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View Full Version : Need Help to ID cyclist who assaulted me on the WO&D near Custis 7:45am May 13th



McChipstah
05-14-2013, 10:06 AM
Yesterday morning at 7:45am while running the WO&D towards Bluemont with 2 friends, a cyclist from approx. 15 feet behind yelled "On Your Left". I was closest to the yellow line yet still to the right of it, heard his audible signal and moved closer to the shoulder. As he sped passed me, he veered dangerously close (did not hit me though) and yelled into my ear "ON YOUR LEFT!" All three of us were startled by his unnecessary aggression especially since we had complied and gave way. There was no cyclist coming from the other direction, the trail being wide open, he had adequate space to pass us comfortably.

Startled and angry because I've seen this bully before, I yelled at him "Asshole!" He immediately stopped, turned his bike around and came back at me saying "Did you just call me asshole?" and proceeded to grab both my arms while ramming his front tire into me, ready to strike. I said "Are you assaulting me?" Fortunately, another male cyclist, who had been behind him, came up and stopped.

Not sure whether it was the other cyclist's presence or me using the word assault, but he let go of me and quickly cycled off towards Custis, yelling about our "fat asses" as he rode off.

He is white, 5'9, late 50's, early 60's, blue eyes, pudgy nose, white facial hair, heavyset. He was wearing a blue cycling jacket, black helmet, black pants and his bike is outfitted with side saddles. He is a daily commuter. Since he was ramming his bike into me, I wasn't able to see the make and model but the color is black (or dark)

This is not the first time he has acted aggressively. He did the same thing to another running friend who was close to the yellow line by yelling right in her ear as he passed aggressively close to her. He is a routine bully towards female runners on the WO&D for the last 2 years. When finally called out, he attacks.

I am a seasoned runner and cyclist myself who has ran and cycled along the WO&D for 20+years. I'm fully aware of trail etiquette and obey trails rules.
I would appreciate anyone who may know who this cyclist is to contact me. He is a menace.

thucydides
05-14-2013, 10:43 AM
I'm often in that vicinity around that time and will keep an eye out. What color saddle bags? The world is full of sad and angry people. Unfortunately some of them are cyclists.

mstone
05-14-2013, 10:58 AM
I'd encourage you to file a police report if you haven't already.

Dickie
05-14-2013, 11:06 AM
I'm so sorry you had to deal with such a terrible person on the trail, please don't let his actions represent the majority of us who try to be good citizens and cycling ambassadors on the roads and trails. As thucydides noted, sadly there are folks around that are just angry no matter what they are doing. I will keep an eye out myself although I am rarely in that vicinity in the mornings.... which way was he heading, west or east? Thanks again for posting this and making us aware, I hope you had a better run today.

rpiretti
05-14-2013, 11:14 AM
Will keep an eye out.

jabberwocky
05-14-2013, 11:16 AM
That kind of crap is totally unacceptable. Hope you catch the guy.

McChipstah
05-14-2013, 11:54 AM
I'm so sorry you had to deal with such a terrible person on the trail, please don't let his actions represent the majority of us who try to be good citizens and cycling ambassadors on the roads and trails. As thucydides noted, sadly there are folks around that are just angry no matter what they are doing. I will keep an eye out myself although I am rarely in that vicinity in the mornings.... which way was he heading, west or east? Thanks again for posting this and making us aware, I hope you had a better run today.

He was coming from Mad Manor/Falls Church heading east and turned left onto Custis. We usually run M, W, F and I plan on bringing my cellphone w/me from now on to see if he happens to pass and I can take his pict.

Thank you for your kind words.

McChipstah
05-14-2013, 11:57 AM
I'd encourage you to file a police report if you haven't already.

I did

mcgeekgrrl
05-15-2013, 10:49 AM
Although I am not disputing that the guy in question is an asshole, I would suggest that we all should at least TRY to refrain from making inflammatory comments. He was rude to you--but calling him an asshole is really not helping anything. If not for the sake of a more civil world, then how about for purely practical reasons, such as self preservation? People have been shot for lesser insults. You just never know in these crazy times who is carrying a gun. (Or even if no gun, who will just stop and beat you up!)

Let's all avoid calling people names, and just breathe deeply the next time someone cuts you off or startles you. We can all do our part to lessening the incivility we are surrounded by every day.

My $.02

JimF22003
05-15-2013, 10:58 AM
I got called an idiot by a self-righteous biker on the CCT right near Bethesda a couple of weeks ago because I zipped into the oncoming lane, passed somebody in front of me, and zipped back into my lane with a good 40 FEET of distance clear in front of me. And I called my pass, which I doubt Miss SR could hear.

