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Thread: Dangerous MTB Shuttle Drivers on GMR

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Default Dangerous MTB Shuttle Drivers on GMR

    First off let me say I respect every ride style of cycling. I ride roadies, MTB, tandem, and think it's a joy to see anybody on a bike having fun. I don't have that ignorant attitude of "those stupid (insert style here) riders".


    But this is pretty upsetting. The wife and I (Gina) were climbing GMR on Saturday morning. On the way up I see an old orange pickup truck parked on the side of the road. It's an older couple waiting for a young guy that seemed to be dismounting a DH type MTB. I didn't get a real good look at the rider as more focused on the older couple as I rode by with a smile and a hello how are you?". I thought it was cool to see an older couple up there taking part of the fun by shuttling the younger rider and supporting his hobby.

    But a couple miles later as we're climbing I hear the truck coming. Riding with Gina I always have time to turn my head and look back. I like to know who is coming from behind. I see the orange truck about 1/4 mile back in the switchbacks. Cool, so now when I hear a vehicle approaching from behind I know exactly who. So on a straight section I hear the truck so I move over to the white line. No I don't take the lane at 6 mph! I shout "car back" and Gina moves to the side as well. We also do so out of courtesy to drivers.

    Unfortunately I did not have the GoPro on at this moment but wish I had at least one of them on as I carry two. As the truck passes me he buzzed me! WTF! Gina is about 30 yards ahead and the truck buzzes her too! WTF! OK, so I can see if some ass hat MTB'er doesn't like people that ride road bikes and buzzes me but buzzing a woman? What kind of chicken (enter word her) move is that? This driver was so close that he was just inches from hitting us with his mirror if he had those big clunky types, luckily he didn't. No traffic around, no riders approaching for the opposite direction, a straight section of road, there was no reason to buzz us at all!

    So I didn't see the driver. I thought it was the young guy but Gina says it was the old guy. Those of you know know Gina know she's a very sweet and kind woman who rarely says anything negative about anyone or anything, so when she says "did you see that Mother (insert word here) buzz me?" you know something is wrong!

    I won't say this guy did it on purpose, I can't say if it was the old guy or the young guy but I can say whoever it was needs to be more careful. I will also say that a second poster also mentioned that the same orange truck nearly buzzed him on Sunday, the following day. Others have suggested that I report this close call to the police but I feel funny going in without evidence like video footage from one of the Go Pro recorders. Strange that the drivers i have to worry about killing my wife on GMR are bicycle enthusiasts as well.

    Now the second driver, total ass hat! On the straight flat section of GMR, 4 miles up we stopped for a breather. We're on the side of the road, standing on the white line and not an inch over a there is a small shoulder at this point. Here comes a big grey truck. Big 4X4 lifted truck with big knobbies. As he gets closer he guns his engine and holds a line as if he's heading straight toward us. Again, a straight section, good visibility, no approaching vehicles or cyclists and plenty of room. He's accelerating and racing his engine like he's trying to scare us while playing chicken or some childish game. I just look at the windshield but can't see the driver. I can only give the stare that says, "if you hit me, you better freakin' kill me."

    So he races by and as he gets pretty close he swerves away and off his course of tenderizing us with his big knobby tires. It's really to bad that I didn't have time to turn on the GoPro. Those of you who know can tell you these things take about a minute to start record and this incident was over in 30 seconds or so. So all I can do is turn to Gina and say what an ass hat! The guy is also shuttling MTB downhill type bikes up the road. He has two in the back. Again, why would a bicycle enthusiast do stupid crap like this to other riders?

    So we make the shack then descend back down to the parking area. Just then the grey truck comes rolling up. He parks down the way as I start racking the bikes. The guy gets out and stands at the back of the truck and seems to be staring at us. But I'm not sure as he may be staring up the road waiting for his two riders to finish their descent on the MTB's. I see the guy is a tall older dude with white hair. All I can think is "wow, this dude is supposed to a mature dude but he drives like a little 16 year old kid that his parents have kept locked up too many years and finally let the kid loose. At this point I am really wanting to go over and confront the guy but I know if I do and I lose my temper, I'll be to blame for the confrontation. Plus I could be wrong. I might have been one of the the riders driving on the way up and this guy driving only the downhill.

    Later as I got home and viewed the video it hit me. This was the same truck I saw the week before driving up like a maniac. He was on a section about 3/5 mile sup where there is a double bend in the road. He was driving very fast and screeching his big knobby tires. I watched him that day do this as I was sure he'd flip his truck. OK, I admit I can not be sure this is the same truck but how many big grey 4X4 trucks like this do you see shuttling 2 MTB's up GMR? For future reference I will record his plates and video footage or a picture to be sure. Either way, in the case of the grey truck, why would a supposedly mature man let his kid drive that way on the way up? Or why would he risk the lives of his kids driving this way himself? You would think one of them would be smart enough to say "slow down before someone gets killed".

    As in the first truck experience, I cannot be sure who was driving the vehicle. I will not be able to identify the driver but I will identify the trucks when I report them to the proper authorities.

