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Dangerous drivers thread

This topic contains 504 replies, has 73 voices, and was last updated by  rsprake 1 week, 3 days.

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devohelmetguy

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Jul 11 2014 at 5:12pm #

I was t-boned wednesday afternoon by a driver who seemed genuinely apologetic (with the excuse that they’re not medically fit to drive). They made a left into shadyside hospital parking lot without yielding to oncoming traffic. I’m surprisingly injury free. The jag in this photo immediately started inciting drivers in adjacent cars to get out and attack me. He called 911 screaming that there was a bike bike blocking traffic. UPMC security came out and threatened me to leave or else… And the requested mob started to form. I rode away and was harassed by rusty SUVs all the way to cmu along Ellsworth.

Pretty messed up. And sad that the mob was dominated by people crazy because they’re so badly hit by the economy that they can’t afford food with vitamin-b in it, and those angry because they’re too fat to reach their own genitals.

Yay Pittsburgh!


mjost7

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Jul 16 2014 at 11:26am #

Mercedes, dark blue or gray, some sort of special plate DO87.
I was riding in the right lane of Forbes Avenue westbound between the end of the bike lane and South Dallas Avenue when the driver sped past me leaving less than four feet of space. He was driving aggressively.

7/16/2014 at approximately 7:30 AM.


neilmd

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Jul 17 2014 at 1:54pm #

On Sunday a car passed me with < 2 feet clear (I could easily have touched the car, almost with an extended elbow) just north of Penn on Dallas (i.e., when it goes from bike lane to sharrow). I gestured as the car passed for it to give me more space (I tend to put my left arm out, palm outward, and push it away, then hold up 4 fingers). Immediately after that *another* guy came by with even less clearance. All of that rush was to get to a red light at Thomas, so I pulled up to his open window and we had the following (paraphrased and abridged) exchange:

Sir, you are legally obliged to give me 4 feet.

I'm not going to pull out into oncoming traffic to pass you.

Then you have to stay behind me.

Don't tell me how to operate my vehicle.

I'm telling you the law.

Then I will hit you (with my car).

I don't have plate numbers. He was actually not animated — kind of matter of fact. Aside from just reporting the incident, I wonder whether his treat rises to threatened assault with a deadly weapon?


jonawebb

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Jul 17 2014 at 2:03pm #

Not blaming the victim (you), but in that situation (bike lane turns into sharrowed narrow single lane) I would take the lane. That’s the safest thing to do.
I don’t know if it’s threatened assault, but I do know you have 0 chance of getting any legal action on this.
Also, I would put any intersection where that happened on a “Jon Webb road diet.” Which means I take the lane there. Based on your experience, that intersection is now on a Jon Webb road diet.


neilmd

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Jul 17 2014 at 6:01pm #

I did partially take the lane, in the sense that I had a good safe buffer — as a consequence I had plenty of space to squeeze over when this happened. My sense is that they would have gone around me unless I was less than a car’s width from the LEFT curb… I do not generally get over the the far left of the lane as has been discussed in various threads unless the street or conditions are dangerous enough for me to need to actively block a car from trying to pass. An example of that would be Hobart coming up from Murray where it curves to the right near the playground. On that rising curve, I ride very near the double yellow in case some idiot even starts to think that passing around a blind curve would be a good idea. However, on a straight such as Dallas north of Penn, I give a door and change to parked cars or 4′ to the curb and expect cars to obey the law. There are various flavors of “take”, but I never give up a safety margin.


rgrasmus

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Jul 23 2014 at 8:31am #

Very close pass by a guy driving in a blue/black Nissan, PA license plate HVB-9751 (caught with Fly6 camera)


atown

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Aug 6 2014 at 9:37am #

I was walking under the Parkway in Sq Hill to cut onto Beechwood in Greenfield. I see a cyclist taking that lane that you turn left onto to get to Homestead. He’s going fast, has lights, but a car behind him speeds really fast up to a few inches behind him and then slams its brakes at the last second.

I think, “Oh crap, this person really hates cyclists! Better get the license plate in case something happens.” So I jog up a little bit and it turns out not to be some angry person raging against the cyclist but a teenager texting on her phone and not paying attention. I think I would have preferred an anti-cyclist.


rgrasmus

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Aug 8 2014 at 10:12am #

I’ve read second-hand on facebook that there was a red pickup truck yesterday on Butler St that was “rolling coal” on a cyclist and city bus.


