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Summer, kids, dumb drivers, etc

Old 07-17-04, 01:20 AM
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Summer, kids, dumb drivers, etc

my friend just both sold his old mtn bike, and bought a road bike (for a steal, at that) on the same day... so he's stoked as hell. my (bike) fitness level has been really high as of late, so i'm stoked to get a ride in, too.

it's summer; it's texas; we either ride late at night or early in the morning to avoid getting torched. coincidentally, my friend started a quasi-successful midnight bike ride which meets at the LBS so towards there we headed. it's July so there's TdFmania going around--there's a ****load of riders on the street and even friendly folks who wished us to 'stay safe'. we met with 2 other riders and took to the streets. they were more cruisers than riders... we bidded adieu and sprinted off. 15 miles, and we were feeling pretty good...

anyways, end of prologue, here's the fugging story: we're going down this 1 lane street (lamar, for those of you in austin). we're making great speed, and there's barely any cars on the road. we're now stopped at an intersection--a major well-lit intersection at that. the opposing traffic gets the green and this 90s suburban loaded with teenage punks drive by, heads out the window, yelling: "**** bikers". alright, that's cool, you're all back from the movies in mommy's SUV. neato. dumb encounter #1.

anyways, there's a car coming up 100 meters from behind us. im next to the curb and i tell my friend to scoot over so we wont clog the lane when we get the green. 'soon as i finish the sentence i hear a SCREECH and dumb ho #1 slams her Escort into my friend. it knocked him and the bike forward; 'twasn't a big collision, but a collision nevertheless. i immediately tossed my bike on the sidewalk, as did he. the dumb ho? sitting frozen in her car and not even murmuring a word. luckily my friend is alright. he inspects the bike quickly and decides its okay. i urge him to get her info for liability purposes (in case frame develops crack and because the snazzy Bontrager Race Lites he was riding on wasn't his). he refuses it and waves her off. she sits there for a second, and then floors away... after not having stepped out of the car or even inquiring about our health. i wanted to punch both her AND him in the face.

about 3 seconds later a cop drives by... what chance we just missed. i wished he had seen the collision... if not to get her punished for hitting us then for being a DUMB ASS DRIVER. that intersection was LIT; we both had blinkers; there was a car in front of whose brake lights she could not have missed. visibility was a GO. im sorry, but if you were ****ing oblivious to that, YOU should not be on the road. (and they talk about bikers not belonging...)

we hop back on the road and start to mount.... this camaro comes by slowly with yet another teenager girl--this time riding passenger instead of driving. she put her hands up--i figured to give a wave--and then shows me the bird. completely ****ing unwarranted. all at the same goddamn intersection.

i hope all these morons kids werent here to tour the local school. i hope they dont go to the school. i hope they werent local residents. maybe they were here for fun, and then later they can head back to their cute little suburbs in dallas or houston where they can steal daddy's budweiser on the weekend and race cars around at night without nary a bother.

anyways. that about capped the night. i rode back home... my friend wobbled. good luck on that wheel, buddy.
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Old 07-17-04, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by redfooj
about 3 seconds later a cop drives by... what chance we just missed. i wished he had seen the collision... if not to get her punished for hitting us then for being a DUMB ASS DRIVER. that intersection was LIT; we both had blinkers; there was a car in front of whose brake lights she could not have missed. visibility was a GO. im sorry, but if you were ****ing oblivious to that, YOU should not be on the road. (and they talk about bikers not belonging...)
Since that particular cop didn't arrive on the scene on time, I'm assuming you did notify the police to ensure that they are aware of what happened.
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Old 07-17-04, 01:35 AM
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my friend is somewhat apathetic about it and i was frustrated and furious that i didnt notice the plates. i dont think i can call in about a '90s green ford escort with a young woman driver'
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Old 07-17-04, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by redfooj
my friend is somewhat apathetic about it and i was frustrated and furious that i didnt notice the plates. i dont think i can call in about a '90s green ford escort with a young woman driver'
That's a shame. I get the impression from this case that the woman in question hasn't learned a thing, nor feels any remorse whatsoever, meaning she's probably likely to do it again.
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Old 07-17-04, 01:58 AM
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the only humor i found in this was the back luck my friend has with road biking.. he's only done it 3 times:

1. on a borrowed bike... went for a bit.. cleats got loose... had to walk the bike home
2. on a beater bike... frame broke on a bump, threw him over the handlebars
3. today... got hit by a car.. within literally HOURS (3) of getting his first real road bike

seems like the road bike gods hasn't taken a liking to him yet
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Old 07-17-04, 02:58 AM
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For some reason I'm not suprised that these were the results of a midnight bike ride through Austin.
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Old 07-17-04, 04:59 AM
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You should have held her there no matter what your freind said. If you were 'explaining' cycling laws and what she did wrong, it would have taken at least enough time for that cop to show up, and you could have flagged him down. Your friend doesn't sound like they know much about riding on the roads, so they probably wouldn't have left without you...
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Old 07-17-04, 02:22 PM
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Riding through downtown Austin at midnight on a Friday night. Better you than me, brother. Were there any sober drivers on the roads? I'll bet even the cop had few in him.
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Old 07-17-04, 03:27 PM
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we werent in downtown.. we were headed south towards that direction. i do realize that weekend nights arent exactly the best time to ride, but cars were almost GONE at that time and we had been doing these rides for over a year without any problems


as for the heckling, it was par for the course. we probably get more heckling, for the same distance, during the day when there are more drivers out. it was just the culmination of all of this at 1 single intersection that prompted me to rant
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Old 07-24-04, 09:03 AM
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i hope all these morons kids werent here to tour the local school. i hope they dont go to the school. i hope they werent local residents. maybe they were here for fun, and then later they can head back to their cute little suburbs in dallas or houston where they can steal daddy's budweiser on the weekend and race cars around at night without nary a bother.
I live with them morons! ^_^;