    Sadly, I have never had problems with the crotch rockets but have with the drivers of these two trucks. When I hear a crotch rocket racing up like a fool, I whip out the GoPro and push record before they arrive. Not sure if this tames their behavior them but I have never had a problem. Sadly, I'm starting to see it is not the crotch rockets I have to worry about taking my wife's life, but sadly other cycling enthusiasts.

    These are the two trucks. I was lucky enough to capture them but not lucky enough to capture them at the moments they were acting like fools! So if you know these guys, maybe a friendly word like a "you better watch your ass because there are riders up there ready to report you to the cops".




    Go ahead, hate me and flame away but it just may be your life that is saved up there by stopping these drivers form acting like fools!

    First truck, the old orange truck. Not very inconspicuous and easily identified.



    Second truck. Big grey truck. Could be a few around but we all know after several visits to GMR, we all begin to recognize and record the data, plates, multi witnesses etc.


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  3. #2
    WTF ? zman's Avatar
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    This is one of the main reasons i try not do any street riding on my spandex bike
    If you feel for your wife's safety ,why do you keep riding up at GMR ??

    I know the road belongs to us all but if i had that same feeling as you do
    I would not keep putting my self in that situation

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    It's worth noting that a couple other cyclists also complained about the trucks behavior this weekend out on GMR, so this isn't just all in Mr Beanz head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zman View Post
    This is one of the main reasons i try not do any street riding on my spandex bike
    If you feel for your wife's safety ,why do you keep riding up at GMR ??

    I know the road belongs to us all but if i had that same feeling as you do
    I would not keep putting my self in that situation
    The vast majority of vehicles on GMR (and there's not that many) are respectful of the cyclists space. When it's guys driving up with MTBs in the back who are buzzing cyclists it's kind of unbelievable and post worthy. Us roadies are often just MTB guys on their other bike...

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    I ride mostly mtb now, but have been thinking of going back and doing GMR for a while. Thanks for this post! I will be sure to wear my GoPro when I go and I will have my cell phone/camera handy.

    The reason these jerks are willing to do this is they believe they will get away with it. If they see riders taking their pictures or recording them, they will realize they're at risk and will stop. Hopefully no one will get hurt.

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  10. #6
    Senior Member Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zman View Post
    I know the road belongs to us all but if i had that same feeling as you do
    I would not keep putting my self in that situation
    If these two fools stop driving like maniacs on GMR, then my wife would not be in a dangerous situation, none of us would.

    This is the first time I have ever felt that a driver has been dangerous to us on GMR. Not sure where you get "keep putting ourselves in that situation" ?

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  12. #7
    Senior Member Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jae2460 View Post
    I ride mostly mtb now, but have been thinking of going back and doing GMR for a while. Thanks for this post! I will be sure to wear my GoPro when I go and I will have my cell phone/camera handy.

    The reason these jerks are willing to do this is they believe they will get away with it. If they see riders taking their pictures or recording them, they will realize they're at risk and will stop. Hopefully no one will get hurt.
    Exactly! I have never felt that I was in danger riding GMR. FTR we ride SART 95% of the time to avoid traffic. Plus we do GMR as it's never been a threat to either of us or our friends, other than these two drivers.

    For those who are unfamiliar with GMR, this is the video I made that day. I saw maybe 5 vehicles on the road, and 5 crotch rockets and one cop (unfortunately before the trucks). 2 of the vehicles carrying MTB's and one a support vehicle for Adobo Velo I believe who offered us water and assistance. Not to mention the two female occupants offered shouts of encouragement to Gina as she rode by. At times there may be little more traffic and at other times less. Take a look at the video and realize we are not riding busy roads looking for danger. Not repeatedly putting ourselves in a high risk situation.


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    I ride up there quite a bit and the biggest thing the scares me is the shockwave from the motorcycles but that is more acoustics then proximity. And most of the cars do give you room and slow down a bit or are small enough that they do not take up all the lane. But I was up there on Saturday and that oversized grey truck did not make any attempt to give room and he did take up much of the lane. I did not see the orange truck. As it was said I ride my mountain bike as well (not as much, I regret) so we are roughly are all the same people just trying to look out for each other.

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    Mr Beanz wouldn't complain unless this is a real problem. I have NO problem confronting somebody who wants to threaten me. I'am also not afraid to stand up to some freekin jerks who think they can get away with intimidating roadies. I ride GMR a lot and I'll keep my eyes open for these guys. I have gotten into a shoving match with a jerk on Hwy 39 before and I'm sure it would of come to more had others not intervened. This kind of behavior is what is wrong with society today. You want to bully somebody, you might get more then you bargained for.
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    Senior Member Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesper4 View Post
    so we are roughly are all the same people just trying to look out for each other.
    Exactly! I have been up there driving support for forum rides. I have also seen other members up there driving personal support for a friend or family rider. They as I have always offered water and help to any rider in need. I had one guy start feeling ill halfway across GRR. He was not part of our forum ride but I gave him a ride to the village to meet his friends. It's a fellowship and looking out for one another should be part of that. Very few choose not to be social but that's is cool, deep in concentration but never do I see a cyclist threaten another. Nothing ever but a word of encouragement or offer of help.