Ahlir

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Aug 11 2014 at 7:03pm #

Today, ~5pm, Broad in E. Liberty. Next to the Target. Red coupe.
Passenger throws a full (plastic) bottle of pop at me. Misses.

I get annoyed and speed up, to catch up with them at the ELB light. Made a show of pulling out my phone and taking a photo. Driver gets nervous, cuts across lane and speeds off on ELB towards Penn.

I didn’t get a pic and didn’t bother trying to memorize the tag. It seemed enough to demonstrate that bikers react non-passively and will cause you grief if you attack them. Ideally the driver yelled at his passenger about almost getting him in trouble.


paulheckbert

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Aug 17 2014 at 2:25pm #

The belligerent driver of a teal and white Chevrolet pickup truck (late 80s?), Ohio license plate FQD 3191 yelled “get off the fuckin’ road!” at us, on Crane Ave at Beechview Ave, in the South Hills, 2014/8/16.


J Z

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Aug 19 2014 at 10:36am #

Coming in off the Smithfield Bridge Downtown, some dude was reading the paper as he drove. Should’ve taken a pic…really egregious behavior.


sarapgh2

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Aug 19 2014 at 2:55pm #

Green Kia Soul plate – JJT 1792. Riding down Commercial St at 3:15pm.

Jag couldn’t wait 50 feet for me to get to the stop sign. Honked horn and drove straight into oncoming traffic instead. Smart move.


mscalamogna

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Aug 22 2014 at 8:23am #

I swear i’m not a jerk, you might think I am until you get to the middle, so if you read please read the whole thing…

Yesterday afternoon I was riding down the bike lane on Saline Street towards Panther Hollow. Since it randomly ends, I took the road the rest of the way.

There was a guy turning around in the street who backed out in front of me. A little annoyed, I stayed behind him. He stopped at the stop sign and sat there for what seemed like a few seconds, so I assumed he was lost or something and trying to figure out where he was so I just rode out to the right of him, stopped at the stop sign, looked both ways, and then….

when I looked in the direction of his car, his window was down and him and his wife were both looking at me.

DISCLAIMER: I HAD KIND OF A ROUGH DAY SO I WASN’T IN A VERY APOLOGETIC MOOD.

Belligerent guy: “Hey why aren’t you riding on them trails we made for you?”

When people are completely ignorant like this I tend to respond in kind. His “us vs. them” mentality really irked me too. Sadly, I probably would have given this guy directions if had asked me.

Me (pointing to the ground): “Because I am riding on this road.”

The reason I’m posting this is because of what happened now.

That’s all I said to him. My entire contribution to this dialogue was “because I am riding on this road”. I’m assuming I beat him in the rhetoric category because the only thing he could do after this was start calling me an “asshole”. I started riding away, and his wife leans out of the window and screams “YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR ASS YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE”.

OK. That’s why I posted… yeah, I’m still laughing about it but when people threaten me like that I take it to heart. So, I did my loop through the Schenley Park (ironically on ‘them trails they made for us’), and decided to come back down Saline to see if I could snap a picture of his license plate to share with the group.

If you made it this far, this is the most ridiculous part of the whole ordeal. His car was parked there, right outside of the Italian restaurant! I am assuming these two shameless people were going out to dinner, completely lost it on me right in front of where they were going, and walked in like nothing was wrong. By the time his wife was screaming he was stopping to park. I am honestly ashamed for them…. yelling at someone on the road while you’re driving is a little more ephemeral, but these two had no problem causing a scene right in front of a restaurant that’s typically pretty crowded, and then walking in to said restaurant with no shame. The end.

PS – what’s the protocol there? Should I have taken that trail? I was on a road bike.. i’ve always taken the road.. not sure if I’m in the wrong?

Cheers.
Mike


jonawebb

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Aug 22 2014 at 8:33am #

You’re talking about the point where Saline makes a near-right turn, right? The trail goes off into the park and the road goes towards Acorn St.
I would have taken the trail, but only because I like getting as far away as possible from cars. And I think Saline is pretty wide there so, legally, I think you’re supposed to stay to the right (opinions differ, the law is worded strangely).
BTW, the road bike / trail bike distinction seems a little strange here. The trail is smooth asphalt. Surely it’s OK to ride a road bike on a paved asphalt trail.


chrishent

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Aug 22 2014 at 8:53am #

mscalamogna, you are ok to be on the road. Unless there’s a sign that explicitly indicates that you have to be on trail, you can ride on the road.

