Carefull of aggresive drivers
Well 2 times this week I was passed very close by drivers and as they went by they where looking and mouthing something at me. Both times I put my hand up in a WTF motion and both times the driver slammed on their brakes got out and threatened to hit me.
First time was on butler just past the sunoco around 51st going towards town. Guy passed and swerved at me just as I was passing a car that just parked and was being careful not to be in the door zone. I threw my hand up and he slams on his brakes and comes to a screeching halt right under the light at butler and 48th. He jumps out and runs in front of me yelling he is gonna hit me. I swerve around him and get onto the sidewalk about 10 feet past his car. I stopped and turned to find him running at me. I was carrying a 26 inch wheel so i held it up and told him I would defend myself. He backed off and yelled a bunch of shit then got back in his car. I rode off up plummer street, he blew by me close again giving me the finger and yelling. I just went on my way. Passed him again on butler as he came up one of the side roads. He continued to give me the finger so I flipped him off and went to play bike polo. The car was a gold colored toyota sedan driven by a fat guy that looked like a frog and was probably about 45-50. Anyone ever get harassed by this guy before? He completely passed me the way he did on purpose. And I’m guessing he does shit like that all the time.
Now today I am ridign on railroad street at about 28th street. I stop at a stop sign let the car from my left go and just as i start to go a black chevy (HXR 4090)come up on my left very close then starts to push me to the right almost putting me into the right hand side curb. I had to brake and let him get by so i woudlent get hit. He speeds away and I throw my hand up. He instantly slams on his brakes and jumps out, runs in front of me yelling he is gonna punch me in the face. I get past him and his car and actually stopped a police car that was a block up coming at me. It wasn’t a cop it was a mechanic test driving a car and said he couldn’t do anything. At this point im stopped. The driver comes up to me yelling at me telling me i was swerving around the road. I told him “I have a right to the road and i was trying to take the lane so you wouldent push me off the road or hit me” He didn’t want to hear that and got very close in my face telling me Im not supposed to be on the roads. I tried to explaine that i was allowed to be on the roads and he started to threaten to hit me again. I opened my pannier and pulled out my u lock and told him to back off. I also pulled out my phone and dialed 911. He started to mock me and called me a pussy and everything else you can think off. He went to his trunk and started looking for something. The 911 operator actually stayed on the phone with me and could hear him screaming at me and threatening me. I kept my cool and just waited for the cops with my guard up. He made fun of me more and stayed and waited for the cops. Thats when i noticed his corrections officer hat. Cops arrive I tell them what is going on. They go and talk to him and he offers to let them search his car for weapons. They didn’t bother. He dropped all the swearing once he started talking to the cops, turned into a completely different person. The cop did explain to him that bicyclist do have a right to the road and what he did was wrong. He said he was sorry then told the cops it was a misunderstanding.(my ass) So in the end they just told him to be on his way. Honestly it seemed like all three off them (2 cops and corrections officer) blew smoke up my ass so I would just leave it alone and they wouldn’t have to do paperwork. Is this something I should maybe report to someone higher up the chain?
Sorry to be so long winded here its just been a tough few days out there riding. And honestly if I didn’t have to ride for a few days i wouldn’t. I just dont have that option though
OH and be careful out there many drivers are really on edge lately.
Thanks for the heads up. It sounds like you kept realtively cool in both situations, and I’m glad no one got hurt.
My office is at 25th & Railroad. Let’s grab coffee some time when you’re riding through.
This sucks Willie. I hope the rest of your week is better. The corrections officer probably went home and took his rage out on a family member (not your fault — he sounds out of control).
There was a driver that almost cremeed me when he was rolling through a stop sign.
I filled my lungs up to let loose, but the guy looked so abashed and apologetic, that I just shrugged.
As well as getting killed by some jerk with an attitude or some fool texting, on bikes we could easily get killed by a generally responsible driver who just didn’t look enough at an intersection.
I nearly left hooked someone in my car yesterday. It was in the daytime, they were wearing all matt black and tucked between a big SUV turning left in front of my and a big bright PAT bus. The cyclist was not doing anything wrong: I’m just glad that he paused a moment after the SUV turned and that I am a slow driver in general. Whew.
Willie, sounds like you’re due some good karma soon. Be safe.
Now that i think of it he was a total bully. Probably been that way his whole life. As I was calling the cops he kept calling me names such as baby, and asked if i was gonna cry and so on. I can see why he got into that line of work. Im sure he treats the prisoners like shit and belittles them every chance he gets. What a outstanding citizen.
The prick that hit the two doctors on Washington Blvd. was alternately described as driving a gold sedan or SUV. Obviously a total longshot but if you have the plate or a partial plate I’d send it to the cops.
