
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I've also noticed that they have started deleting negative posts as they come in. Damage control is in effect.
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Old 04-19-12, 10:17 AM
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I thought I left a polite comment and it was scrubbed within minutes. Sorry, their loss. Here's what I wrote:

It seems wrong to try and blame the person on the bike and by extension, all other "aggressive bicyclists." Better to apologize, discuss w/the driver, and move on. By blaming the biker you make yourselves look bad.
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Old 04-19-12, 11:13 AM
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Has deleting negative comments ever really worked out well for a business? I think it speaks volumes about the mindset of the business owners, unfortunately.
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Old 04-19-12, 12:10 PM
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Has deleting negative comments ever really worked out well for a business? I think it speaks volumes about the mindset of the business owners, unfortunately.
Right on. Small businesses remain small for a reason. This company's attitude isn't likely to drive growth. Or even survival.

- John
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Old 04-19-12, 12:34 PM
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Rather than posting comments on their FB page, maybe the cyclist should start a second one with the name of the business and BOYCOTT in the name of the FB page, post a link to the video and explain why they want to boycott the business. Anyone searching for the business will find both pages. Also, forward the video to the police.
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Old 04-19-12, 12:45 PM
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Unnecessary Close call... If you can't pass a cyclist safely, the law's clear... DON'T PASS!!!!
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Old 04-19-12, 01:00 PM
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I like how when caught red-handed they blame the victim for having a camera to provide evidence. Sounds like they would have been a lot happier to have he-said she-said ambiguity, not clear evidence that they were wrong.

It doesn't matter that you're a mom-and-pop, or who you are. Wrong is wrong. Whining that someone is "taking it out on a mom and pop" is a cop out. You're showing evidence that someone was wrong, period.
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Old 04-19-12, 01:08 PM
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Barely a remnant of the incident on their FB page again. Sad. Really Sad!
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Old 04-19-12, 01:18 PM
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I don't even see a remnant on the page.
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Old 04-19-12, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by K'Tesh View Post
Unnecessary Close call... If you can't pass a cyclist safely, the law's clear... DON'T PASS!!!!
That's what I said on their FB page--their comment said the van had to pass like that since the bike moved to the left, and there was an oncoming car that made the van pass like it did. I said that the driver could have chosen to wait for the other car to drive past so they could pass with more room. That was deleted.
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Old 04-19-12, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by n8b View Post
Unfortunately that drivers attitude is not uncommon. Interestingly the disk golf facebook page isn't available now, if it is because of backlash over this video than maybe one driver will reflect and change their attitude. Of course he may snap and start riding bikers down to prove he's right...

Education is the only way to improve the situation, but some drivers will always be dangerous.
Agreed, and as many of us have said, that education needs to start in the schools. Maybe as some others at another forum have suggested make it part of reading class. Maybe also taking that a step further include more problems in math class about how if a car is traveling at x-MPH and a bike is traveling at y-MPH how much space does the car need to leave between the two to be safe when passing? And other related problems.
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Old 04-19-12, 02:43 PM
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Yeah. it looks like posting on the FB page is pretty much pointless. Besides, they have already shown their true colors and everything after this is just a shouting match. Oh well, at least it gave me something to do during downtime here at work.
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Old 04-19-12, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
Good job to the rider for making a point in a gentle way. I would just about gaurantee that next time the van driver passes a cyclist he will give more room. In the video he was on the defensive and will say just about anything to not take responsibility for his actions, but it will sink in.

Funny that the driver says it is dangerous and suggests the rider should not be there, but the driver is the one causing the danger!

Also, might have better to take more lane and not give them the room they "think" they have to pass.
I think that the real problem is that in order for motorists to justify their driving. That they have to "pass" the danger on to other road users. Just yesterday as I was coming home from my local library I was stopped at a red light and a car pulls up behind me. The driver was wanting to make a right turn, but there is not enough room at this intersection for him to have done so safely.

After the light turns green and he's making his turn he calls out "on the sidewalk" or something to that effect. It's sad that so many people do not know what the law(s) really are concerning bicycles on the road.
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