Yesterday, I was doing a recon ride of the Pedal PGH route through the city and had a couple of minor incidents. First one was making a left turn from East Liberty Blvd to Hamilton Ave. I was in first position at that traffic light and it was red. When it turned green, I thought about making that left but saw that another cyclist was coming the other way going straight and I gave right of way to him. The motorist who was behind proceeded to yell and honk at me.

I didn’t bother to note any information since I wasn’t buzzed or anything, but I did have to keep an LOL to myself when I turned back and saw that it was an obese, angry driver. I just thought, “well, there’s something you don’t see every day (sarcasm)”. In any case she sped right past me once I was on Hamilton.. only for me to catch up to her at the next red light.

The other “incident” occurred as I was going up Dallas Ave. A driver decided to pass me so it could make a right turn less than 100ft ahead. As I prepared myself to get right-hooked, the driver reconsidered, stopped ahead of me and waited for me to ride by. No harm, no foul here, just odd how that worked out.


byogman

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Aug 22 2014 at 9:30am #

I’ve been called an asshole rather recently in a different new bike lane situation. There was a car I saw pull into the lane ahead of me and park.

I knocked on the window and said, matter of fact but not rudely, “No parking here, bike lane”. The guy look a little annoyed but says “ok”. I saw “thanks, have a nice day”, not sugary, but not sarcastic… OK was a pretty good response. Nothing that registered as unusual.

I bike on, cross left toward schenley drive slow, and make my left and he blows by on the right yelling, “full stop asshole!” inadvertently illustrating one of the reasons that’s an intersection I never stop at if clear (people like to speed over that bridge, granted it’s usually more of a problem with cars coming the other way around the the right hand turn with shorter sight lines, but it’s the same thing… drivers going too fast so things work more smoothly and safely if you clear the intersection quickly).


mscalamogna

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Aug 22 2014 at 10:33am #

Jonawebb – it was the corner of Saline and Frazier street. He was headed to Big Jim’s on The Run. I’m not making a distinction between a road bike and a trail bike… there is a curb there that I’m not going to jump over to get onto the trail regardless of the bike. I went out of the bike lane when it ended and got onto the right hand side of the Saline heading towards Boundary Street.


jonawebb

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Aug 22 2014 at 11:24am #

There’s not really a corner there, though it looks that way on the map. Frazier is overhead.
I apologize in advance for pointing it out, but if you’d said, “I’m going to the trails — I just didn’t want to have to jump over the curb back there,” things might have gone differently.
Their reaction was extreme, but, well, you were getting in their way to have a beer at Big Jim’s. Some folks really don’t like that.
But you didn’t do anything wrong that I can see. Maybe they’d just been reading Internet comments about cyclists.


edmonds59

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Aug 23 2014 at 7:37am #

mscalamogna, you didn’t do anything wrong. Sounds like you handled it much better than I would have. That’s all I’m going to say.


neilmd

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Aug 23 2014 at 9:04am #

This does bring up an issue I have been wondering about specifically related to those two new bike lanes. When are we required to use them? The answer is above I believe – if a sign says so, but where are the signs ( how frequent etc). For example the lanes on Schenley drive near Phipps and over the bridge if I am going down Frew and taking a right toward Oakland, especially at the speeds I generally adopt. My reaction is that the Oakland bound bike lane way over on the left-hand side of the street is kind of pretty but hard enough to get over to that I’ll just stay in the regular traffic lane. I’m sure that is going to generate some snark from drivers at some point.


Ahlir

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Aug 23 2014 at 9:35am #

I would prefer to think of the bike lanes as an option for bikers who would hesitate to ride alongside cars. And it’s an excellent way to keep them off the sidewalks, leaving those to the pedestrians.

In any case, let’s see what happens at the three-way intersection. Signals? That would work for me, especially outbound. (And again, is there really no public posting of the plans? As a taxpayer, blah blah-blah I demand blah blah…)


Ahlir

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Aug 23 2014 at 9:54am #

Just as a reminder:

And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.

