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Bikers Beware Of This Driver

Commuting home today, I encountered an extreme case of road rage.
Coming home today from work, I encountered an extreme case of road rage from a driver. Turning from Powell onto Walters (I think that is the name of the street) on my bike, I was about to get onto the Springwater Corridor bike path. This is between the cemetary and the elementary school in downtown Gresham. I hear a car coming up somewhat fast behind me. I am on the side of the road very close to the curb as the driver passes me. He gives me less than 2 feet of space. JHC! He was close.
All his windows were down so I said, "give me some fucking room". He slams on his brakes, jumps out of his car and comes running at me. He is shaking with anger and his fists are tightly closed. He starts threatening to kick my ass while swearing profanities at me. "give me a reason" he kept saying. As there was noone else around, on top of the fact this guy was insanely angry and a lot bigger than me, I wisely kept the bike between the 2 of us as I attempted to walk backwards to leave the situation. He was so angry and continued to threaten me for another minute or so before getting back into his car and taking off. Good thing no one was crossing the intersection on the trail as the driver blew right thru the stop sign and headed up the hill.
The guy is around 45-50, white angry male, buzz haircut, over 6'0. He drives an Oldsmobile that is maroon/red with plates: WDA 637. Be careful he appears to be rather angry at life or completely methed out.

I made a report to the Gresham Police and the officer said he knew the guy. The officer was surprised that this guy would behave in such a manner considering who he was but more importantly who his wife is and what she does. This piqued my interest, but ws unable to find out who he was.

With so many bike fatalities in the near past, I think it is important to be extra careful out there. If you commute anywhere in Gresham, look out for this guy.



PS: I know that the freeskool is having radical botany classes. Anyone want to start a free self-defense class for us 150 pounders?
Commuter 11.Jul.2005 21:03

A Driver

Glad to know you are safe. Be careful out there.

Who he _might_ (note the might) be 11.Jul.2005 21:34

xyzzy

"I made a report to the Gresham Police and the officer said he knew the guy. The officer was surprised that this guy would behave in such a manner considering who he was but more importantly who his wife is and what she does. This piqued my interest, but ws unable to find out who he was."

Hmmm. The name Minnis (cop or ex-cop, wife's a republican bigwig in the state legislature) comes to mind when I read that.

Portland

What I'd give for two feet of space 11.Jul.2005 23:32

Ex-PDXer

I live in Victoria, B.C. now, and while it has some of the most amazing rides to be found and almost no cases of road rage against cyclists, the drivers are some of the most passive aggressive I've ever seen. Cars passing a foot or so away, no matter how busy the street, is pretty much the norm. Drives me fucking crazy. And of course the cyclists here are hyper-polite and wave at cars that actually stop at crosswalks etc. as if the drivers are doing them a favor. I guess I shouldn't bitch about it since my daily commute is so gorgeous and the cycling is, everything considered, amazing. Still, I've got to do more with the bike coalition people to raise the consciousness of the drivers (good luck, I know). Anyway, regards to all in PDX from Northern Cascadia.

By the way, there is this incredibly rage-filled, dangerous driver that lives on the North side of Lincoln between 41st and 42nd, if I remember correctly. He's got a couple of trashy 70s cars out front that he's always working on, and I think there's a van in the driveway. Almost ran me over on Lincoln by deciding he had to blast by me as I was pedalling through that little roundabout just up the street. He couldn't wait the extra second until I was through it (and I ride FAST). He gave me the finger (of course), screeched to a stop in front his house a few blocks south, and quickly disappeared inside; (I'm sure he knew I wasn't pleased). I ultimately decided to let it go (other than posting a warning on Indymedia well over a year ago) because I didn't think I'd be able to keep myself from beating him to a bloody pulp, and then suddenly he could become a big part of my life, what with cops getting involved and all that. Anyway, he had a cheesy moustache and was out working in the driveway a lot. Every time I rode by I'd wave and say "hi asshole." Anyway, be on the lookout for him as well.

Call DMV 12.Jul.2005 08:44

G. Gordon Liddy

The DMV doesn't give out driver info, but with a simple ruse, I've gotten them to do it. Call DMV and say something like, "I just bought an Olds, plate # WDA 637, but I think there's been a problem transferring the registration." Give her/him your (or an assumed) name and then ask, "Can you tell me whose name it's in," or some such variation can prompt the operator to say something like, "Gee, the computer's showing it's still registered to _____." There's your man.

