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


Trooper Josh Lewis, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman, says no charges have been issued in this case, adding that the trooper investigating this inquiry has not yet been able to make contact with a suspect; the state patrol went to the house of the possible suspect this morning.

Open road screenshot longmont.jpg
Screenshot
YouTube image of the open road in front of the cyclists, riding single file on the right side of the white line.
"Obviously, we need to get both sides of the story," he says.

The video is a very extreme and unusual example of the tension that can exist on the road between cyclists and drivers as more and more folks are riding bikes. Bike advocates like to emphasize that most cyclists and drivers -- and many people use both modes of transportation throughout a typical week -- try to be courteous to each other and get along well. In their opinion, the more cyclists there are on the road, and the stronger presence they have, the safer the streets become.

Still, situations like this one -- or, in a somewhat reverse case, stories about drunk cyclists antagonizing drivers -- make people uneasy and heighten road tensions.

"It's not going to deter me [from biking]," says Friel. "There's danger in everything we do.... It definitely makes me more and more aware and conscious of cars in different situations."

Friel adds that when he lived in Europe, where he biked all the time, he never had these kinds of confrontations.

"This is an American issue," he says.

Some good, he says, will come out of this. Friel has put ads on the video, which is getting more and more attention as additional news outlets write about the case, and he plans to donate any money raised through the footage to Bicycle Colorado, the state's bike advocacy group.

car close to cyclist.jpg
Screenshot
The SUV getting closer to the cylists.
"Bikes aren't going away," Friel says. "There are going to be more and more bikes on the roads in Colorado.... Tourists come here from all around the world to ride our beautiful roads."

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "James Holmes railroaded...for running a red light, says traffic-ticket critic"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@Westword.com.


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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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