— Nicholas Klein. Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (1918) [sometimes attributed to M. Gandhi]

I would like to believe that bicyclists fit into this pattern. So relax. Let them yell if they want. We’re already well into the monuments phase (i.e. the dedicated bike lanes).


jonawebb

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Aug 23 2014 at 10:23am #

NYC has a law that cyclists are required to use bike lanes, if they are usable, but leaves usable up to the cyclist and, probably, the cop. So cyclists do get tickets there for not using the bike lanes, sometimes.
We don’t have a law like that here.


Ahlir

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Aug 23 2014 at 1:09pm #

The lanes up and down the avenues are relatively nice and, on the whole, you probably want to stick to them given what’s typically going on in the car lanes.

I can accept that bikes might be penalized for wandering into traffic. But we’re talking about Pittsburgh. In front of Phipps.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 23 2014 at 3:09pm #

There is no requirement to use the bike lanes. There used to be one, but it was repealed in 1998.

For myself, I will use the bike lanes where it makes sense to, but where or when it does not make sense to, I will use the regular traffic lanes.

In practice: It makes sense to use the chute instead of Second Avenue, transitioning to the bike lane on Saline. I have already had three or four opportunities to use it. OTOH I have yet to encounter any of the others, since I rarely go that way.

My Critical Mass ride next Friday will try to employ the Penn Avenue lane, whatever state it is in by that evening.


neilmd

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Aug 23 2014 at 6:58pm #

There is every bit as much of a reason to be a defensive, polite cyclist as a defensive polite driver – in fact rather more. That reminds me I have to get my insurance info to the ambulance company… Not infrequently that includes politely and defensively taking a lane and moving rather quickly.

I use the chute coming toward CMU if I am going up Panther hollow but 2nd ave if I’m going up Greenfield Ave. I never use it inbound. Too narrow and I get to the turnoff quickly enough.


helen s

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Aug 24 2014 at 8:22pm #

I was thinking about drivers telling cyclists they had to use the bike lanes would be just like telling drivers they had to use the highway to get anywhere.

Or both parties could use normal roads if they chose to.


Lenk42602

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Aug 25 2014 at 7:41am #

Hey Folks, just arrived to work today, had a run in I would like to follow up with. Does anyone know how to dermine who I should contact regarding an individual with a Municipal Plate?

Verona Road this morning, guy made a dangerous pass, illegal, close pass on a blind curve, which started a bit of a debate as to the laws, rights, etc. I would really like contact whomever is this fella’s supervisor and make him aware of how he is driving that car we are funding…..

Any help wpuld be appreciated.

Len


jonawebb

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Aug 25 2014 at 7:56am #

I would start by reporting it to 911. They might have ideas on who else you should talk to. But a 911 report will grab people’s attention.


Lenk42602

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Aug 25 2014 at 8:27am #

Municipality would be Penn Hills, right?


jonawebb

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Aug 25 2014 at 8:35am #

Yes


ultimate5

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Aug 25 2014 at 12:33pm #

New to the board. I was involved in a verbal altercation at the bottom of Greenfield Ave where it meets the chute. Coming back from town I walk over the tracks then make a left from Saline? to go up Greenfield hill on the sidewalk. Waiting to make a left (oncoming traffic) a woman was coming toward me (toward panther hollow) with her phone out recording me.

She scolded me stating I was required to be in the bike lane. I told her not only was that not the law, but it would be incredibly unsafe and impractical as I would have to make a left across traffic going the same way as me to go up the hill (whether by street or sidewalk). Of course she did not buy it, we went back and forth and I finally told her it was against the law to drive and shoot video out her window and that it was illegal to block traffic at an intersection. She stated she was not blocking, then people started honking at her.

Of course, I lost my cool and gave her some choice words as she left. But it is clear that some people do not appreciate the bike lanes (though they were not paid for by local taxpayers) nor do they understand the laws. I was mystified at how dense she was.


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 25 2014 at 1:00pm #

Welcome to the board.
As I said a few posts up, yes there used to be a requirement to ride in a bike lane, if present, but it was repealed a long time ago.


ShooFlyPie

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Aug 25 2014 at 1:01pm #

I encounter a lot of “bike haters” in the run. Several time I seen people trying to police cyclists on Saline from the Panther Hollow trail to the Jail trail there. Typically overweight and mad that others are out enjoying life and transportation without a large over-glorified rascal requiring gas.

