Wednesday, April 16, 2008

threats to bikers

just felt this deserved a wider audience:

from the scott roberts' daily bloomingdalian (april 16th, 2008):

From a resident of R Street NW:

Riding my bike (the non-motorized variety) from my home in DC to my workplace in DC today, a woman in an SUV with Maryland tags pulled alongside me near Big Bear and screamed "You are not a motherf--king car! Get the F--- out of the street before I run you over!" Note that I was not blocking traffic. She threw a half-eaten cupcake (chocolate with pink frosting) at me and hit me in the chest before restating her threat to kill me and driving away.

I thought it might be a good idea if everyone knew the legal rights of bicyclists in the United States. Here is an excerpt of DC's regulations, which reflect regulations throughout the country: "Operators of bicycles have the same rights as operators of motor vehicles." If your readership could take this to heart, and perhaps spread the word to friends and relatives in Maryland and elsewhere, it would be appreciated.

The woman who threatened to kill me was correct; I am not a car. I'm a human, and I have a right to live and ride a bicycle in DC. On a related note; Oil prices crossed over $113 per barrel today; a new record.


monkeyrotica said...

What a friggin dick. I encourage all DC bikers to stock up on caltrops and keep them handy while navigating the roads. You'll know what to do when the time comes. Still legal in DC, BTW!

Anonymous said...

Jeezus, i ride from 15th and U down to work at XM and get yelled at/almost killed by people from MD on a daily basis. What the hell is their fucking problem? If they arent running over bikers they are diving their bass-bumping SUVs or crotch rockets up and down my street every Thursday-Sunday night or just parking it in front of my house with their super-sensitive alarms on that go off every 5 seconds....I'm running out of eggs to throw at these people.

Washingtron said...

I live on P St. and cannot tell how many times I have had a similar although not as severe experience. I struggle against the urge to launch my u lock into these peoples back window. This is balanced with a Gandian knowledge of their total ignorance which is after all bliss. Why is it always an SUV with MD tags?

Anonymous said...

Never in my life have I ever had a sterotype enforced by real life experiences more than the idea that everyone from MD
1) is an awful and dangerous driver
2) lacks any sort of repect or condsideration for decency, kindness, tact, good taste, the environment...etc
3) uses DC as their personal toilet/trash recepticle
4) in general should just go to hell

dcavocado said...

When I used to live in Adams Morgan and worked in downtown Silver Spring, I used to commute on 16th street. It became so nerve wracking almost getting hit or having cars passing so close to me that I'd almost topple over, or getting honked at that at some points, I just rode on the sidewalk. After a stressful day at work, it was just too much to handle.

Chris Loos said...

If you follow Monkey's caltrop link, check out the bottom of the page: "May we also suggest: Ninja Hand Claws, and Ninja Foot Spikes" LOL

Seriously though, what a cunt.

Anonymous said...

I'm the cyclist who experienced this encounter with the MD motorist. I've been serious about cycling for at least 10 years. I've made mistakes during that time; but I can assure my fellow cyclists that I did *nothing* to provoke that encounter. I did not block her path, I did not violate any traffic signals, nothing. I was coming to a stop on the 100 block of R NW to cross FL Ave NW, going westbound.

She honked, pulled alongside, rolled her window down, and said exactly what I wrote previously. She said more as well, but I did not submit it to the Bloomingdale list serve because her comments were so ugly and hateful that they do not bear repeating.

That was last Tuesday morning. On Monday evening, I took the Metro home from work. While walking home from NY Ave, I was rounding the corner of Quincey Pl. NE at North Capitol immediately after the gunfire had ended on R St. and North Capitol. I called 911, and before I knew it, I was standing next to bullet-riddled van before any police were on the scene.

So, between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, its been a bad couple of days in the neighborhood for me.

DC Avacodo: If I hadn't joined the gym, I'd be much more stressed than I am now! Thanks again for your advice. And Imgoph, thanks for taking threats to cyclists seriously.

IMGoph said...


i'm glad to pass your story along, and i'm glad to hear, in the end, you got nothing more than a tongue lashing. i've been yelled at a few times biking as well (i've been biking to work almost every day for almost 2 years now), and i always wonder what would happen if one of these crazy types just decided to run me down or something like that.

stay safe out there on the road!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you can not conceal carry in DC. A direct threat to your life would be more than enough of a reason to put a few shots in through the passenger window.

Anonymous said...

First, I commute almost exclusively all year on my bicycle.

I have had many dangerous encounters with cars while riding in the city and it is a sad state of affairs when this sort of thing happens. I have been tempted on many occasions in the past when confronted or cut off by a car to slash their tires when I meet them at the next traffic light. As temporarialy satisfying as this might be, this is not the answer!

It is important that bicyclists obey the same traffic laws that the cars are forced to obey! When bicyclists weave in and out of traffic, run through lights, cut in front of on coming cars, they set a bad example. When you dont have lights, single your intentions when you are in traffic, the behavior of the frustrated motorist is encouraged.

I am not condoing the womans behavior, she was wrong, nor do I always follow the rules that I mentioned above. But, when the cyclists in town start to observe the rules of the road in the same way that cars are forced to then hopefully we will start to get the respect on road we deserve!