Bottle Thrown At Me

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by mrhawk166, May 23, 2005.

  1. mrhawk166

    mrhawk166 New Member

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    Hi all,

    I know this has been discussed time and time again, but hey - it's never real until it happens to you.

    In the spirit of Bike to Work week last week, I began doing my 13 mile commute via Bike. The first half or so is within nicely bike-laned Orange County local road, but the last half is "Laguna Canyon Road." Canyon road, as in narrow, one lane in each direction, and windy. That's what initially put me off, but with the advent of Bike to Work week, I decided to give it a shot. And I did pretty well last week. I was dead tired by the end, but I figured I just needed to get used to it.

    This morning (Monday), week 2, went well. But this afternoon, things got ugly. Everyone else was worried about the danger of the traffic around me - wrong. I have had no incidents up to now, but this afternoon, well, picture this:

    A nice long downhill, a single lane in each direction. Nothing on both sides. Traffic comes in clumps. No cars in front, as far as the eye can see, one approaching from behind. I'm enjoying the downhill. I glance down at my wheels, watching them spin. Then I hear a KA-THUNK, and my front wheel receives a severe shock - a jolt forcing it to the right. I struggle to maintain control (at 25-30 mph). As I glance up, I catch something flying off to the right. The car is speeding away, and I notice people looking at me. There's honks, and waves. I had just been assaulted.

    I called the cops and asked what could they do. An officer came down to record the incident, but he couldn't do much, he said. Without a) an ID on the car, b) me being able to ID the person in a line-up, and c) me actually seeing him throw the bottle, there's nothing he can do. I thanked him and sent him on his way.

    Now what? I hate to let an incident like this stop me from bicycling commuting, but oh my god - that's frickin' dangerous to have bottles being thrown at you like that. As much as I hate to say it, not much we can do though, hm?

    Details: I was dressed in my usual cycling garb (bright yellow/black trimmed jersey, cycling shorts), on my Trek MTB with slicks/panniers - so I was looking the cyclist - somewhat at least. I guess maybe it's safer to be in more populated areas, that way people aren't tempted to do things like this, hm?

    I tried catching up w/ the car, but there's no way I could on the 55mph road. By the time I hit the first light, he was long gone.
     
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  2. ksheuk

    ksheuk New Member

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    I caught a bottle in the chest while walking about ten years ago. Didn't hurt to bad. Could have been worse if it hit me in the face or head and broke. I was walking so no cycling gear and in the middle of town. The world is full of a-holes. All you can really do is get pissed and get over it. I feel your pain.
     
  3. mrhawk166

    mrhawk166 New Member

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    Hey dude - thanks for the message. :) Nice to know that I'm not being singled out for bottle attacks. The world isn't against only me...

    Don't let 'em get you down...
     
  4. chephy

    chephy New Member

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    Ouch! Sorry to hear this, but I hope it doesn't deter you from cycling altogether. You could've been assaulted even if you were walking or driving... There are some nasty sh!ts in the world, alas, but we shouldn't let them scare us off doing things like bike riding. I feel your pain; I know I'd be really freaked out if this happened to me. Good like and hope their bad karma haunts them for a long long time, ha ha.
     
  5. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    A hot summer day, a long time ago, on a now ancient Fuji 10speed, I had a whole pound of butter thrown square in the middle of my back...

    No reason. Just some strange human beings thought it would be hilarious.

    Ehhh... I took it in stride, and actually laughed about the absurdity of it all :)
     
  6. Orange Fish

    Orange Fish New Member

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    Similar thing happened to me a few years ago. I was riding in between Irvine and Huntington Beach on a short evening ride when this jeep (of course with a bunch of kids in it) came from behind and hit me with some sort of inflated object (balloon or condom) that was filled with god only knows what...all I know is that I was sticky and disgusting and rippin' mad. Unfortunately, as mentioned before, cars speed and most of us can't accelerate to 50+ mph quickly, so we can never see who does this. Man, I'd love to find those kids though....
     
