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almost killed today

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

almost killed today

Old 09-07-07, 04:22 PM
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almost killed today

just got home from biking teton pass, a road i ride frequently. most rides go ok. today was different. i want to vent.

about 3/4 of the way down, the road starts to flatten out a bit although one can still maintain alot of speed.

it's typical for a few cars to pass me on the way down. the road has a narrow shoulder on the descent, which is bumpy and often has some debris in it. i tend to ride a few feet into the road. cars often pass me over a double line, but it's all good. when i'm aware of them, i get over as far as possible. no complaints.

i averaged >35 mph on today's descent, with much sustained riding over 40, and i peaked at 51mph.

toward the bottom, a few cars passed me. apparently, one car had been (politely) hanging back, cruising at about 40, maybe to protect me. that car was able to pass me when a dotted line appeared, as did about 3 other cars.

the final car came within inches of hitting me -- definitely under a foot. i felt it go by. really scared me. i was doing ~42mph here, but the speed limit's probably 50 (and it's possible to do more than that).

the things is, right around the bend the speed limit drops to 25 as you hit "downtown" wilson. i knew i'd catch up to this guy. sure enough, i did get close, but he saw what was happening and sped up.

i raised my arms several times (to say "what was that?"), then when i saw him speed up i gave him the finger. he really almost hit me.

immediately brake lights go on and he erratically pulls to the side of the road and storms out toward me. big guy (tall). i was stopped about 15 feet behind his car.

i think he thought i'd run away, but i stood my ground. i tried to remain calm and tell him he almost hit me -- basically advise him to be more careful. without going into all the details, he told me:

a) i shouldn't be on a highway
b) he doesn't give a <bleep> if he kills me
c) he was running down his brakes
d) he cares about himself, not anyone else
e) that i better not ever make gestures as people like him will knock me out.

a -d are direct quotes.

i pointed out that i go faster than many vehicles down teton pass, and that it's legal to ride on a highway, and HE ALMOST KILLED ME! i asked him if his brakes are really more important than a human life. "Yes," he said.

he told me to "watch out for next time."

driver was in an audi a8 with idaho tags "IT 253".

watch out.

i'm sorry if this is disjointed. this all happened <5 minutes ago. i'm honestly stunned that someone would flat out say that they don't give a **** about anyone's life. i think he'd probably feel different when serving time for manslaughter (although i'm sure my family would feel worse).

maybe it's time to give up riding the pass. almost no good riding left in teton valley. or give up riding altogether.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:27 PM
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'Almost' only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Please only start threads like this if you are actually killed. And why no capitalization? This place is a grammar nightmare.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:30 PM
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glad your okay...I don't think giving up riding is what you need to do....maybe just find some safer routes....some folks are just jerks....should have kicked em in the nuts.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:32 PM
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Well, a punctuation nightmare anyway.

Glad you weren't hurt, tetonrider.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:43 PM
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I'm glad he wasn't hurt, but these 'I nearly got killed' threads are sort of a letdown. We need at least one 'I actually bought the farm today' thread from the Great Beyond. Perhaps I can be the first. I'll certainly try. And I'll have better grammar AND punctuation AND spelling after I'm dead than all these ryanf wannabes can manage while they're breathing.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:43 PM
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I really don't mind not capitalizing on the internet. I think it's a little overrated and unnecessary. it's not formal, it shouldn't matter. Knowing how to space out a story (i.e. paragraphs) is much more important. The story was very easy to read.

anyway, i've accepted the fact that i'm going to get hit someday and don't get too riled up anymore about it. I'd call the police and report him. A lot of people have posted that the 1st incident there's no citation/reaction from the police, but after repeated offenses they'll step in.

If it were me and the police brush me off, i'd find out where he lives or something and do something to screw him over (Fork his lawn, toothpaste the driveway....which is a good idea because you could really send him a message that way)
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Old 09-07-07, 04:44 PM
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Next time take a frame pump to his window and then ask him how his brakes are working.

No, kidding, really kidding. I wouldn't even suggest flipping someone off. I know you might have been really pissed, but honestly, they have four wheels and a bunch of sheet metal whereas you have close to nothing. If anything was to happen, you would be defenseless.

