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  #1  
Old 07-28-2008, 01:14 PM
t27 t27 is offline
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Thumbs down Random attack

Anyone else attacked at random?

I was attacked coming home last week from watching the Tour at a friendís (no cable at home). On a wide deserted residential street someone decided to follow me very close then pummel me with eggs. I found it very frightening because they were heavily armed. I would say 6,000 lbs of SUV is pretty heavily armed. I called the police immediately, but a white ford explorer is not much to go on.

I took the opportunity to ask the officer a couple of questions. Like, what would be done if I had a license number? I was told that they would contact the owner, but if the driver denied being involved there would be nothing they could do. I would need to be able to positively identify the driver and egg thrower to press charges of harassment. They also told me something more disturbing. If they were to get out of the vehicle it would be considered more serious. So if these cowards were to put down their weapon and come at me with their bare hands it would be a more serious offence?

I have never been in a fight and no one has ever attacked me or threatened me to my face, but I have had several incidences where drivers used their vehicles to threaten, attack, and as cover to harass me. If you were to walk down the street with a baseball bat or a shotgun, flying the middle finger and threatening people the swat team would be all over you. Do it with an SUV and nothing happens.

There is one thing I could have done besides getting the plate number. I could have looked back when they were following me. Cowards will never attack you to your face. When I didnít look at them, I became a victim instead of a person.

How common are these random attacks? This is my 3rd in 30 years of riding but I have had several verbal threats. Not much, but when you consider the score is zero from people outside their steel cages, it is significant.

I don't plan to change my ride habits, but I have a new game. Get that plate number.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:25 PM
toddistic toddistic is offline
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well i've been shot at with roman candles last year. luckily they missed.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:56 PM
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wyeast wyeast is offline
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A few years ago on a foggy night, I ran across a couple of yahoos who were randomly shining a spotlight into some trees. I noticed they slowed down so that I could pull alongside them.

You can guess what was about to happen. As soon as I saw them pull it up to the window I slammed the brakes, and pulled in behind them. Called 911, reported the plate number. Once they confirmed the car and the plate matched they dispatched a cruiser over to intercept them at home.

People are jackasses.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:27 PM
talkingtotigers talkingtotigers is offline
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i'm sorry to hear this happened. it's never fun to feel relatively helpless when you're on your own. thanks for sharing the police information with us!

i can't say i've had a load of experiences where i made an effort to "get people in trouble", if you will, but talking amongst friends & co-workers (every single one of us always commuting by bike year round), there seems to be a common story: a large black suv (possibly an explorer, navigator or something of their ilk) being driven by a group of late teen to early/mid-20s males who deliberately harass cyclists.

more often than not the stories do not link up to one specific location in portland. i've heard about them on the bridges, in residential neighborhoods, and downtown. my experiences have stemmed from the area spanning 28th & glisan to 28th & broadway and down along stark. my last "encounter" was right in front of beulahland. anyone who rides down that street knows it can get a little messy because of the inconsistencies in the blacktop - the part you would normally ride along to avoid smashing into someone's side view mirror, until recently, has always been incredibly bumpy. it's been covered in asphalt, but still remains unpleasant. i was riding along that with traffic when these assholes came up behind me, revving their engine and cat calling. the cat calling turned into name calling, which turned into speeding up behind my rear wheel and backing off, while throwing shit out their window calling me a jackass. it freaked me out. i ride with a helmet & am respectful of people on the road, but honestly, if a few-ton suv is using its size to intimidate me, the thing has the power to crush me like a bug, helmet or not. i pulled my u lock out just in case some dastardly measures had to be taken, hoping maybe it would send the "don't fuck with me" message. it didn't really, they pulled the stunt again, i turned my head to scream at them to stop, and they raced ahead nearly cackling with laughter, blowing the stop light, heading right on broadway. by the time i reached crema, which is a matter of two blocks, i was fuming with rage and a pounding heart.

i realize this may not be the same group of people, large black vehicles are common as are groups of young men driving them, but it's still kind of scary to think there's the possibility a group of guys get together to heckle and intimidate people for shits and giggles. as a female cyclist, i have to wonder if this happens more to us than to males, if it's vise-versa, or if the odds are mostly equal. i'm guessing equal. assholes are assholes, no matter how you cut it.

if anybody else has seen these guys around, like the original author said, try and grab those plates! i'm going to start keeping my eyes peeled wider.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:20 PM
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Default Technology Rules!

http://www.atc2k.com/

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Old 07-28-2008, 09:26 PM
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erth64net erth64net is offline
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Default Camera

Yep, that's the camera I use; usually pointed rearward, and mounted on the left-hand side of my handlebars. Funny thing is, TriMet bus drivers stopped cutting in front of me once I mounted this on the bike

You can usually find these online for around $75...though the resolution is barely good-enough for identifying plates.

Last edited by K'Tesh; 08-14-2008 at 01:41 PM. Reason: removed hyphen to make fix smile
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2008, 09:33 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Unhappy Egged, Iced, Juiced, and Limed... oh, and money...

Barring all the insults that morons behind the wheels and their passengers have hurled at me, I've been hit by eggs, ice, limes, apple cores, and money (small change)... The bottle of juice missed, but it would have knocked me off the bike easily.

I had descriptions, but without a camera I didn't have squat as far a the cops were concerned (and yes, I'm concidering one). I've learned that if I hear a car approaching and slowing when I'm riding at night, I hit the brakes and force them to pass before they get their aim on me.

I wish that the guys with the money would remember large quanities of large unmarked bills, if you're going to risk going to jail for assulting a cyclist, make it worth it for the cyclist to stop...

Rubberside Down...
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 07-28-2008 at 09:35 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-29-2008, 09:38 AM
t27 t27 is offline
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Default No jail for idiots

I don’t think that anyone is risking going to jail by throwing things or verbally harassing bicyclists. In some jurisdictions it could get you a stern talking to by the Police, but I don’t think that anyone goes to jail for harassment. Elsewhere, the police can’t be bothered. What society fails to recognize is the use of the vehicle as a weapon in these cases. Am I wrong?

I am particularly concerned for women in these cases. Is it worse for women? Do these incidents contribute to lower proportion of female riders?

Sometimes the harassment is pretty funny. Like, the teenage girls in daddy’s SUV who made rude comments to me. They were suitably embarrassed, when a man old enough to be they’re farther told them to mind their manners at the next stoplight.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:48 AM
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Attornatus_Oregonensis Attornatus_Oregonensis is offline
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The conduct you describe could be criminal, and in such situations jail time is a possibility. However, I agree it is unlikely if that is the most serious offense committed in the situation and the person has no other criminal record. Still, it is critical to report these incidents so there is a record that people can point to when it happens again.

Glad you're OK.

A reminder to all: Please, please look for the license plate number whenever anything like this happens! I know it's often difficult to get or to remember to do, but it helps makes the roads safer for everyone if you do!
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2008, 11:28 AM
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jr98664 jr98664 is offline
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It looks like it's pretty important to get a plate number, but that leads me to wonder: In what order exactly should you remember these things? Which are the most important?

So far I would guess:
1. Plate # with car description
2. Description of attacker
3. Location

What else?
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