HAHA Be on the look out for this guy
My neighbor is a correctional facility officer. To his credit, he only beats the step kids who are male.
If it was safely possible, I would’ve snapped a photo of his license plate.
Damn Willie, that really stinks. Stupid macho bullshit, I don’t know why people have to be like that. Glad you’re ok, good job staying cool and calling the cops.
I don’t know if it would do any good to report the whole incident to 311. Anybody know if 311 serves as an official record of an incident?
This sucks and I hope you never see any of these asshats again but honestly your description of the driver as “a fat guy that looked like a frog” was excellent. A+
If he was threatening you while you were on with 911 those calls should be recorded and it may have been picked up.
I’m pretty sure that saying of “protect and serve” only applies to police protecting and serving the interests of their own kind.
How long did it take from the time you called 911 till the time the police showed up?
Anonymous 08/28/2012 at 1:53pm #
This has been the week of aggressive drivers in the East End. I had a lady spend an entire block riding in oncoming traffic about a foot away from my bike as she yelled at me through her passenger side window that I need to get out of the street. After she sped away, she turned down the side street and parked her car. She could have got there faster if she just passed me and gone on her merry way.
There is a gold sedan with a driver matching the description that lives on East End Avenue. License plate HSX 4138. I didn’t notice the make and model, but I’m sure I’ll see him again soon enough. He has taken to laying on his horn, yelling and passing really close every time he sees me.
I am now thoroughly convinced that the enforcement efforts on Penn have just pushed the crazies to the side streets.
Willie, the more I think about it, if you want to pursue this, you should. If you are involved in a incident, I believe you are allowed to see a copy of the police report. You should call the station and ask to see a copy. If there is no report on record, you should ask to come in and file one. The report will probably ask if police responded to the incident. If these guys were supposed to file a report and chose not to, it will be on them. I’m not saying there is some kind of “band of brotherhood” thing going on with them not filing a report, but if there is, fuck them.
I really did get the feeling that they where protecting this driver. There was alot of talking in private going on between one of the cops and the corrections officer. Then the 2 cops talked in private for a few minutes before coming over to me and telling me it was a misunderstanding.
Ajbooth ill have to take you up on that one of these days. I ride through that area all the time.
As far as a license plate from the gold car I never bothered to get it. From what i can tell it was a 4 door toyota sedan. Something like a Camry.
Oh and it took about 15 minutes for the cops to show up after I called.
Willie, maybe you should talk to Steve patchen or maybe you city councilman (or someone from the county if you aren;’t from the city.
Edmonds59 is right (he often is, that f*cker), if there isn’t a report of it, that is itself a problem. Since there probably is a recording of the 9-1-1 call, then it’s well documented that there was an issue.
I’ve been stewing on this for a little while – Willie is a big guy. I know I would think twice before confronting him. So what do you think this asshole would do to someone smaller? Or a female?
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
Willie’s not just a big guy, he’s a nice guy too.
Glad nothing worse happened. Hope nothing as bad happens again, or at least you have as healthy an outcome. I’m not sure I’d have been able to weather those incidents as well.
+1 on filing a report – the side discussion probably included the fact that if a corrections officer gets into legal trouble, I’d assume it costs him his job. Not saying the guy should become unemployed, but perhaps different employment for him would better benefit everybody.
Sometimes people need help to make the best decisions of their lives.
I would also recommend taking this further up, trying to file some kind of something
If they didn’t put this guy down on the books, who is to say he won’t randomly go punch some guy in the face and then drive off like what happened with that guy on 2nd Ave a few months ago?
Or he punches his wife and it’s his word against hers, etc, etc
Anonymous 08/28/2012 at 7:18pm #
Hah, not sure how much we can even trust the cops. Nearly got hit by two cops as a cyclist and as a pedestrian in the same day. One was being careless and was driving on the wrong side of the road around a corner. The other tried to ram is way through a bunch of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Neither had lights or sirens on.
Thanks to living in Pittsburgh since 1994 I have nothing but pure hatred in my blood for police officers. They are the worst scum of the earth.
Not surprised in the least to hear that they were out “protecting their own” with regards to your one incident.
As far as aggressive drivers? I can sure as hell vouch for the fact that they are EVERYWHERE right now. I deal with at least 3 EVERY SINGLE DAY on my commute into work AND on my way home.
In no particular order I’ve had to deal with a guy in a pickup truck trying to slam his truck into me. I’ve been clipped more than a half dozen times by cars purposely swerving into me in the last couple of months. I’ve had everything thrown at me from beer bottles (yeah, open beer bottles while driving a car) — and eggs, and some dickweed threw a full plastic cup of beer at me while riding down towards the West End bridge.
