Fear and loathing in Los Angeles

November 14, 2013 § 33 Comments

This is really simple. A white C-Class Mercedes-Benz, with a license number we couldn’t confirm due to problems with the GoPro video that captured the scene, buzzed the Tuesday NPR group going an estimated 75 – 80 mph. No one was hurt. Lots of people were scared.

The driver is a repeat offender, and westbound on Westchester Parkway around 7:30 AM seems to be the time of his daily commute. I first became aware of him several months ago, sometime in June. A Texas Aggie cyclist had shown up on the ride and proceeded to crush it. Being a Texas grad, I waited for the interloper to exhibit the famed Aggie traits of doofishness, flaildom, and crackage.

This guy rode like a champ, kept pushing it at the front, and really stood out for his strength and work ethic and solid skills. I didn’t want to admit it, but he was damned good. Just before the finish a white Mercedes came roaring by in excess of 80 mph, buzzing the finishing sprinters. The Aggie took the win, and as I shook my head in respect I noticed that the rapidly receding asshat in the Benz had his alma mater emblazoned on the back.

It was a silver metallic Texas Longhorn.

When we turned left on Pershing, asshat had gotten hung up at the light, and we exchanged words. He sped in front of us, then threw on the brakes, as if to get out and fight. When he realized that the approaching mob contained about fifty grown athletic men, he flipped us off and sped away.

Ever since then he has periodically buzzed our group, and one day he’s going to kill someone.

This is what we put up with in order to ride our bikes on the streets of L.A.: Morons from Texas who are too chicken to get out and confront us, and instead risk our lives by trying to intimidate us with crazy, high speed games. Fortunately, since this repeated harassment has occurred in the City of Los Angeles, we have a remedy, because the city has passed an anti-harassment ordinance that specifically protects cyclists from life-threatening harassment such as the kind that this asshat regularly engages in.

Stay tuned. This one isn’t over yet by a long shot.

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§ 33 Responses to Fear and loathing in Los Angeles

  • Tom Hall says:

    I’m so thankful that we’re in this together, and have banded together to try and work out who said asshat is, he really needs to be talked too.

    Perhaps the other kids teased him about his extended use of training wheels back in the day and now loathes cyclists, who knows, but his reasoning for repeated buzzing is going to be interesting to hear, I can’t wait.

    • fsethd says:

      Cops out in force today looking for that fucker. Thanks, guys — you know who you are.

      • Tom Hall says:

        Not sure how the additional Police presence was organized but I certainly noticed. At the end of the day, i just want safer riding (and respect from drivers) so we can get on with doing what we do best, thrashing ourselves 🙂

  • pickled radish says:

    gig’em aggies! I still don’t understand what that means. The thumb gesture makes it seem like it’s something to do with a cows hindquarters… perhaps this driver could use a good gig-ing?

  • dan martin says:

    Not like I condone it or anything, but there is a reason some of my moto buddies carry a few dead batterys in their pocket.

  • no235 says:

    Nail that dude!

  • Winemaker-Rip Van Winkle says:

    You know, I really don’t get the whole driver rage thing. There must be some vile mental sickness infecting certain drivers, because it just makes no logical sense to do anything but give cyclists wide berth. I mean, really, all I have to do when driving is just wait, get clear, and then step on the gas pedal to go on my way. How easy is that?

  • Tom says:

    What’s the difference between a porcupine & a BMW/Mercedes driver?

    Porcupine’s pricks are on the outside.

    I think there’s far more correlation between the car the asshats drive, than by their proclaimed alma mater or last state of residence.

    I don’t even like driving my truck in Beverly Hills, given the high number of impatient, entitled, pricks in that city & its environs.

    • fsethd says:

      In PV the assholes are legion.

      In Compton they wave and give you a wide berth.

      Kind of sums up life.

    • Winemaker says:

      Easy Tom, my brother, We have a couple of those German cars (and A FULL size Ford F-150 with a gun rack!)…You’d never know I farm organically, have ridden bikes since Woodstock, and always share the road.

  • brad bailey says:

    Hell hath no fury like a pissed off Texan wanky. I look forward to the “rest of the story, Good day”

  • Peter Schindler says:

    I hope you nail the mf. A couple of weeks ago I yelled “Hey” as a dark blue Range Rover was turning right in front of me on San Vicente, rolling through the stop sign. The big guy edged me over, jumped out of his car and threatened to beat me up unless I said sorry. I wasn’t sure what I was to be sorry for but since he was 5 inches taller, 30 years younger and 50 pounds heavier I said sorry. This is a much longer story but it shows the rage drivers have for cyclists.

    • fsethd says:

      Did you get his license plate?

      • Peter Schindler says:

        I decided that I did not want this guy in my life, knowing my name, my address and where I worked. Oh when I looked back at his plate he started running at me screaming that he was going to fuck me up.

    • Tom says:

      if Range Rover dude so much as touched you, that’s “battery”, but unless you have witnesses or a video, and can identify him, you’re SOL.

      Maybe a good reason to keep pepper or bear spray in the back pocket, when cycling in those urban areas.

      IMO, San Vicente & general Westside is effectively an extension of Beverly Hills; see my comment above concerning what I think of BH.

  • i have a feeling that little dude got a little spanking today.

    …that said…as much as i hate being buzzed, i have done it too!!!
    Perhaps a smaller…less lethal vehicle…but…if you have ever ridden with me on the bike path, you know, i really hate when people think that they are the only one on the earth…and they are all over the place, or walking down the middle of the bike path…i USED to buzz them. I’d zoom as close as i could to them without hitting them…thinking that i am going to teach them a lesson…”haha, they’ll never do that again”
    I decided after a car did the same to me, that that act was very cowardly…so, i have taken that move off the menu…
    I hope all of us have made that same connection…

    Hook ’em Horns!!!

  • Rob says:

    I’ll forward that plate ## to a private investigator buddy. I haven’t tossed a brick through a windshield in quite a while, not that I would do that. You hire a juvenile for that.

  • Liz says:

    Bike path horror. Tourists, newbs, druggies, old people (older than me..maybe) kids. Roller blader dorks. I say ‘on your left’ politely and loudly. If they don’t move, I punch them as I pass. I always feel superior to them because they are clueless and I know what I’m doing. Supposedly. Plus the meds calmed me down.

  • ipdamages says:

    Once I got buzzed on a commute ride and I caught up to the car at the next light. I approached the mother and her 14-year-old son, who were on the way to middle school, and decided that it would cool to scream “hey” at me when they were a inches from my shoulder. I was going 35 so as to not slow traffic and they buzzed at 60+, apparently in a hurry to get to the red light. So my endorphins were flowing and my pulse racing from the wattage I was pushing, as well as my near death experience that mom used to teach her son about respect. As they trembled in fear with me brandishing a 1-lb Zefal frame pump I had a moment of clarity. I stooped down and let the air out of their right front tire. They didn’t dare get out of the car. I then pedalled away as other drivers gave me the thumbs up.

  • Mike says:

    Get ’em!

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