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Alleged bike-rage incident pits Byron Nix against Herbert Hoover's grandson


For his part, Hoover says the behavior of cyclists on this particular road and throughout the area has been an ongoing concern for residents. He also stresses that he never meant to hit Nix.

"We try to avoid them," says Hoover, a retired engineer and turns 71 today. "If you're anywhere close to being responsible on your bicycle, that would never happen."

Bryon Nix accident 8.jpg
Andrew Hoover, in background.
Hoover says the tension between cyclists and drivers is common, but it's a rare that collisions actually occur.

"We face this situation regularly, and we honk for two reasons -- to let them know we are coming, and the other is to...indicate some displeasure with the way they are riding," says Hoover, who has been displaced to an apartment in Denver after his house burned down and was returning to the site of his burned-down home at the time of the crash.

"That is not unique to me. What is unique to me is that somehow the two of us collided," he says.

Hoover says he feels bad that this happened and did not mean to come off as unsympathetic in any way after the collision.

"I was sort of surprised and shocked and taken aback," he says. "I understood that the best thing to do was to be quiet."

Hoover's bumper was damaged in the collision because of the way it got caught on Nix's bike.

Andrew Hoover KDVR.jpg
Screenshot of Andrew Hoover from KDVR interview, after his house burned down in March of 2012.
Hoover, who says he has never collided with a bike before, doesn't recall talking directly to the cyclists as he got closer to them, but notes that it all happened quickly. "I wish I knew exactly [what happened]. I wish we weren't having this conversation. It's a very sad thing."

He says that for a long time, neighbors have been worried about cyclists who seem to be reckless in their riding.

"This was bound to happen," he says, adding that he and his neighbors have asked for more bike lanes and generally feel the road in question isn't safe for cyclists. "I'm just terribly sorry that it was me.... It shocks and dismays me."

He continues, "From my point of view, it was a damn unfortunate accident," but adds, "As a practical matter, I was given a citation, and I believe that the bicyclist should've been given a citation."

Josh Lewis, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman, confirms only Hoover was cited in the accident. He says the incident was covered as a crash and that there has been no determination it was intentional on the part of the driver -- but if it was later determined as such, charges could be upgraded to assault.

At this point, there is no evidence to suggest that it was "pre-mediated," he says, adding, "The cyclist was obeying all laws."

byron nix wheel 10 image.jpg
The wheel of Nix's bike after the crash.
Nix says that he and his cycling team are always very respectful and careful on the road and that, for the most part, cars and bikes do get along.

In Denver, crashes between bikes and cars are on the rise, and police reports say that the fault lies with the drivers slightly more often than the cyclists.

"All we are asking is that if you see bikes and they are not single file, tap twice on the horn...to let us know you are there and give us a chance to get to the side of the road," says Nix, who lives in Centennial and runs a business called Byron's Painting Company when he is not cycling. "I'm not gonna give up on riding, but I am gonna think twice when I hear a car."

Continue for more photos from the scene of the accident.


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24 comments
dontbemad
dontbemad

If they get hurt-so what!! Its really bad in Kansas City-I get so tired of these idiots riding their bike during freaking rush hour on busy streets; It's really bad in the Waldo area-If you do that stupid crap-you deserve to get hit!!

Mike
Mike

I've driven on mountain roads with dozens of cyclists.  It really isn't a problem. If the road has lots of curves and blind spots, you shouldn't be driving that fast anyway. And as for riding single file, if there isn't enough width for a bike and a car to be side by side with 3 feet to spare, then what's the difference if there are 2 or 3 riding abreast?  I'd rather that 12 people were riding 2 abreast than single file. It would be easier and faster to pass a line of 6 than a line of 12.  Use your common sense people, rather than gripe about bikes just for the sake of finding something to gripe about. If you have to wait for a minute, then so what? If you don't have 15 seconds to a minute to spare, then you probably left too late anyway.  As for car drivers paying for roads with their registrations, that's laughable. Have you seen the costs associated with road building? You wouldn't even get out of town with what you pay. And if you want to be picky like that, then quit driving in my neighborhood until you start paying the specials for the roads that we built. Go another step, and you'll find that some states charge fees based on the weight of the vehicle (due to the damage they can do.) How much damage do you think a bike does to a road?

We can all get along together on the road. Get mad at the people that actually are a menace on the roads, whether they are in cars or on bikes. Look at it introspectively. What if it were your wife, mother or daughter riding that bike? Maybe the true menace is really you?!

Moots
Moots

There really needs to be a bike lane built and marked all the way up High-Grade to the park because this stretch of road is heavily used by cyclists and cars.  Over the years I have seen many close calls, unfortunate accident.