Plus you are only inviting them to respond with a finger.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:44 PM
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I've ridden that pass, last summer to be exact. I know what you're saying about the traffic. Some people just don't seem to care about anyone but themselves. I saw they were putting in a mup on the right as you come down the hill on the Wy side. The problem is then the cars expect you to use it. I rode from Teton village up the pass and wanted to be out on the road and several people yelled for me to get on the path (from the village). While you could ride up the hill on the new mup (if it is open yet?) there is no way coming down at the speeds we do.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
I'm glad he wasn't hurt, but these 'I nearly got killed' threads are sort of a letdown. We need at least one 'I actually bought the farm today' thread from the Great Beyond. Perhaps I can be the first. I'll certainly try. And I'll have better grammar AND punctuation AND spelling after I'm dead than all these ryanf wannabes can manage while they're breathing.
Are you trying to be sarcastic here?

I really can't tell
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Old 09-07-07, 04:49 PM
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I'm glad that you are fine too. Close one. I also don't really care if you used bad punctuation or spelling, foul language (don't remembery any, but meh), or even if you used the wrong fingers to type specific letters on the keyboard, or sneezed while typing it alone in your house and forgot to excuse yourself anyway, etc.

On the flip side, I have a rule that I NEVER, EVER make gestures or yell at angry drivers. I don't even "wave them off". They have the big toys, and 1-2 tons of steel/fiberglass/plastic will always win against a person on a bicycle.

I think that local attitudes towards bicyclists are sort of contageous. So, I wave and smile and thank the more-than-decent drivers often, and just get the hell out of the way of the agressive jerks. There is nothing that I can do about them...well...I have been known to shrug or cross myself (and I'm not Catholic or Eastern Orthodox).

Have fun, and be careful out there!
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Old 09-07-07, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by vantassell
Are you trying to be sarcastic here?

I really can't tell
And it's killing you, isn't it you Wastach gavone?
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Old 09-07-07, 04:51 PM
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People in cars are *******s, you're a target. They will look for any opportunity to start a problem. Either deal with it or **** em up.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:57 PM
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I say, let them pass you close. I was on a construction road where they had flagmen to allow only one direction of traffic through. One of the construction trucks, because it is so large, literally passed me with less than 5" of space.

To me, I accept that cars own the road in terms of being more powerful. Cyclists legally have the right to the road, but it's not always right to take the road. So I understand the risks I put myself in to when I get on my bike. Unless the car was blatantly swerving to scare me then I don't get frustrated over a car getting close. Sometimes thats the nature of the road. I do wish some drivers would be more patient.

What else can I say though? I'm glad you're ok. Some times it's better to suck it up and just not motion anything. I'm not saying you should have this time since the guy was an apparent dick. Kudos for standing your ground. Just be careful.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:57 PM
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When is the p*ssyfication going to stop? In every one of these threads the rider backs down. Well, I'm no 135 lb. vegan. Someone does this to me, I don't care HOW big he is, I'm taking off the cleats and throwing down. Period. We can't stand up to drivers when they're behind the wheel, but we sure as Hell better start standing up to them when they're not.

"You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I won't back down" - Tom Petty

Last edited by 666; 09-07-07 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
And it's killing you, isn't it you Wastach gavone?
meh, just pointing out the lack of comma and your error in starting a sentence with a contraction. I only really point out grammar when someone is trying to correct someone else's grammar and screws up themselves. I just think it's funny. So if was intentional...tuche, if it wasn't...who's the gavone?
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Old 09-07-07, 05:01 PM
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i pity the guy that gets out of his car and charges at me un-armed after a situation like that. it would most likley result in someone posting a news article headlined "cyclists assualts motorist on the highway. motorist in critical condition." im normally very good at keeping my cool, but ide consider that a threat to my life and would react accordingly.

congrats on not getting your butt kicked.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:10 PM
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Personally I would have started to make fun of him for being such a big ***** that he needs a car to threaten me. Before anyone accuses me of being internet tough guy, I done it to some dumbass. Guess what happened? Nothing. Finally he just shut up and got back in to his car.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:16 PM
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Don't have to get mad, get even. You ID his tag, time is on your side. At the mean time, ride safe.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by vantassell
meh, just pointing out the lack of comma and your error in starting a sentence with a contraction. I only really point out grammar when someone is trying to correct someone else's grammar and screws up themselves. I just think it's funny. So if was intentional...tuche, if it wasn't...who's the gavone?
It's touche', and it's you. I'll continue to begin sentences with contractions by the way. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? Can't you see it? Aren't you sick of this by now? I never tire of sophmoric BF foo.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:22 PM
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Yeah...part of me has fantasies about clobbering some jerk that deserves it with my bike frame (30+ lbs of late 1980s touring bike), but I also agree that it would hit the news or local gossip mill and make things worse in general for everyone.