Database of unsafe drivers? 14.Jul.2005 13:09

nick nick@emilive.com

I've been thinking about creating a website where people can post information about unsafe drivers in Portland. Does anyone think that this would be a valuable tool? I could see where it might degenerate into just another way to trash drivers or people that you don't like but it could also be a worthwhile venture. Any thoughts?

I've been thinking of the same thing 14.Jul.2005 16:58

CaptainPlanet

The biggest problem would be people abusing the database. I've been collecting info lately, for example about the woman who was stopped in the middle of the road (at SE Ankeny just E of 12th) gabbing on her cell phone, she drove up to me later to chastise ME for commenting that she should hang up and drive. Also, the suit-wearing man who menaced me with his car after he nearly turned left into me (as I was going forward through an intersection, with the right-of-way) because I dared to yell for him to pay attention.

Any ideas on making this a valuable resource?

Paintball guns? 14.Jul.2005 21:00

George Bender

A persistant fantasy I've had is to get a paintball gun and shoot the cars of rude drivers as they're driving away. This would physically mark their cars so anyone could see they're an asshole. It would also be risky and should probably only be done by large men who are prepared for a confrontation. I think a lot of these drivers are just oblivious.


rude drivers vs. dangerous drivers 14.Jul.2005 23:20

nick nick@emilive.com

MY persistent fantasy is that I am packing a 9mm and I open up on drivers that constantly put my life in danger. Obviously, I am just talking here. I wouldn't really advocate that sort of thing.

But, after writing the above post, a driver pulled out from the curb (by the liquor store on Hawthorne) right into traffic (namely, me). I was so close to being taken out by one guy's careless actions. I screamed and cursed at him but he turned onto 12th and probably never even heard me. I am sure this stuff happens everyday in Portland.

The database I envision would be only for drivers that put peoples lives at risk (we could argue that driving at ALL puts people's lives at risk but that is for another discussion) and not because some driver flipped you off or got into a verbal alceration with you. As CaptainPlanet pointed out above, such a database would be ripe for abuse. Unlike some other public forums, moderation would not work because there would be no way to verify posters' accounts. However, if enough obviously distinct individuals posted credible accounts about one drivers reckless behavior, then a compelling case could be made that that driver is indeed a threat to cyclists and pedestrians. The police are not going to care that some guy cut me off unless I get hit. But I would rather do something rather than wait around for somebody to end my cycling days.

Anyway, I find it a compelling idea. If anyone wishes to add their thoughts or express interest or criticism, please e-mail me at the above address.

Protection 14.Jul.2005 23:28

Criticallymassed

That's why I carry a pair of nunchucks made from aluminum flashlight bodies with a cable lanyard that looks like a pump on my bike. I would have bashed his head in.

RE: 2 feet of space 15.Jul.2005 14:58

oly biker renaesaunts@graffiti.net

Yes! Well...you CAN get a pin wheel reflector device which is about a foot and half in length. It fastens to the seat post and you fold it out away from the bike when in traffic. The wind resistance starts it spinning and drivers freak out...especially at dusk, the most dangerous time to ride! They give you a whole lane of clearance when they see that pinwheel arm hangin' out and spinnin''round. You'd think they didn't want it slamming their car er sumthin'.

Anyway, if you check with community bikes there in PDX there should be a rider who can tell you where to order it. I think its only 15 dollars or so. They're made in Holland? Denmark? I forget.

Anyway, its definitely a flashonable way of solving the clearance problem.

Heres to riding.

weapons? 16.Jul.2005 12:34

charly

cars are like guns in our faces on the road for cyclists, when threatened with a deadly weapon I fight, unless it is escalating the situation... either way you should have beat the guy with your pump when he got out of his car.

hee hee... Spike Bike 16.Jul.2005 14:45

CaptainPlanet

Some very cathartic reading, this is just the first in a series:

 http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp/spike.html

A teaser:

"I caught the first one just a mile from home. It was a type-A, businessman-yuppie-semipsychotic in a BMW, who didn't like the fact that I was occupying two feet of the lane in front of him. He let me know with his horn and his middle finger. It's pretty hard to hit a moving car from a moving bike, even with a machine gun. I must have fired four bursts before I put one in the gas tank and the "Bimmer" erupted into flame. Fortunately, this bozo managed to get the car off on the shoulder before it blew up, so I didn't have to find a detour around the fire."