By: Ernest EzisDec 21, 2014
I want to thank the people from all over the world that have been signing up for this site. It’s off to a very good start, and it’s been fun and rewarding to watch it grow by word-of-mouth as it spreads from one cyclist to another.
But this post is for the cyclists that visit this site, and then decide that they are not going to sign-up because they think it won’t work or make a difference. I would like explain why I think it will. The inspiration for this site was not plucked from thin air, but was born from bitter experience.
I moved to Boulder, CO in 2012 and was here when a motorist went on trial for killing a cyclist in Left Hand Canyon on June 17th, 2011 ; the driver in question pulled his dump truck and trailer directly into the path of a cyclist descending down a canyon. An accident you say? Except that this particular driver started to harass cyclists at least eight years earlier and was first cited for assaulting cyclists in 2003 in a road rage incident after he forced two cyclists off the road . While spreading cheer and goodwill, the same driver, encountering a rider in 2009, earned a citation for reckless endangerment of a cyclist by pulling his vehicle in front of the rider, in the bike lane, then slowing to a crawl. When the cyclist attempted to ride around him, the driver used his vehicle to attempt to force the cyclist across the yellow line into oncoming traffic . I have cited each story so you can verify the information.
What you can no longer see are some of the unpleasant “they deserved it” commentary from the local readership (the comments are no longer attached to the stories). You also can’t see the comments that came in from other cyclists in the community that said, “Hey wait, it’s that guy! That asshole ran me and my friend off the road too!” I saw it in the papers, I heard about it on rides. Sure he was cited and ticketed several times, but for every time he was caught, how many times did he get away with it? It’s very easy for me to believe he was able to commit many assaults without getting caught. I suspect that he got away with it so often that it emboldened his actions over time.
That is why this site exists. If all the cyclists that were abused by this driver had been able to easily share the details of their encounters, it’s possible that many incidents might have surfaced and the community would have realized how dangerous the situation was before yet another cyclist needlessly lost his life.
That right there, the early identification of dangerous drivers that are assaulting cyclists on purpose is the core mission of this site. It is simply unacceptable that any person believes it is okay to use their vehicle with lethal force against any other person.
My personal appeal to you is this; if I can give up weeks of my life to work on this site -- without pay -- because I believe there is a reasonably good possibility that it may save lives, I hope you can take 15 seconds to register and increase the likelihood that it will work. Like all networks, this one’s strength grows with numbers and having a lot of eyes and ears on the road will be critical to its success.
This post has gotten long, and the story isn’t finished. So I will continue it in a post later in the week (if you are angry now, just wait). But before I conclude I wish to add one more thing.
I am a privacy advocate in my own life. The only data that is being used at this site is name, address and email. That’s simply to geocode your position on the planet so you can be informed of incidents in your area.
Anyways, I hope this post sufficiently explained my reasoning and motivation, and clarified the first of the several goals that I have for this site and the community that is collecting here.
About the AuthorThe author lives in Boulder, Colorado where he is routinely beaten to a pulp by bigger, stronger, younger riders who think it's funny to attack skinny climbers on the flats. The only thing that sustains him is plotting the sweet revenge that ultimately comes when Mr. Gravity comes calling and the road starts rising. Then he can hold his own provided that; it ain't too steep (damn you Lick Skillet), he has a tailwind, faster guys aren't around, the sun is shining, and he isn't tempted by a beer and bacon hand-up. He employs an advanced training system that guarantees his legs are neatly torn off twice a week; once on Thursday afternoons and then again on Saturdays mornings. While fond of literature and history, his real passion is napping after the Saturday ride. If your life is in desperate need of "enrichment" you can follow him on Strava.