I have had several times people trying to scold me from their vehicle for doing something not even illegal and not even impeding traffic, but just being a cyclist in the lane. Such as an old man who was trying to pass me in a sharrowed lane while I was doing the same speed downhill as traffic and shot back into my lane as an oncoming car was heading towards him. He then whipped me off after almost hitting me! I was pissed. I argued the laws and even explained what sharrowed lanes where for and the old geezer wouldn’t hear it. I doubt the old man could even see the painted sharrows and was from the generation that can’t go obtain a gallon of milk without needing a large hunk of giant metal operated by gas. When I realize I am dealing with an unreasonable imbecile that’s when I go to step two which is the immature and ridiculous step; make fun of their weight, intellect, and small dick trucks or pointless status cars.

Anyways, I use to cross the tracks. I just go down the street and avoid the chute and tracks all together. If it is rush hour making a left onto second and going up Greenfield Ave is just as easy anymore.


Lenk42602

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Aug 25 2014 at 1:15pm #

Update on my situation. I got a hold of the Sargeant of the Penn Hills Police Department. I conveyed the scenario, and that a municpal plat-ed vehicle was operated by an individual violating chapter 33 of the pa municipal code, sections 3303 (1.,2., 3.), all of section 3305, ans section 3306 (1., 3.). The Sargeant was actually quite attentive, agreed with the fact hat while most motorists think they know what the laws, they actually do not. He also explained that he injured a cyclist by opening a door without checking first. Due to pa law, he was held responsible. he explained he rides mountain bikes, and also rides motorcycles, and understands how challenging it can be driving two wheel vehicles in general. He took the plate number, said he would call me back once he finds out who was driving the vehicle. Not bad though. I will say he did mention bicyclists running stop signs and intersections – I agreed with him that those that do so are no real help to our collective image.

just peacefully wanna ride towork every day and not have my life threatened due to jagoffs.

Len


ShooFlyPie

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Aug 30 2014 at 12:22pm #

Bottle thrown at me from somebody I didn’t even cross. They went out of their way to do so.

Coming home from the Jail Trail. I can’t stand the montrosity of bike infrastructure called the chute. Traffic is light, so I go to 2nd ave and make a left. All cars in the left heading to Greenfield are clear, and there is a white SUV in the right lane for Irvine St. in the right, but ways down. I get in the left lane and head to the light waiting behind other cars. I am minding my own business and stay to the right as the light turns green while cars kindly pass me on the left to go up Gfield. The SUV catches up 30 seconds later at the intersection in the lane next to me and a white Neanderthal looking guy in his early 20s chucks a bottle out at me. There was a group of un-evolved looking dudes all chuckling like they just accomplished something super badass. I had little time as I was heading up Gfield and they turned right in the other lane down Irvine. While they drove off I got a good couple of insults out about how he threw like a wimp along with a Bill Hicks sounding imitation of hillbillies. It probably all sounded like mindless dribble though in the moment. Anyways, what a big man. Throw a bottle out of the comfort of your own SUV while driving the other way and escaping like a coward. Big man he is.

I wish I had a helmet cam. I could capture the plate as throwing something out of your car is clearly a misdemeanor assault or thrown projectiles out of a moving vehicle or something like that.


buffalo buffalo

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Sep 1 2014 at 8:08am #

EXT 5562 – bright blue Saturn or Subaru wagon. twelve inch pass on a wide open Butler St near Fisk.


ShooFlyPie

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Sep 2 2014 at 7:07am #

I am just wondering, why would you allow a pass on Butler St near Fisk? Were you not just taking the lane? I see so many people hug door zones on Butler allowing cars to pass closely to them squeezing them between moving cars and parked cars. I just take the lane on this section of Butler.

Then again, maybe that’s why I get objects thrown at me.

Anyways, who cares of my opinion on this pretentious forum..


StuInMcCandless

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Sep 2 2014 at 9:31am #

We’re pretentious? I hasten to disagree. We disagree on a bunch of things, but I don’t think anyone here is trying to pretend to be anything we’re not. We’re brutally honest at times, occasionally snarky, not politically correct fairly often, mad as hell every once in a while, but not pretentious.

Yes, take the lane. Particularly on Butler. If you get something thrown at you, take down a plate number and call 911.

I know buffalo^2 personally; he is not a curb rider, and not the sort to report things that are out of line with reality. If he said he got a 12″ pass, then it happened. Chances are excellent that some jackhole decided to try a pass along there. Precisely the point of this thread, to document such cases, with positive ID where possible.


mscalamogna

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Sep 2 2014 at 9:53am #

What makes this group pretentious?

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