Like it or not, cyclists are here to stay

I would like to personally and publicly thank the individual who decided it was necessary to throw and hit me in the back with a full plastic water bottle from the passenger seat of a truck while I was on the side of Blue Ridge Road in Black Mountain on Good Friday afternoon, trying to fix my broken bicycle. I was off the road, three miles from my house, and was not in anyone's way.

I also wanted to let you know that it's a good thing I didn't get your license-plate number because I could have had you charged with assault and battery, as I had a witness who had just pulled up to generously offer me assistance. I suppose I should be glad it was only a full plastic water bottle and not a shotgun.

It's such a shame that hostile people like you live in this area, and it’s too bad you have such an immature attitude toward cyclists, because whether you like it or not, we're here to stay.

Happy Strive Not to Drive week!

— Melanie Ross
Black Mountain

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12 thoughts on “Like it or not, cyclists are here to stay

  1. cwaster

    Have had this same experience on a bike, it was a big gulp cup full of ice to the back of my head. It knocked me off the bike and made me wreck. Police were called, but without a license # nothing could be done.

    My friends in LA say bikers often carry firearms out there and shoot back. ;)

  2. bearsnotyuppies

    I also got a big gulp thrown at the back of my head, while biking out in West Asheville. I thought I was seriously hurt until i realized it was only soda.

    I biked around and eventually found the car of three 18-20 year old boys who threw it at me and tried to get them to fight me. They wouldn’t because they’re cowards.

    Maybe it was the same people?

    Anyway, don’t call the cops. They never make anything better.

  3. cwaster

    @ Bill- Try having the experience repeatedly as you ride your bike, Bill. I doubt you’d “just get over it”, especially when it involves a busted bike and expensive repairs and a few stitches from the wreck with associated bill.

  4. bill smith

    @Cwaster-I’ve had it happen before. Not to the extreme you are describing, but the exact scenario the letter writer is referring to. Yeah, a water bottle’s annoying, but I choose to let it go pretty quickly. You’re example is quite different.

    Nonetheless, what good does getting all huffey do? Enjoy your bike ride.(see what i did there?)

  5. Cheshire

    Road rage towards cyclists is a serious issue. I used to go everywhere on my bicycle, to the tune of 8,000 logged miles a year. I had a car and license in good standing the entire time, I just preferred to pedal. Sure, I had stuff thrown at me, but I shrugged it off. I had people swerve at me, but I didn’t let it get to me too much. FIDO principle, right? Forget It, Drive (or ride) On.

    It worked great, up until a carload of brats intentionally ran me over at 80 mph on a straight stretch (way, way over the posted speed limit) and left me to die on the side of the road. Now I’m an incomplete paraplegic. I just barely avoided both death and a lifetime in a wheelchair…all because someone thought I should be “taught a lesson”.

    Over 20,000 miles logged (I use a cycling computer on my bikes) and most of them were fantastic. I still love cycling, don’t get me wrong. It’d be fine if the self-appointed judge-and-jury drivers (who don’t know that bicycles are legally defined as vehicles and are supposed to be on the road) would take all of 5 seconds to realize they can just PASS a bicycle and not trash a life to prove a point to themselves.

  6. reasonable

    I’ve ridden all over Europe, Asia, left coast, mid-west, east and south USA, urban and rural and I say without hesitation that the idiot/sane driver ratio out here in WNC is the absolute worst of all. Where do these miscreant drivers with NC tags come from?

  7. bill smith

    [b]Where do these miscreant drivers with NC tags come from?[/b]

    New York Yankees, every single one.

  8. dpewen

    It’s the local rednecks who were born and raised here … they never had bikes so they don’t know how to behave … I see it all the time. I ride a lot but mostly in the country … just dogs to worry about.

  9. bearsnotyuppies

    I would say from experience that biking in Manhattan at rush hour is actually way safer then biking down Haywood road at any time.

  10. lance

    @bearsnotyuppies – agree 100%. Years ago I had nary an incident commuting from Brooklyn to Manhattan daily. Today, riding Merrimon scares the bejeezus out of me.

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