James Ernst cited in case prompted by bike-rage video that went viral

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Video below.
Update by Michael Roberts: Citations have been issued in the bike-rage case prompted by a startling video showing a driver repeatedly honking at and harassing a pair of cyclists on an open Longmont road; see it below.

As Sam Levin details in our original post, which follows this update, the video, shot by Dirk Friel, caused a stir when it was posted on YouTube -- and the clip prompted a Colorado State Patrol investigation. Now, the CSP has reportedly hit Erie-resident James Ernst, 75, with multiple allegations.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Ernst is accused on "two counts of misdemeanor harassment, impeding the flow of traffic and improper use of a horn or warning."

Levin has reached out to Ernst. When and if we receive a response, we'll share it here. In the meantime, here's our earlier coverage.

Original post, 1:28 p.m. September 19: It's the exact opposite of "sharing the road."

A video shot by an in-motion cyclist in Longmont captures an SUV slowly driving behind two bikers and honking his horn nonstop for several minutes; see it below. The footage is now on the radar of the Colorado State Patrol, which is looking to question a driver whose actions frightened two cyclists during what should have been a peaceful Sunday morning ride.

Here's the bizarre video, which, as of this writing, has more than 110,000 views.

The footage was shot by Dirk Friel, 42, of Boulder, who was on a bike ride with a friend when the honking became so strange and aggravating that he decided he should film it on his phone.

"Half of me is scared, because I don't know what's going to happen next," says Friel, an avid cyclist who founded Trainingpeaks.com, a company based in Lafayette that works with cyclists, triathletes and runners. "We didn't provoke him. We were just on bikes, so we just assume he doesn't like cyclists."

He adds, "Half of me is angry.... It would be easy enough to do something in retaliation. But the only thing we did was try to wave him on."

In the footage, the SUV, driven by an older male, repeatedly honks at the two cyclists on a virtually empty road in Longmont, where it's clear he could easily pass them. There are only two other cars in sight early in the two-minute video, and one going the same way -- heading north on East County Line Road in southeast Longmont -- actually passes the cyclists and the energetically honking van driver.

Friel, who is seen riding single file in front of his friend, narrates the situation during the video, starting at around the thirty-second mark, saying, "I have no idea what this guy is doing. I'm riding right of the white line. Amazing.... Wow! This is a nice Sunday bike ride for me!"

His friend clearly tries to wave the SUV past, but instead of speeding up and going around them, the vehicle just inches closer.

"This is getting old!... This is insane," says Friel, who then recites the license plate number in the video.

At around the two-minute mark, he says he thinks he is going to run out of memory and shuts off his video.

Friel tells us that this went on for several more minutes before the guy eventually passed -- but not before he got so close that his friend actually touched the car.

"We decided, let's just go slow...force him to pass us," he recalls. "The whole thing was about five minutes...a long five minutes of him just being rude."

He says, "It was just total disbelief.... This guy has to know I'm videotaping.... It's obvious I'm recording. But he continues to do what he's doing. It's just mind-boggling."

The pair went on with their Sunday ride and didn't call the police or state patrol immediately, though Friel did post the video on YouTube and on Twitter. He tells us he quickly got feedback from folks saying they think they've seen this exact driver before.

Friel eventually decided to contact the Colorado State Patrol and has since updated the YouTube video with a note saying:

The Colorado State Patrol is involved and we've found others who have had similar run-ins with this driver. If anyone else has information about this driver call Trooper Donahue 303-239-4501. Need to centralize information. Thanks

Continue reading for more on the Colorado State Patrol investigation into this driver.


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28 comments
jazzyboss
jazzyboss

Put a Peterbilt tractor trailer blasting his air horns behind the brave James Ernst and his smallish SUV, and you'd see this coward bug out in seconds.  

FrauBlucher
FrauBlucher

the point is they were ALL THE WAY over on the side of the road, not doing anything stupid, obviously experienced roadies. This guy is totally out of line and the comments here prove how little people know about road cycling. Where are we supposed to ride...on the sidewalk?

dannymchavez
dannymchavez

Yeah,  I  just recently purchased a road bike and have loved riding it everywhere. While my sis and I were riding in Thornton about the 128th to 140th block of  Washington, two big 4 wheel drive trucks drove past me so close, honked their horn and gassed it so the exhaust would hit me and my sis. Two different trucks about 5 minutes a part.  the second truck nearly ran me off the road. Not sure why people need to be so angry and ignorant.  I'm just trying to enjoy cycling and the outdoors.  

rockymissouri1
rockymissouri1

Evil...vile old dude...! That was totally unnecessary...

