Tuesday Coffee Talk - What's your Car Harassment story?

Image from Boise Weekly

The incident that happened in Longmont as two cyclists were out for a Sunday ride is terrible and unjustified, yet sadly this happens more than you'd guess, especially if you live outside of places like Boulder. Harassment like this makes us frustrated and pissed off, just boiling over enough so when the next jackass does this we overreact and explode, leaving us no better than the driver. Huge congrats to these two riders for keeping their cool (at least what we saw in film), many would not and let's all take a moment and decompress and share our stories. What is the worst thing that has happened to you while out on the roads?

I've had a lot of crap handed to me on the bike over the years and by far most of it happened while not living in Colorado but the worst did happen in Boulder County on St. Vrain Road west of Longmont. This road is mostly dead of traffic and pretty darn straight so one day I was riding, yes, two abreast when a large truck passed us honking and yelling. It passed us slowly and we yelled something back, I think making fun of the female drivers weight. She stopped and got out and it turned into a yelling match for what seemed like 5 minutes over nonsense. I was young then, today I'd just wave and ride on, truly the better route to take than one I had 10-ish years ago.

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I've spent 10 days riding in

I've spent 10 days riding in Texas each of the last two winters, in the countryside just outside of Denton. First few rides I was nervous because I figured a run-in with a Lone Star redneck was going to be a daily occurrence.

Man was I wrong. Drivers there have been almost 100% considerate, passing carefully with plenty of space and many even wave as they go past.

But here...face it: there are a lot of self-important a-holes in the greater Boulder area, both motorists and cyclists alike. They ruin it for the silent majority of us who just go about our business, calmly getting to where we need to get by whatever form of transportation.

Riding in Texas

The usual 'redneck' comment. NASCAR is seen as a 'redneck' sport but former champion Bobby Labonte has a yearly bicycle ride to benefit bicycle rights. Carl Edwards also has a charity ride and many NASCAR drivers are hard core bicycle riders. I'll have to agree with the Boulder comments though. I have to travel to Boulder once a month for my job. I'm on foot, not riding, but it is still scary. I have never seen so many hateful drivers in my life. A couple of months ago somebody in a Tesla of all things nearly hit me while he was driving on the sidewalk to avoid an RTD bus that was at a bus stop (oh the horror! A bus at a bus stop!!!!).

Descending down Cold Creek Canyon

Earlier this summer, I was coming down Cold Creek about or just above the speed limit. Going around a bend in the road I took the lane, because when I looked back there was nobody behind me. When all the sudden a blue Ford Ranger PU came up on me and attempted to pass. He honked and was yelling at me. Going 40 it's really hard to hear so I just continued down the hill and gestured for him to pull over. Which he did, however I kept on going. There was a line behind us when he pulled over. I figured then line would keep him away. Boy was I wrong. He passed his way up and drove beside me and screamed out his window. Again its hard to hear, so I just kept going hoping to pass a Boulder County Sheriff. He finally gave up and drove away. Dude was an idiot. Could have killed me and any oncoming vehicles.

Coal Creek Canyon is

Coal Creek Canyon is definitely one of the least biker-friendly places to ride. I live up there, and my first week as a resident I attended a neighborhood get-together. When they found out I was a cyclist, I was told to watch out for their car doors as they drove past. Most everyone there was in agreement that I would be pushed off the road (by THEM) if they saw me cycling.

A few years ago, there was a petition in the Coal Creek Kwik Mart to ban cyclists from the canyon. They have now lost my business, and we used to buy all of our gas there.

Stop at the local coffee shop, and 9 times out of 10 you will hear an I Hate Cyclists discussion going on, along with ideas on how to run them off the road. I was in there a few days ago and listened to a discussion about a newspaper article listing Coal Creek as a good cycling route. Everyone at the table had called the newspaper to complain about the story.

They were also talking about a fight between a driver and a cyclist. It was the cyclists fault, of course.

Coal Creek is not a friendly place to ride.