  7. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    What you really mean is that sometimes we ALL WISH our bicycles were equipped with handlbar mounted RPG's.
     
  8. Chris516

    Chris516 New Member

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    While that has not happen to me, no driver(in the mid-size city I live in) is safe from my verbal and/or legal retribution, whether it is in infraction as heinous as this or, something as minor as being told to 'get on the sidewalk'.:mad:
     
  9. Sham

    Sham New Member

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    I can hardly believe how idiotic so many people can be.... I' glad that as of yet no one has said or thrown anything. but my issue is that full size vans pass me on residental roads, going like 40mph, and leave about a foot between their car and ME. this happens at least once evrerytime I ride. what' even worse is when instead of a van nearly sideswipping me, is when a semi truck does it. that scares the hell out of me. I'd Never let that stop me... but I think I'd like to find a new area to ride in...
    geez, and if somebody told be to ride on the sidewalk, when I'm in my all -out cycling gear, I would flip out...or flip them off....really, though, I'd yell at them like my mom would (she's a high school teacher)... ride away...
     
  10. vl1016

    vl1016 New Member

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    I had a bottle thrown at me two weeks ago on a relatively quiet residential road. It hit my front tire and sprayed water on my legs. I started chasing, and the car really took off. I chased it all around town though, until it finally lost me in traffic. Really pissed me off. I have kind of a running joke with my brother, but in Texas, it is actually legal to carry a shotgun or rifle in plain sight. Thoguht maybe I should strap my shotgun to my back every ride, adn see what happens. I'm sure I'd get pulled over a few times, but, like I said, it technically is legal. It is becoming tempting-so is a baseball in my jersey that I could throw at cars that mess with me on purpose.
     
  11. Chris516

    Chris516 New Member

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    The way I avoid being 'side-swiped' is, by taking a full lane. This ticks drivers but, I don't move. If they proceed to yell, 'GET OFF THE ROAD!!!!', I chase them down:mad: and, give them a verbal chewing out:mad: and, quote the regulations from the state's(Minnesota) drivers manual.:eek:
     
  12. janiejones

    janiejones New Member

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    Me too.

    I was riding and wacko - a half full one litre Coke bottle in the back.
    Also while riding along the edge of the highway on the Gold Coast (Australia) a cream filled cup cake bounced off my wrist and into my face. It sounds funny now - but it was a little freaky at the time - just riding along at my own pace and then splat cream and sponge cake up my arm and over my face. It really messed up my ride. Both of these occassion were due to some losers in passing cars who thought they were funny. Well, I didn't really get the joke.

    But what can you do?
     
  13. Chris516

    Chris516 New Member

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    Scare them by, chasing them down.
     
  14. cdat

    cdat New Member

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    That is a great idea, chasing them down. I've only had things thrown at me a few times but never thought of chasing them. It usually happens on a busy four lane where I would have a hard time catching them but I have had it happen in a residential area. I am now a full time bike commuter so I am constantly on the lookout. If it does happen again, I'll try hunting them and see how they like that.
     
  15. Chris516

    Chris516 New Member

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    I haven't had things thrown at me but, I don't put up with any 'over the top' garbage from motorists. If some motorist threatens my life, like on Wednesday, you bet I go after them.:mad: If they tell me to 'Get on the sidewalk!!!!' or, 'Get off the street!!!!!', I go after them. :mad:
     
  16. FELTF10

    FELTF10 New Member

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    In the past 30+ years I've been hit 7 times, chased, threatened and yes a number of things were thrown at me, but three times stand out the most in my memory:

    1. Once I was on a high speed highway and someone threw an empty beer bottle out hitting me in the forehead at my hair line giving me a inch an a half cut. I was knocked cold. When I came to, an ambulance worker asked me if I knew what happened, I said no, however, two cars behind me saw what the car in front of them and myself did and stopped, one stayed with me and the other chased the car that did it and got the plate number and saw the drivers face when he pulled along side him. The driver who stayed with me had took my bike home and picked up my girl and brought her to the hospital. It took me two months to track that man down to thank him and all he could do is say how sorry he was for what the punk ass bitch who threw the bottle did, who by the way served eleven and a half months in the county jail. The guy (Tom) has been my friend for many years now. I can't get him on a bike though, he said (Too many nuts out there!).