Heidi Netter Welsh
Heidi Netter Welsh

Why do people hate cyclists; learn some patience! Cyclists and drivers are the same. There are smart ones, stupid ones, etc.

RevBF
RevBF

I've been a pedestrian since 1999 and I've got to say that both motorists and cyclists are assholes. It really doesn't matter either way - I've been hit by both. Motorists, get off your cell phones and pay the fuck attention - cyclists, get over your smug sense of self worth and pay attention to things that you think you're impervious to. Problem solved.

Monkey
Monkey

"impeding the flow of traffic".  There was no flow of traffic, just a annoying horn blower on a country road with nothing better to do.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

If James Ernst is the driver of the SUV in that video, he should not be allowed behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle again -- let him take up bicycling, should he wish.

 

Were this Florida, the cyclists might have been justified in stopping to take good aim behore blowing him away under the Stand Your Ground doctrine.

 

 

P.S.  If you want to see some of the mentality that enables Colorado's retrograde anti-cyclists, just mosey on over to the DP:  http://neighbors.denverpost.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=21585617&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

Roy Hovland
Roy Hovland

Maybe I should start tailgating old people and honking: "get out of the way grampa!"

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Also...when can we expect to force cyclists to have some kind of license plate/identifier put on their bikes so drivers can report them like they so easily do to "us"? I drove up to hike Chief Mtn (across from Echo Mtn Ski Area) earlier this summer and at least 60-70% of the literally 100-150+ cyclists were not riding single file and would not gtfo of the way, impeding traffic, and being hazards. They may have a right to be on the road but it doesn't mean they should. Find safer places to ride, please, or don't get upset when you get treated like the obstacles you are. K, thanks.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Wrong Jeremy...I run across more idiot cyclists (percentage) than drivers. While I think they are retarded for endangering vehicle drivers by choosing to ride on narrow, twisting, shoulderless roads (not safe to pass cyclists in many places and uphill you force traffic to a crawl merely because you can) this guy was way out of line.

Jen Cox
Jen Cox

Aaron & Terry: EXACTLY

Jeremy Hull
Jeremy Hull

Cyclist do own the road, most of us even own cars too. There are idiots on bikes and in cars, but car-driving idiots far outnumber pedaling idiots.

Julie Eaton
Julie Eaton

i couldn't view the video BUT i lived in clear creek county colorado for 13 years. the riders that would come up from the city thought they owned the frontage road. i can't count the amount of times they didn't ride single file. i didn't honk but i wanted to. i would just yell single file a******s!

Terry Richardson
Terry Richardson

Cyclists think they own the road. Just this morning I just about hit one in Arvada on wads worth. Stupid ass rode through 4 lanes of heavy traffic!

Aaron LeForce
Aaron LeForce

This video proves just how retarded cyclists are...did they ever think to just pull the fuck over? As someone who lives in the mountains and has to deal with these people everyday, there is no group of people I hate more than cyclists.

Denver
Denver

This is absolutely horrifying. This really is an American issue and we should be looking into European solutions for biker safety and biker/driver relations.

Victor Carrillo
Victor Carrillo

That was wrong old feller!!...however I always have to honk at them Damn hipsters in the city that I Damn near hit daily !!!! So I just purchased a train horn to install...stand by

Marcus Rose
Marcus Rose

The 75 year old driver was cited for wreck less driving and illegal use of his horn

Richard Scott Taylor
Richard Scott Taylor

That jerk deserves to lose his license for a while.. Maybe make him ride a bike everywhere he needs to go for a month or two..

ltjrbf
ltjrbf

If this asshole tried this stunt in the city, he'd have a bike lock through his window.  Only in places like Longmont can you get away with being that big of a redneck and not suffer real-world consequences.

 

Now, as a person who normally rides a bike to work everyday, but had to take a car today, I was astounded by the amateur casually riding into downtown on 18th, making everyone have to maneuver around him.  Those of us who ride everyday are conscious of where bike lanes are, and when it's appropriate to ride in traffic (ie. not rush hour on a major thoroughfare).  I'm going to side with a cyclist 90% of the time, but people like these make everyone look bad. 

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @bafrederickcmb Memorable post, bafrederickcmb. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @Denver We've been seeing more incidents like these, so clearly something needs to be done. Thanks for the post, Denver.

FrauBlucher
FrauBlucher

 @michael.roberts  @dannymchavez  a friend of mine was run off the road into a ditch by a bunch of yahoos in a pickup truck...also on a quiet road, no traffic, nothing. He basically threw himself into the ditch with his bike...was ok though, no injuries or bike damage.

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