Tuesday, July 10, 2007


My mother-in-law lives out on Pines Rd in the Valley. I live on the south side of town. When I want to take the fun way to Maria's I like to take the Palouse Hiway to Sands Road. This ride offers some nice Palouse rollers and a few miles of dirt washboard to break it up.
On the way out today, someone threw something at me. I don't know what it was. I'm thinking plastic bottle with stuff in it. It hit me squarely on the small of my back, leaving a little gash and startling the hell out of me. I called 911, reported what little I knew (late 80's white Subaru station wagon, at least two folks in it, heading towards Mica on the Palouse).
I was surprised by how angry I was and how I really wanted revenge. As I climbed the washboards of Sands Road, I played out a bunch of different scenarios in my mind. How I would find them and totally kick all their asses (god knows how, I'm a total wuss). Or how if they were caught I would totally press charges and file a huge civil law suit.
In the end, I got a scrape and it bums me out. I do wish they'd have been caught, because they need to understand how if they had hit me as I was getting a drink, or shifting, or in some way to bring me down, I would've been hurt. Is that what they wanted? It's a dangerous game they are playing and they need to know that. Cowards.


Hjalti said...

Arg, That's a drag. Sorry it happened, but good to hear you're ok. I've only had things thrown at me about 5 times in 20 years of cycling, but it's never fun.

Ken Paulman said...

I had someone dump a cup of soda out their window at me when I was riding home from work one night. I was able to catch up with them at a red light a few blocks later. Scared the hell out of them, but in the end, it wasn't as satisfying as one might think. They're still morons (probably will be for the rest of their lives), they'll probably still do it again sometime, and I just ended up with an asthma attack after busting ass trying to catch them.

Klay said...

Just curious as to how the 911 operator handled your call - did they seem to take you seriously?

John Speare said...

911 operator was very professional and got as much info as they could from me. No complaints there.

Joel said...

Assholes. I've never been hit with anything, but even getting yelled at -- from close range, unexpectedly -- can be enough to rattle me for miles.

I had the opposite experience to yours last night. Got a flat off of 195 and as I hunched over the bike in my spandex, grease up to my elbows, some guy in an Outback pulled up and offered help. I told him I was okay, but thanks. "Just thought as long as I have this roof rack, I'd ask," he said. I thought that was pretty cool.

Maybe this is some kind of karmic balance? Either that or I just got lucky.

Bill Gibson said...

Maybe every cyclist has this happen, and it's always a time to find out who we are and what we'd do in this situation. They are cowards, and they are dangerous to us; I've done everything that you and the others commentators did, tried to use the system, sometimes I've just had to let it go, sometimes I've been able to confront them productively. But that's maybe the most dangerous thing to do after all! I usually end up trying to imagine how to influence and/or educate the community, and come up short somehow.