    2. Another time my girl and I were doing an American Cancer Society ride from Phila.,PA. to Atlantic City NJ. Some nut on the passenger side of a car thought it would be funny to smack my girl on the butt while passing her. She didn't fall but she was hurting and crying. I figured he hit her doing about 35 mph. I chased him for about 10 blocks before I caught him. We got into it when the driver got out of the car and came at me. Right about then a policeman who saw what was going on came over and broke everything up; however he started to give me the hard time like I was in the wrong. At that time my girl finally caught up to us and other cyclist started to complain and yell at the officer, other officers showed up and arrested the jerk who hit her and charged him with three charges. Now hold onto your helmets, he served eight and a half years in state prison for that stupid crap he did.

    3. This one I'll make short. Car goes by, ice cream sundae flys out, hits me in chest, real mess. Next car goes by (ragtop), stops, yells get in. We drive very fast, catch sh#theads, driver of ragtop cuts them off. Very upset bike rider gets out, takes drivers keys, scares driver out of her licence. I ask ragtop driver to take to police station few blocks away, he laughs all the way.
    Tell police the scoop and let them know the perps will be by for keys and licence because I told them that's where they could get them back. Ragtop man and I go out for some ice cream, my treat.

    Why do these three stand out in my memory the most? For (#1.) I found a long time friend. For (#2) the power of many angry cyclist prevailed. For (#3) Nice ragtop, nice man.

    Later!
     
  17. HellonWheels

    HellonWheels New Member

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    In 1980 I was commuting to work by bike (around 11 PM, I worked the graveyard shift), when some drunken teenagers threw a half-filled beer bottle and hit me on my back. Its the only time I was ever assaulted while on my bike, and it really freaked me out. I was 20 yrs old, and scared--being female, I thought it meant they might be planning to get out of the car and attack me, so I sped off without checking to be sure I was OK.

    When I got to work they called the police, but because I didn't get the lincense number, nothing was done. You have my sympathies and personal understanding! :(
     
  18. bryanquinn

    bryanquinn New Member

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    I live in Tampa Fl. and have cigarette butts flipped it me, taken verbal abuse and had a driver pull off the side of the road and wait for me. (I told him all I was trying to do was ride my bike). I know it may sound like wussing out but you never know when a gun is going to be pulled on you. I try to grin and bear it depending on my mood. Throwing something at a car is a serious infraction as I am sure that them throwing things at us is too. Guess all you can do is try to get the license plate number, but even at that it's our word against theirs. I quit
    riding for a long time because of this and I have recently started commuting to and from work. I have had no incedents (knock on wood) yet and hope this continues because I really love riding. It's exciting to go to work now, and my nerves have calmed down quite a bit.
    Bryan
     
  19. Chris516

    Chris516 New Member

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    Bryan, When I go after rude drivers, they always behave like I am 'packing a gun' because, they don't expect me to go after them.

    Christopher
     
  20. cbjesseeNH

    cbjesseeNH New Member

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    Some many years back, while commuting from outside New Brunswick to Princeton, NJ, I was hit in the back by an untouched Big Mac. Left a big catsup and mustard stain on my jersey.

    I gotta wonder why somebody would buy a burger and decide they would rather hit a cyclist with it than eat it.

    So I started taking the bus. Somebody threw a brick through the front window as we were passing a clump of bushes. The driver got us stopped alive.

    The world is full of a-holes. Not a big fraction of the population, but enough to cause problems for the vast majority of decent people. I figure that sooner or later somebody catches and beats the snot out of these jerks - makes me feel better, even if I never know it happens.
     
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