Zoobomb Christmas not so merry

Last Sunday’s Christmas Zoobomb became tense when a motorist tried to pass the riders on a curvy downhill section of road.

According to reports on the Zoobomb forum and Shift email list a gold Toyota Camry attempted to pass the Zoobombers on the left on a dangerous section of the road. When the car was slowed down and eventually stopped by a concerned cyclist, the car “bumped” the bike in a “deliberate act of aggression”, knocking the rider to the ground.

Tempers flared (a mini bike was slammed on the hood), cops were called, and despite witnesses and what seems like a blatant act of road rage, the Zoobombers are left with nothing but a story to tell.

I don’t know all the angles yet and I’m sure more details will surface but it seems to me like the driver should have at least been cited for reckless driving. It just goes to show that cyclists have to fight tooth and nail for equal treatment when stuff like this goes down. I’m curious what some of the local bike lawyers say about this.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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18 years ago

Hey, Jonathan! Thanks for the support. Spread the word and let people know that, even at the country’s bike Mecca, bikers are still a target for single-minded “normal” people.

18 years ago

You know, funny thing is I’ve lived all over the United States… and always thought Bikers where treated unfairly. Most of them made a point to stay out of the way or even off the road in most of the country and most places I’ve lived in.

Not until I got here did I find this aggressive “we deserve the road too and we’ll hit your car and slow you down and STOP PROGRESS” attitude.

Since this has been the attitude I’ve received I’ve started to change my own attitude. I rarely drive and often slow down to pass bicyclist and even let them have some of the road – just like a I would a slow tractor in the country.

But unlike in the country when a tractor driver courteously moves his vehicle to the right at the earliest convenience to allow me to pass, the bicyclist here oft times just stay in the road, slow down hundreds of people (in cars, buses) and cause traffic issues left and right.

I’m all about letting people use the roads that (gas taxes generally pay for i.e. an auto supported economy and infrastructure) and even give them some leeway since they’re going so slow. But when the road is congested and the bicyclists are rude.

I will turn to the other side of the argument.

If a tractor driver purposely blocked the entire road I’d be pissed.

If an 18-wheeler drives in the fast lane at 35 mph in a 55 I’d be pissed.

If a bicyclist blocks traffice by placing his/her LIFE in dander I will be pissed.

I think I might start carrying Mace and a Tazer just to shoo off bicyclist that randomly decide to hit my car if I – heaven forbid turn RIGHT in front of them at a “right on red” scenario and they’re pissed because I blocked their ability to RUN THE RED LIGHT! If I’m in front I GO FIRST NOT THEM! That is how traffic works.

But aside from my rant and new found dislike of bicyclist the general bicyclist doesn’t cause these problems.

The bicyclists who do need to chill.

If a car is coming, just get out of the damn way. Zoolander foolander or whatever. You can’t win. They have a CAR! It’s like standing in front of a gun when someone is threating you and saying “I have a right to breath”. Does it really make any difference if the person pulls the trigger?!

NO IT DOESN’T. Because then you’re dead.

So I’ll end with a simple piece of advice.

STay out of the way of bullets AND cars!

18 years ago

Dear *edited* Adron:
You hit the point, finally a driver admited using his car, “superior” weight as an weapon against byciclist. I have nothing to say *edited*, besides that I’M NOT AFRAID OF DEATH. I love my life and I know that being alive is a risk in itself, so I won’t stop doing what I feel is good for me just because you have a gun pointed at my head. You are the one already dead, so I’m not afraid of you, your bullets or your metal coffin on wheels.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
18 years ago

Hey Tiago and Adron…I’m glad you’re having this exchange but please be considerate of this space keep it civil. I like to think of this as a big living room full of bike-minded people. And besides, I can’t remember a time when name-calling actually helped persuade something into seeing your side of the story.

Just for the record, I have edited vulgar parts of Tiago’s comments out of respect for my readers.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

18 years ago

So you admit your car is a dangerous weapon and then you tell cyclist to “chill”. Did you even read what you wrote and how unreasonable it sounds.

18 years ago

Tiago ? I’m dead?

How’s that. Are you threatening me?

Real mature to do such on a forum.

Let me rephrase in childrens words what I meant by the above comment.

When you argue with drivers you don’t add allies in your cause to gain more understanding and safer road access, you DECREASE allies and INCREASE enemies. It’s a hard battle already.

Simply put the story seems to insinuate that the zoobombers where ready to fight, and ready to die for your zoobomb according to your words. Get out of the way, live to ride another day, and don’t create more tension by printing a story under the pretense that it is printed.

Live and let live. If attacked, defend and resolve, but don’t go chasing a car?! To defend and resolve is an inalienable right of your life. But to go on, and then assault someone’s private property (their car) and then cause a huge rucus about it. Oh yeah that adds a lot of support from the masses (sarcasm).

Remember, tomorrow someone could turn around and declare that bikes aren’t aloud on ANY major thoroughfare in Oregon. It’s been done in other states before. Just because Portland is very pro-bike and blue, if you take a look outside you’ll notice the rest of the state if VERY RED and not pro-bike or any bike stance for that matter.

All in all, if you read carefully what I wrote – the ending statement would be…

Don’t get yourself killed you *edited*.

But obviously you didn’t understand that. You should work on improving your reading comprehension skills.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
18 years ago

Adron, perhaps you didn’t see my comment above. If you would like to continue being able to comment on this site please tone it down. This is not some anonymous forum, this is my living room and I don’t appreciate the harsh tone.

Thanks for understanding.

18 years ago

When I said that you’re already dead I wasn’t threatening you. I believe that, to be alive is much more than having your body-machine “working”. A living human, in my opinion, loves and understands that, to live is to take risks, while security means death…

I actually felt that you where threatening me and other cyclists with your ideas of attacking people that are doing nothing more than slowing you or other drivers down.

I can see a difference between attacking someone who is just reclaiming a place to be and move in the road, and responding agressively to a life-threatening attack. The second is part of protecting your own life, so you can live to ride another day.

I have to reaffirm that I’m not afraid of death or any other threat. I understand that some conservative people might use some coward influence to change laws that would take my legal right to be on the road. But guess what, I’m not afraid of that either. The only way someone could take my freedom of moving away from me would be by very violent means, and I think the only way to make these means effective would be being afraid of that violence. I know what I do is right, so I’m not ashame to do it in public and loudly. It’s my freedom of expression. “Behaving” would be anticipating the inforcement against free expression.


18 years ago

Sorry Jonothan. I didn’t mean to invade your “living room” in the middle of the interstate / highway / internet like that honestly… it does seem a little silly to associate and internet BLOG as something that is solely your space. I will however respect your wish that I remove vulgarities. I did get a little carried away in my last post as Tioga had made suggestive threats against me… but he explained.

I’ll just read in peace for now and try to stick to things I have more positive things to speak about. As I’ve noticed you do write about some interesting stuff.

As for Tioga, thanks for restating in a non-threatening way. I appreciate not being threatened even on the internet where no one can actually convey violence toward me. Even though if anyone checked my info they could find me anytime – I don’t stand down, I always stand behind my ideologies until someone proves one of them unfeasable or unreasonable. I dig what you’re trying to do with the Zoobomb – I used to do similar things albeit unfortunately on flat land (the south isn’t very “hilly”) – so we had to make ramps of other sorts.

Continue as always – I’ll stick to the non-negative in the living room.

As for arguments I’ll stick to those for “public” face to face conversations.