I didn't like being called an idiot.

scott930
05-15-2013, 01:58 PM
Why does it seem at times that the more metal, the more road rage and inflated tough guy attitude....drivers > cyclists > runners/walkers?

Sadly there is a subset of cyclists that give the whole of us a really bad name on the W&OD. And it isn't just the people bombing through stop signs and red lights. I'm a runner on the W&OD almost daily, far more often than I'm a cyclist, and defensive running has become a necessity due to riders going 2+ abreast or passing, over the center line, and assuming that I'm going to move. Though I certainly don't want to play chicken with an oncoming cyclist and know I'd take the worst of a collision, it's tempting to just hold my line. Why should I be required to seek shelter on the shoulder because you can't ride single file or pass appropriately? Thank god for the bridle trail west of Vienna being a safe haven (although have been chased there by an off-leash dog).

Folks should really put themselves in each others shoes and understand the issues. As a runner and cyclist on the W&OD, and a driver on roads that intersect the W&OD a couple times a day, all three groups can be more alert, more courteous, and more forgiving.

mstone
05-15-2013, 02:23 PM
Why does it seem at times that the more metal, the more road rage and inflated tough guy attitude....drivers > cyclists > runners/walkers?

Sadly there is a subset of cyclists that give the whole of us a really bad name on the W&OD. And it isn't just the people bombing through stop signs and red lights. I'm a runner on the W&OD almost daily, far more often than I'm a cyclist, and defensive running has become a necessity due to riders going 2+ abreast or passing, over the center line, and assuming that I'm going to move. Though I certainly don't want to play chicken with an oncoming cyclist and know I'd take the worst of a collision, it's tempting to just hold my line. Why should I be required to seek shelter on the shoulder because you can't ride single file or pass appropriately? Thank god for the bridle trail west of Vienna being a safe haven (although have been chased there by an off-leash dog).

Folks should really put themselves in each others shoes and understand the issues. As a runner and cyclist on the W&OD, and a driver on roads that intersect the W&OD a couple times a day, all three groups can be more alert, more courteous, and more forgiving.

It's not a mode thing, it's a selfish human thing; I've had as much trouble with joggers running 2 or 3 abreast as with cyclists. I've also had pedestrians yell at me for being (legally) on a shared trail. And don't get people started on ninja crazy ivans.

I have started providing feedback to cyclists passing pedestrians at high speed "in the middle lane," as I think it's important for a community to establish acceptable norms, but I don't really expect that to make a difference given the immense weight of selfishness on all sides in our society.

TrikerOne
05-15-2013, 02:31 PM
I spend a lot of time on the W&OD wearing a Trail Patrol jersey and we see a lot of this. I was threatened with assault once when I called out a rider for passing unsafely- and he had a chiled seat on the rack on his bicycle. I wish we had a solution to this kind of behavior.


It's not a mode thing, it's a selfish human thing; I've had as much trouble with joggers running 2 or 3 abreast as with cyclists. I've also had pedestrians yell at me for being (legally) on a shared trail. And don't get people started on ninja crazy ivans.

I have started providing feedback to cyclists passing pedestrians at high speed "in the middle lane," as I think it's important for a community to establish acceptable norms, but I don't really expect that to make a difference given the immense weight of selfishness on all sides in our society.

83(b)
05-15-2013, 02:43 PM
I wish we had a solution to this kind of behavior.

There are a few workable solutions (http://www.amazon.com/Sabre-Pepper-Spray-Cycling-1-5-Ounce/dp/B001EDOGW0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368643269&sr=8-1&keywords=pepper+spray+cycling).

McChipstah
05-15-2013, 04:50 PM
Although I am not disputing that the guy in question is an asshole, I would suggest that we all should at least TRY to refrain from making inflammatory comments. He was rude to you--but calling him an asshole is really not helping anything. If not for the sake of a more civil world, then how about for purely practical reasons, such as self preservation? People have been shot for lesser insults. You just never know in these crazy times who is carrying a gun. (Or even if no gun, who will just stop and beat you up!)

Let's all avoid calling people names, and just breathe deeply the next time someone cuts you off or startles you. We can all do our part to lessening the incivility we are surrounded by every day.

My $.02

I'm in complete agreement and have done exactly that for 2 years. However this guy is a habitual aggressor, this not being the his first time harassing me and other female runners as he aggressively speeds by and yells at us. At some point, someone needs to take a stand and stop him. I've filed a police report and plan on pressing charges.

rcannon100
05-15-2013, 04:56 PM
I would suggest that we all should at least TRY to refrain from making inflammatory comments.