    As I have mentioned many times on bike sites, the GMR riders are the most motivating encouraging riders I have met. Plenty of super fast bad ass riders blow by us and offer encouragement no matter what you ride or what you look like! I've met plenty of MTB'ers that do GMR on roadies as well, some bad ass riders! We're all there for a good a good safe ride!

    Thanks to all the riders that gave me thanks in the OP! It shows your support and that we are all after the same thing, a continued nice safe ride up GMR!

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    Senior Member Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pain Freak View Post
    Mr Beanz wouldn't complain unless this is a real problem. I have NO problem confronting somebody who wants to threaten me. I'am also not afraid to stand up to some freekin jerks who think they can get away with intimidating roadies. I ride GMR a lot and I'll keep my eyes open for these guys. I have gotten into a shoving match with a jerk on Hwy 39 before and I'm sure it would of come to more had others not intervened. This kind of behavior is what is wrong with society today. You want to bully somebody, you might get more then you bargained for.
    I believe you, they don't call you Pain Freak for nothing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I believe you, they don't call you Pain Freak for nothing!
    They call him that because he warms up with a 600k.
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    CHP takes buzzing roadies very seriously. Don't be scared to take a moment and drop the dime.
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    Slow Down, Slower Up Formu1fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pain Freak View Post
    Mr Beanz wouldn't complain unless this is a real problem. I have NO problem confronting somebody who wants to threaten me. I'am also not afraid to stand up to some freekin jerks who think they can get away with intimidating roadies. I ride GMR a lot and I'll keep my eyes open for these guys. I have gotten into a shoving match with a jerk on Hwy 39 before and I'm sure it would of come to more had others not intervened. This kind of behavior is what is wrong with society today. You want to bully somebody, you might get more then you bargained for.
    I had a similar incident last week but as a pedestrian. People feel like they can do whatever they want when they're behind their windshield. That windshield perspective is what is dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists

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    I used to love climbing GMR (in a sick sort of way). The corners scared me a bit, but there are not many blind corners and the straight-aways are absolutely clear, which makes this behavior so distressing. I hope that someone knows someone who can mention this and change the behavior; you don't need to out anyone on here, but please do something. We are all a family of two wheels.
    What do you mean by "a sheet cake isn't an individual serving"?

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    don't complain, take the lane, the #1 rule of mountain road riding. If you do not they will take it from you. Use hand signals to slow them down, wave them by when it is safe to pass. In these parts the white line is the edge of the road, and on some turns they paint the dirt. Most shoulders do not have a smooth transition so do not give up the lane no matter how slow you go. Use your ears when on right blind curves, they do not see you, and they always cheat the curve to the right (look at the paint it is blackened). I always stand on these turns to minimize my time in the blind spot.
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    Most of my friends are too scared to do any sort of serious mountain biking because it's "dangerous," but it seems like there have been many more deaths on roadbikes recently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by da big hills View Post
    don't complain, take the lane, the #1 rule of mountain road riding. If you do not they will take it from you. Use hand signals to slow them down, wave them by when it is safe to pass. In these parts the white line is the edge of the road, and on some turns they paint the dirt. Most shoulders do not have a smooth transition so do not give up the lane no matter how slow you go. Use your ears when on right blind curves, they do not see you, and they always cheat the curve to the right (look at the paint it is blackened). I always stand on these turns to minimize my time in the blind spot.
    Happy slow crawls to the sky
    That would be unecessary and inappropriate on GMR and would only incite more of this aggressive behavior towards cyclists.

    There's plenty of room on the road for cyclists and cars and often times there are more road cyclists than drivers on it. When there are cars, you hear them minutes ahead of time and can usually look back behind you as they approach you to make sure they see you / aren't too close. As long as the drivers aren't aggressive jerks like the drivers mentioned by the OP, there shouldn't be a problem.

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    What/where is GMR? I think it's time to go truck hunting. An ADW charge or two could bring drivers in line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pain Freak View Post
    You want to bully somebody, you might get more then you bargained for.

    This is the real issue when it comes to drivers buzzing cyclists. There are a lot of bullies driving vehicles out there and they like to target cyclists because they think they won't be held accountable. Just like on the school yard, until someone stands up to them, they will continue their behavior.

    Use a camera, report to the police.

    I didn't post it here because I didn't want to fuel the "road biking is too dangerous" rhetoric that flows every time there is an incident, but two weeks ago I was hit on PCH by a guy who swerved right in to me like he was aiming. Good bike handling skills combined with a straight arm to his window followed by a fist to his rear quarter panel kept me from going down but his door handle did leave a good sized bruise on my hip. He stopped and I rolled ahead of him, when he saw me look down to check my leg and bike, he immediately tried to race off. I was able to chase him down and get a description of the driver and license plate# before he turned left and sped down into one of the neighborhoods.

    I called LBPD when I got home and they told me I could either come down to them or I could call the Sheriff and they would do a courtesy report that they would forward to LBPD. I filed a report and haven't heard anything yet but at least this guy is on record so that if he goes after someone else there will be a report that shows a pattern.
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