Right now I am riding with a big ass crocodile dundee knife with a window breaker on the opposite end and I fully intend to use it if I need to protect myself, or if some dick throws something at me and I can catch up to them they are getting a broken window while I ride off into the sunset — let the cops do what they will at that point I don’t care.
I’m an agressive dick when I bike anymore, I make sure to take the full lane unless it is safe to move over and let people pass. I mean it is safe to say that the PROBLEM drivers really account for less than 1% of the drivers out there, but when you get passed by 500 cars in the morning on your way into work during rush hour, that means it only takes 2 or 3 to ruin your morning or afternoon ride!
And it is not just bikers either. I deal with idiots every time I drive somewhere. The latest trends I notice when I am driving are not bothering to stop at red lights until about 4 seconds AFTER the light turns red, when you actually use your turn signal to change lanes on a multi-lane road has anyone noticed that the person who WAS 2 car lengths behind you will IMMEDIATELY speed up and attempt to cut you off from making the lane change almost every single time? I have completely stopped using turn signals for lane changes until I am halfway across the line. People tailgate me so close that I can’t even see the hood of their car in my rear view mirror (and then get mad at ME when I slam on my brakes in an attempt to show them how stupid they are being). I had a guy on route 88 tailgating my bumper for absolutely no reason, barely giving me 5 feet of room behind him so I slammed on my brakes for a split second to wake his dumb ass up — so at the next red light he gets out and starts screaming at me through my closed window and banging on it until I reached into the glove box and pulled out a dagger and asked him he he would like to repeat what he just said to me (at which point he got into his car and sped off). Oh man how I wish the Castle Shannon police were out for that one — they are pricks, but not so bad if they find out you actually live there I have found.
I got into 4 accidents in a 3 day span. One idiot dingbat beyotch side-swiped my Jeep on 16th street in the strip and then yelled at ME — but the funny thing about that was while MY mirrors are designed to fold up against the truck in case you smack a tree or something — the ones on her minivan just break off! Then the next morning I was going down Capitol Ave and waiting at the light when a douche in a BMW drives in REVERSE the WHOLE WAY DOWN THE HILL against traffic and then swerves and smacks into the back of my jeep — once again my bumper isn’t even scratched and his fell off in the street. Then that same afternoon in the crazy ass Bethel Park Wal Mart parking lot (ask ANYONE who ever goes there and they will agree) some teenager reversed out of her parking spot all the way across the lane and smashed into my back bumper — once again putting a big dent in hers while I walked around the back and brushed the fiberglass powder off of mine and drove away.
Just one of many reasons I refuse to even drive a car in this city anymore.
But yeah, people have gotten so ridiculous on the road it astounds me. I know I make mistakes from time to time, EVERYONE does, even us cyclists do something stupid from time to time — I am far from innocent in that regard.
I recall the one time downtown when I blew a red light and had to come to a skidding stop to avoid slamming into a cop car who was coming through the intersection…
So what does the nice lady officer do to me? Instead of giving me a ticket she rolls down her window and flips me the bird telling me I am a f-ing a-hole and speeds off into the sunset — whoops! My bad!
I think I lost all of my fear whatsoever on a bicycle when I was hit head on while going 45 mph by an 80 year old lady going about 40 mph — and landed 30 feet from the car after slamming into her and folding my bike into a pretzel while not wearing a helmet, jumped up off the ground (I landed in the soft grass on the shoulder) and almost ripped her out of the car in an adrenaline fueled rage before the cops and ambulance showed up, and the time I rode down route 28 because I was too lazy to take a hilly detour (not that I have never ridden 28 before) but some van came barreling at us with his horn blaring and actually clipped my friend with his mirror going almost 80mph — only to be greeted by the police at the 40th street bridge who caught my friend (they never even saw me fly past them LMFAO but I had to go back for my friend’s sake) — told us we were a couple of idiots but they couldn’t give us a ticket because technically we didn’t break any laws — they had shown up because in 5 minutes they received 30 phone calls from angry drivers and wanted to see what was going on.
I guess getting hit and killed by a vehicle beats rotting in a hospital bed from cancer LOL… But in all seriousness I am quite sick of the mentallity of city drivers anymore. Out in the styx you get them from time to time but not even CLOSE to as bad as the city has become.
The videos I have of drivers freaking out at the critical mass rides, driving up on sidewalks to get past, the wrong way on the bus lanes, trying to run people over, actually HITTING bikers (but the dumb ass was driving a convertible Porche with the top down so at least 30 cyclists dumped their water bottles on his leather seats as they passed him) — I’ve seen it all. If I could find those videos they would make a good YouTube compilation for sure.