I come from a pretty rough, white-trash background, and I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. The negative consequenses of violence are always bigger than anything positive that can come from it. Always. I have so many childhood freinds that have been and still are in jail after numerous little scuffles that get on their record come back to bite them when something bigger happens, and they end up not being believed by the court, and end up in jail. And someone gets really hurt. Someone's husband, father, brother, etc. gets hurt really bad in situations like that sometimes. It is never a good thing, no matter how big of a jerk the guy is.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
It's touche', and it's you. I'll continue to begin sentences with contractions by the way. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? Can't you see it? Aren't you sick of this by now? I never tire of sophmoric BF foo.
Pcad - would you like me to send you some of my anti-psychotic meds?
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Old 09-07-07, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 666
When is the p*ssyfication going to stop? In every one of these threads the rider backs down. Well, I'm no 135 lb. vegan. Someone does this to me, I don't care HOW big he is, I'm taking off the cleats and throwing down. Period. We can't stand up to drivers when they're behind the wheel, but we sure as Hell better start standing up to them when they're not.

"You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I won't back down" - Tom Petty
That's the spirit. Would you consider using your cleat that you took off as a weapon?
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Old 09-07-07, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinyon
Yeah...part of me has fantasies about clobbering some jerk that deserves it with my bike frame (30+ lbs of late 1980s touring bike), but I also agree that it would hit the news or local gossip mill and make things worse in general for everyone.

I come from a pretty rough, white-trash background, and I have a lot of experience with this sort of thing. The negative consequenses of violence are always bigger than anything positive that can come from it. Always. I have so many childhood freinds that have been and still are in jail after numerous little scuffles that get on their record come back to bite them when something bigger happens, and they end up not being believed by the court, and end up in jail. And someone gets really hurt. Someone's husband, father, brother, etc. gets hurt really bad in situations like that sometimes. It is never a good thing, no matter how big of a jerk the guy is.
Really good advice.
Btw...sounds like you grew up where Patentcad still lives...lol.
P.S.: FWIW OP, seriously everybody who rides on the road and especially on a high speed road which I don't ride on...speed differentials are bad for survival...get almost killed everyday. You need to accept it...or make a change in where you ride.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:31 PM
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I apologize for the lack of capitalization and improper grammer/punctuation in my earlier post. I was definitely feeling the adrenaline as this had just occurred 5 minutes earlier; I chose to take some shortcuts in an effort to get my feelings out there; perhaps I should have waited when they were less raw.

Then again, a cooler head would have edited it, and it was important for me to capture the emotion (and the facts).

I probably should not have made that gesture. I do know that the driver expected not to see me again (then again, he is local and knows we were near the end of the Pass (to the folks who care, I am capitalizing the "P" as I am using "the Pass" to refer to "Teton Pass"), so the 25mph speed limit was just ahead), and when he did see me (giving a hands-raised/"Why would you do that?" gesture), he tried to take off. I really wanted to point this out to him in a cool and calm way -- maybe to have a dialogue about it and understand if it was simply an honest (albeit careless) mistake.

I did put the hammer down; he further accelerated. Then, I made that gesture when I saw him behaving cowardly and speeding away.

What else should I have done? I should have positioned the bike in between us, just in case. Instead, I only had the time to unclip and stand over the top tube. I wasn't running away.

I am normally very gracious to cars (and always respect them) -- and I accept that there are some close calls. This, on the other hand, was intentional. It's also a little disappointing to hear someone state unequivocally that they care more about their brakes than another's life. I know that's true for many people, but hearing it is still shocking.

p-cad: My "sorry if this is disjointed" line in the original post was intended for folks like you! ;-) Actually, your response made me laugh (about someone needing to post AFTER they actually get killed).

BikeWNC: the pathway you are talking about extends about 1 mile up the Pass. Also, although it is very new, altready it has been torn up (since repaired) for electrical lines, and it also currently has a number of areas where the path is covered with dirt and gravel.

Wyoming state law used to be that if there was a bike path available, it was illegal to ride on the road. That law is no more. The paths that we have often have 3 people walking abreast, 2 people on skate-skis (rollers), one person with 3 dogs off-leash, etc. It actually turns out to be very unsafe for cyclists traveling >20mph. In fact, one person was killed last year by a cyclist. In practice, "multi-user" translates to "not for cyclists". Bikes are OK...if you're just tooling around.

Thanks for listening. I'm not giving up the sport, nor will I give up Teton Pass. We only have a few good riding options around here (even fewer *safe* options), and one of them was just chip-sealed last week. I can't afford to give up another.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
It's touche', and it's you. I'll continue to begin sentences with contractions by the way. Isn't it ironic? Don't you think? Can't you see it? Aren't you sick of this by now? I never tire of sophmoric BF foo.
foiled by spelling, damn
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