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This is How It Went: A Follow Up to “We Will See How This Goes”

by on June 22, 2014

A few days ago, I posted a detailed description of a very close call and my actions to find and communicate with the driver.

The driver did email me!  That is amazing.  I really had hoped for that, but didn’t expect it.  The email was time stamped 10 minutes after the deadline I imposed, which I simply assume was an act of defiance.  I can handle that.

The email the driver sent read:

To peddle, whoever you are.

I am responding to you, although I generally ignore ultimatums, as those who issue them are generally more bluster than substance.
I was quite startled and disturbed that you invaded my privacy by tracking me to where I park my ca, and am thinking how I might pursue that.
In any event, Maryland traffic laws are quite clear that a line of bicycles is not one vehicle, and should not expect to be treated as such.
Accordingly, a car may legally make a turn, and my left turn was completely legal, once it clears a bicycle, even though there are other bicycles coming behind.
My written response:
Thank you for responding.  I did not intend this to sound like an ultimatum.  Many recommended that I immediately make a police report and not attempt to contact you.  I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, and invite you into conversation.  I’m sorry if you heard it as ultimatum.  My primary goal was to let you know the kind of danger you placed me in.Cyclists and automobile drivers must share the road and be respectful of one another.  This didn’t happen here.

Maryland law says that you must give cyclists 3 feet between your vehicle and the cyclist and that the cyclist has the right to the full lane.  You passed with about a foot between me and the left side of your rear view mirror.  In a car/cycle accident, the cyclist would be on the losing end of that equation.  I have friends who have been nearly killed in these types of situations.  You also turned between me and my destination (the right shoulder of Boulter’s Road), essentially forcing me to alter course to avoid a collision.  Finally, passing on the right of another vehicle like that is not safe and may even be illegal.  There was nothing that was predictable or safe about the choices you made.  You put me at serious risk.

Yes, I found where you park your car.  It was relatively easy.  An internet search on your license plate revealed an online complaint about this vehicle being parked in a handicapped parking space without a handicap placard in that lot in 2008.  I’m not stalking you.  This does illustrate the fact that you are not anonymous when you are behind the wheel of a car.

I will be true to my word.  I will not proceed with a police report.  I’m not interested in harassing you.  I have no vendetta or animosity toward you.

Please give cyclists a wider berth in the future.  I wouldn’t want you to injure someone.

I’ve described this situation widely on the internet.  I will not reveal the name you provided in this email.  This is between you and I.

Again, thank you for responding.

There has been no response, and I didn’t expect any.  The exchange reinforces the idea that we all justify our behaviors (mine included).  It is my hope that the driver sees a person on a bicycle rather than an obstacle.  It is a big hope, but then, I’m generally an optimist.
Be safe out there.
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From → Cycling

2 Comments
  1. Nick Bull permalink

    Earl,

    I respect the decisions you’ve made here. And I personally have never filed a police report.

    That said, ultimately, I think that all of us would have been better served had a police report been filed. This guy obviously seems to think that he can do whatever the f@^$ he wants and the rest of the world can go shove it. A visit from the police might get his attention.

    Personally, I hope he does us all a favor and reaps what he so richly deserves before he injures anyone. The world will be a much better place without him and hopefully, he has not yet had a chance to procreate.

    Nick

    • ponderingpastor permalink

      Yeah Nick, I was on the fence about this too. I was ready to follow through with the police report. I had to be clear about my goals. Would I do it differently next time (and we know there will be a next time)? Maybe.

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