I find the best way to avoid road rage.... is to not engage in it. At all. Ever.

There are assholes out there. And just like our patron saint, Crazy Ivan, we must give this American, er, asshole, a wide berth. 5% of the population (or whatever) are jerks. There are a lot of people out there who are walking bad-moods, for whatever reason. If you respond to them, they are going to respond to you. If you step aside and let them by, they are going to find someone else to respond to.

I've been cycling for a long long long (long) time. I dont respond to road rage. At all. Ever. My goal is to get home safely. It's not to respond to a jerk.

baiskeli
05-16-2013, 09:46 AM
White male, 50s, white facial hair, half-crazy - that narrows it down to about 2/3rds of bike commuters.

Mark Blacknell
05-16-2013, 10:04 AM
I dont respond to road rage. At all. Ever.

Little girl flippin' you the bird disagrees.

McChipstah
05-16-2013, 11:36 AM
I find the best way to avoid road rage.... is to not engage in it. At all. Ever.

There are assholes out there. And just like our patron saint, Crazy Ivan, we must give this American, er, asshole, a wide berth. 5% of the population (or whatever) are jerks. There are a lot of people out there who are walking bad-moods, for whatever reason. If you respond to them, they are going to respond to you. If you step aside and let them by, they are going to find someone else to respond to. I've been cycling for a long long long (long) time. I dont respond to road rage. At all. Ever. My goal is to get home safely. It's not to respond to a jerk.


I disagree. A good citizen in a civilized society should take the time to stick his/her neck out to rectify a situation when they are witness to or the victim of a habitual abuser. Your method of dealing w/bad behavior results in women being held hostage in a house for 10 years, or a wife being murdered b/c her friends didn't want to "respond" to the jerky husband. People who behave aggressively over and over should be, at a minimum, called out.

I too have cycled for years and am also a parent-I teach my children that if they behave badly, they will be held accountable.

McChipstah
05-16-2013, 11:39 AM
White male, 50s, white facial hair, half-crazy - that narrows it down to about 2/3rds of bike commuters.

Trust me... I know. I wish I'd been able to see the make and model of his bike... oh well. The good news is I know I'll get to see him again! AND I know how to get his attention LOL!!!!!

baiskeli
05-16-2013, 11:42 AM
I disagree. A good citizen in a civilized society should take the time to stick his/her neck out to rectify a situation when they are witness to or the victim of a habitual abuser.

Sure, but that doesn't mean you do it yourself. That can often just make things worse. Nobody is saying don't do anything when someone is being victimized. If things are serious, and there's no immediate threat that requires intervention, you can call the police or other appropriate authority.

pfunkallstar
05-16-2013, 11:47 AM
Based on my experience, you have to go into these kind of conversations with a VERY even tone and avoid any sort of escalation. Even the hottest hotheads will respond to reason, that or you'll get a knuckle sandwich. Never yell obscenities, just critique what you see.

dasgeh
05-16-2013, 11:54 AM
I disagree. A good citizen in a civilized society should take the time to stick his/her neck out to rectify a situation when they are witness to or the victim of a habitual abuser. Your method of dealing w/bad behavior results in women being held hostage in a house for 10 years, or a wife being murdered b/c her friends didn't want to "respond" to the jerky husband. People who behave aggressively over and over should be, at a minimum, called out.

I too have cycled for years and am also a parent-I teach my children that if they behave badly, they will be held accountable.

Is it possible that there is a difference being calling someone out in the vain of a "good citizen of a civilized society" and shouting "a$$hole" after a guy?

Honestly, shouting an expletive after someone sounds like road rage to me, and road rage + road rage = dangerous. That in no way makes what he did in any way ok. It's more practical advice - how can you stop this habitual aggressor? Involving others (us, the cops) and explaining your position calmly seem to be safer and probably more effective to me.

Speaking of good behavior and kids, you should come to Kidical Mass (http://kidicalmassarl.blogspot.com) on Sunday. There will be lots of law abiding, enabled in part by Bike Arlington swag.

Mariner
05-16-2013, 06:35 PM
I'm in complete agreement and have done exactly that for 2 years. However this guy is a habitual aggressor, this not being the his first time harassing me and other female runners as he aggressively speeds by and yells at us. At some point, someone needs to take a stand and stop him. I've filed a police report and plan on pressing charges.

So what does he ride? Any other distinguishing characteristics?

I have video on now for all my rides just in case 's' like this happens.