That really hocks a loogey, man. I would have punched her. I nearly got ran over last night by some punk chick LAUGHING as she swerved at me and laying on the horn. I'ma start carrying a gun.
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Old 07-28-04, 11:04 PM
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well im a 15 year old kid, but in my case, im the deaked out goofy lookin roadie rider and its the dumb*** adults who cause me grief on the road
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Old 07-29-04, 02:37 AM
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that same friend just got hit by a car again 2 days ago... guy pulled out of a alley/side street without looking and bumper-jabbed him on the right leg. haha his luck is too comical
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Old 07-29-04, 02:53 AM
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I beleive where you live is where Lance homestown, right, so people there should have more respectfor the cyclist....
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Old 07-30-04, 05:41 AM
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yeah, you'd figure... i really have no basis for comparison, though. anyways, lance doesnt really even live here. doesnt he train in europe for the good part of the year?
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Old 07-30-04, 10:39 AM
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I find most car drivers where I live are pretty considerate, although I've nearly swerved into the ditch a couple of times when being passed by a lorry - not through bad driving though - I always wave thanks when I can hear someone behind me waiting for a gap to overtake, and a couple of times the lorries have acknowledged this by tooting their air horns as they pass! Scared the crap out of me the first couple of times.
Do pedestrians annoy everbody else as much as me? I seem to get the impression that some of them think that a couple of hundred pounds of bike/rider 'won't hurt me a bit' if I go hurtling into them at 20mph... I love moaning.
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Old 07-30-04, 12:51 PM
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Check out Michael Bluejay's take on justice for cyclists in Austin - http://bicycleaustin.info/justice/

Even Lance has been attacked by a motorist while cycling in Austin, and has been quoted as saying 'Austin's no good for cylists anymore' (August 4, 2001 Austin American Statesman):

"On Friday, [Lance Armstrong] met with members of the congressional Bike Caucus in Washington, lamenting Austin's lightning growth and traffic problems.

"A city like Austin is growing so much, cycling is ruined there," he told U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and other members of the group. "In just 10 years -- ruined. A place like Boulder, Colorado, is just ruined, also."

It's no surprise that Armstrong feels this way, given that a redneck tried to run him over with his truck in 1998:

Lance Armstrong (3-98).

Motorists frequently face no consequences for injuring or killing cyclists in Austin. What does it take for a cyclist to get action taken against a hostile motorist? Well, if recent news is any indication, it takes being local sports cycling celebrity Lance Armstrong.

In a front page story [Dec. 15, 1998], the Austin American-Statesman reported that Michael Carter ran Armstrong and two cycling buddies off Volente Road near Lake Travis. After buzzing the cyclists with his car, the cyclists yelled at him. Carter then made a U-turn and aimed his car straight at them, throwing Armstrong head-first over his handlebars to avoid being hit.

That same day, Carter was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the attack. At the request of Carter's lawyer, the judge lowered his bail from $300,000 to $30,000, angering both cyclists and women's rights advocates. (Carter posted bail and was released from jail.)

Why were women's advocates upset? Well you see, when Carter attacked the cyclists, he was out on bail awaiting a trial for tying up, beating, and raping his wife. In September, he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years for that crime, but he is out while awaiting an appeal. Having a hard time following this story? Let's back up and start from the beginning.

In 1996, Carter was charged with punching his 6-year-old daughter in the face. In 1997, he was charged with assaulting his wife. He got out on bail while awaiting that trial. While he was out on bail, he attacked the cyclists in March 1998. In September, he was convicted of assaulting his wife and sentenced to 10 years in jail. The judge approved an $80,000 appeals bond for that case, and a $30,000 bond for attacking the cyclists. Carter posted both bonds, and returned to roaming the roads with impunity, while awaiting his appeal for assaulting his wife, and his trial for attacking the cyclists.

The judge's decision to let the convicted ****** go was certainly controversial. Check out how the judge downplays the seriousness of Carter's attack on the cyclists. Regarding the attack, District Judge Jon Wisser said, "No one was actually injured in the incident. In the scheme of things around here, it was not as serious an offense." Hmm. Well, if Judge Wisser really feels that way, we'd like to see him get his ass on a bike and ride around Austin and see how he feels when some lunatic runs him off the road with a deadly weapon.

Consequence to the motorist: Surprisingly, Carter was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attack, marking the first time we know of that a motorist in Austin has faced punishment for harming or threatening a cyclist. Let's see if this ever happens again when the cyclist doesn't happen to be a celebrated local hero.

http://bicycleaustin.info/index.html
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Old 07-30-04, 10:25 PM
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I feel your pain about stupid drivers. Not all of them are young either. I ride in rural Wisconsin. Rural freaking Wisconsin. Most of the people where I live have no idea what the difference between a road bike and a mountain bike is, and they know Lance Armstrong as "that dude who survived cancer and won some big bike race." Over half of my normal route is on main state highways. Most people don't give any room when the other side of the highway is empty as a bag of gummy worms in a kindergarten, and some even see how close they can come to you without actually hitting you. The drivers around here suck to say the least.
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