 

Take the road less traveled or get on your Mountain Bike !

jwarhammer
jwarhammer

I think one or both of them are lying about the situation - most likely the bike rider.  If Hoover was back there honking for "at least 30 seconds", why didn't Nix move back into the "single file"? That should have been plenty of time (and motivation) for him to merge back into the group.  I've ridden this road dozens of times and have never had problems with cars.   I've not once heard cars honking - even when idiots are riding 2 or even 3 abreast, which unfortunately seems to be the norm in groups greater than 1.  I've had to pass these riders sometimes and kindly remind them to ride single file.  With 12 people in the group I'd be willing to bet they weren't riding single file. Even with no shoulder, there's plenty of room for a car to (slowly) pass a single-file rider without sliding into the oncoming lane - I've seen it a lot.

david.carpenter08
david.carpenter08

Cyclists do pay taxes. We do own cars. We do drive plus we pay for all you morons that aren't active because our insurance premiums are higher because if in active people. Want to regulate bikes? Fine you're just asking for an even fatter America...as if its not fat enough already! By the way cyclists tend to follow the laws just as well as motorists. Oh and one last thing, I find it interesting that drivers have no problem moving out of the way for tractors. Cyclists usually average the same speed as a tractor. If you can wait for a tractor you can wait for a cyclist.

phatherphoton
phatherphoton

Any guesses as to which way this dick voted?

Vic Shayne
Vic Shayne

I don't know what happened in this incident, but in general I can say that cyclists have become more belligerent in that they ride in the car lanes without concern for a driver's right to the road. I've run into this a dozen times over the year. I've also had cyclists pull into my lane without warning. If possible, I'll give them a wide berth and move over, but if there is oncoming traffic, or over a hill, or around a curve, it is not possible to swing into the other lane. Cyclists need to learn the rules of the road as much as drivers do.

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

Maybe it should not be legal to ride on some of the mtn roads like the Morrison road where clearly their is barely room for cars to avoid hitting much less leave room to get around bikes? Many of these roads also have rocks falling and warn drivers to stay as far over as they can but their is little space.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

No More Free Rides for Bicyclists !!

 

It's time for MANDATORY Bicycle Registration and Taxes!

 

Mandatory License Plates for Bicycles!

 

Mandatory Liability Insurance for all Bicyclist who operate on PUBLIC roadways!

 

Regulation Works !!

 

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Mike  "I've driven on mountain roads with dozens of cyclists.  It really isn't a problem"

 

Well then, who knew the solution could be so simple?

 

Everybody Drive Like Mike -- No Problem.

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Moots  And TAX the Bicyclists to PAY FOR that Special Use Lane!

 

 

mike1936
mike1936

 @jwarhammer YOU jwarhammer are a danger with your attitude! The rider was in the process of falling into single file and the Hoover lost his patience and decided it was taking too long. He wanted to teach the riders a lesson, like you seem to want to do! The riders were obeying the law - drivers are allowed to enter the oncoming lane to pass cyclists now - as the law states. YOU have a serious attitude problem - making you a hazard to everyone on the road around you.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @david.carpenter08  -- Tractors pay ROAD USE TAXES, bicycles do not.

 

Tractors and other vehicles pay for and display License Plates, bicycles do not.

 

Tractors and other vehicles must have Mandatory Liability Insurance, bicycles do not.

 

All Vehicle Operators must have Driver's Licenses and obey the laws of the road, bicycles do not.

 

It's time to end the Free Ride for Cyclists -- no more Special Rights!

 

-- Mandatory Bicycle Registration, Taxes and Fees for all bikes operated on Public Roads

 

-- Mandatory License Plates for all bikes operated on Public Roads

 

-- Mandatory Liability Insurance for all bikes operated on Public Roads

 

 

hth.

 

 

cyclist
cyclist

The driver?  Yeah, Obama.

Asdf
Asdf

@DonkeyHotay @Moots First let's raise the gas tax to cover existing road infrastructure costs and military spending in the middle east. I'm talking about the real money that subsidizes drivers.

jwarhammer
jwarhammer

 @mike1936  @jwarhammer Wow, really?  Where in my post did you pick up a "serious attitude problem"? Perhaps you should take a good look at your reply and see who's got the attitude. I am a cyclist. I ride on the roads. Lanes are wide enough for cars to provide 3 feet without crossing over the center line.  Did I say cars shouldn't cross over? No. When it's safe, they should.  I do.  What I said is there's room if both the riders and drivers are behaving responsibly.  When I ride in a group and a car is approaching - from either direction - the person sliding to the rear always gets in wherever he is at the time and continues his position change when it passes.  Have a look at the series Portlandia - your attitude greatly reminds me of the bikers' rights character.

david.carpenter08
david.carpenter08

@DonkeyHotay That's interesting because tractors don't display plates nor do farm implements towed by tractors display plates. Oh and children can operate farm machinery without a license. You're a ignorant fool! Do some research! It's better to keep your mouth shut and be assumed a fool than open your mouth a prove it! Go suck a fat one!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @david.carpenter08  You really are an abject ignoramus, aren't you David?

 

Tractors -- as in Tractor Trailers -- that operate on Public Roadways ARE required to display license plates, as are the trailers they tow. And they pay BIG $$$ for license fees and road use taxes.

 

And children can NOT operate farm machinery on PUBLIC ROADWAYS, you daft dipshit.

 

No wonder you're restricted to riding a bicycle -- probably a tricycle -- since you're too clueless to be trusted behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Kevins_Mom
Kevins_Mom

@david.carpenter08 Is your bike a farm implement?

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