The thing I never understood about critical mass and how people used to completely flip out at the bikers was that these same dickweeds are not driving up on the sidewalk, going the wrong way down bus lanes and one way streets, and running people over to get around a traffic jam of CARS — which is every OTHER DAY in those parts of the city, but heaven forbid today’s traffic jam is CYCLISTS!
The bike cops who patrol E Liberty are cool cats.
There are some jerky cops who taint public perception of the whole force (just like those helmetless red light running ninja cyclists incite rage towards the rest of us). I’ve had some decent encounters mixed in with the bad ones.
Even though I can’t stand the police here whatsoever I do tend to agree that the PROBLEM officers are still a minority overall.
You just hear about them more because crimes committed by police officers get much more airtime than heroes do.
I also think that just like people in general, law enforcement officers are much more friendly and professional outside of major cities than they are within major metropolitan areas.
Biking long distances REALLY hits that home for me whenever I ride from one big city to another. You can just watch the “friendly meter” rise as you leave any major city and then decline as you approach the next one!
And I am talking about people ON the roads / trails, drivers, people at stores and restaurants, etc.
I am biking to D.C. tomorrow and frankly the last time I did it, I really noticed how cool people got the further away from Pittsburgh I got and how NASTY people got as I got closer to D.C. — even people WALKING on the trail 15 miles from Washington D.C. were complete assholes towards us.
When I do a ride like that on roads — people go from honking at you in the city and screaming obscenities at you to honking at you because they want to wave and say hello when you are in the rural areas!
I’ve almost flicked off nice people in the country who were just honking to show support or to wave as they drove by LMFAO (almost, until I realized they were being friendly and then I just laughed and smiled back).
About a month ago, my friend Steve – a very calm and cautious fellow – was riding his bike in Oakland when a car rolls by him and the guy behind the wheel yells “you f-ing bikers! Get off the street”.
Steve speeds up and catches the guy at the next light and asks the guy “What’s your problem?” The guy pulls out his wallet and shows him a police badge.
Being a bit doubtful, Steve says “Where do you work?” and the guy says “Zone 4”.
Steve, who works in Sq. Hill, makes his way up to the Sq. Hill police station, walks in, and sure enough, there’s the guy. He asks to talk to a supervisor who takes his report and says that he will look into it.
Even with all that I see on the roads every day, I was truly appalled by his story – and a bit shocked that the cop would show his badge and give him accurate info. As far as I know, he never followed up on the report and he didn’t want me to do so either.
On the flip side of that, I ride quite a bit, and almost every interaction that I’ve had with police while riding has been positive.
My bro in law is a city cop and he’s a complete ignorant racist douchebag, I can’t even believe he takes home a paycheck from the public, so I have no evidence to dispute anything that may be said about the police.
One of my neighbors on Perrymont is a McCandless town cop. Total nice guy. Rides one of the township’s bicycles, which they had on display at the annual township festival. He’s seen me walking or biking past his house for lo-these-many, and I think he “gets it”. There are a few decent ones out there.
My cop story:
I work in an office in the Robinson Township Municipal Building, right above the police station. About six months ago, I was riding down Church Hill Rd. to my office. The speed limit is 25 and I was easily going 30 because it’s a steep downhill. A guy in a white pickup truck sped by me, even though I was taking the lane, then braked hard in front of me and turned left into the parking lot. A couple seconds later I turned into the lot behind him and gave him the hairy eyeball as he pulled into his spot. He yelled something at me and I turned around and went back to talk to him. He first said that I wasn’t allowed to ride on the road, then he said that I had to yield to him, and that I knew I was in the wrong because I kept looking back over my shoulder. I didn’t say that I always look over my shoulder because I don’t have mirrors like cars do, but I did say that he was wrong about me not being able to ride in the road and having to yield to a passing car. He asked if I worked up stairs and he said that he would come up and show me the law that says I couldn’t be in the road.
After I went inside I was too worked up to wait for him, so I printed out the PA code myself and took it downstairs. Another cop greeted me and I told him what happened and asked him to make sure the cop who yelled at me knew the law.
One or two days later in the afternoon we were both leaving work at the same time and he flagged me down. He actually acknowledged that he was wrong and gave me a sincere apology, which I very much appreciated. So, happy ending I guess.
@bhattenb, I had a cop tell me to get on the sidwalk in the middle of Oakland once, so yeah, some of them don’t know the law. Good for him to admit that he was wrong though. That cant be easy. Imagine an engineer/programmer/etc. admitting that they dont know something fundamental to their profession.
that’s awesome bhattenb. Without that last part to the story, it’s just another jerk story. If you or he had changed jobs or shifts or just never encountered each other again, it might have remained a missing piece.
Not all ignorance is a chronic condition, even if we don’t witness the recovery.
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