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Keep an eye open for a red flatbed truck in Farmington/Unionville

I was reminded last night that some people are just jerks. I was headed east on Rt4 around 7PM just before River Road when I was struck from behind. Anyone who has ridden with me has likely noticed that I ride as far to the right as possible and last night was no exception. I was at least 3' more likely 4' to the right of the white line taking advantage of the ample road shoulder when I felt the hit on my upper back and the back of my helmet. I stayed upright and looked up to see a red pickup with a black steel flatbed moving back from the shoulder to the roadway. The driver didn't alter speed at all and there is no way they could not have realized they didn't hit me with their mirror so I can only conclude that the assault was intentional. By the time I recovered from the shock I couldn't see the license plate so I chased them all the way through Unionville and lost them as they headed south on Rt69.

I had a blinkie and my usual bright orange garb so I'm reasonably certain I was visible, in addition to the fact that I was well off the road. I contacted the Farmington police chief and he suggested filing a formal complaint at the station which I will be doing tomorrow. His response to my email was immediate and he stated in the meantime that he would get the vehicle description out to the local patrols.

After several years of racing road and cross you get used to being bumped and your instinct is to stay calm and hold your line. I'm pretty sure that instinct kept me from going down or worse, falling into traffic and being run over. It's a reaction that is developed over time and it reminded me that Jan suggested we run some club bumping clinics to work on this for safer group riding skills. Stay tuned for more on that, but in the meantime keep your eyes open and be safe.


In reply to pcunningham

That is really terrible, but it could have been worse!

In reply to pcunningham

Glad to hear you escaped this physically unscathed. Good or bad, all one can do is just try to keep your eyes and ears open and be as aware and safe as possible. Many of you know I was on a ride a couple months ago with a small group and one of the riders crashed without touching anyone else with no cars in sight--hit a crack in the road and went down awkwardly--and he died of his injuries several days later. You just never know...

I am often reminded of a near-brush I had with getting plastered last Fall when a driver of a truck turned right in front me, pulling out onto a main road while talking on his phone, and nearly running me over. Had I not slammed on my brakes and started yelling he surely would have hit me. The kicker to this story is it was a fellow cyclist who I know well (many of you would too) and a good guy just being careless and in a hurry. And yes, I thought he was going to have a heart attack he was so upset about what had almost happened.

I have a weird observation to add that I've noticed recently. It seems to me a lot of drivers are in fact more aware of cyclists and they tend to "swing wide" as they overtake you and...nearly clip the cars in the oncoming lane. Which sets off a chain reaction of honks and angry gestures and more animosity from other drivers. Maybe it's just me but sometimes I feel like I should have a sign on me that says "Thanks, but 3 feet is not 13 feet". Has anyone else experienced this? It seems particularly bad in the morning when I'm riding to work (which is all of 2.5 miles but on an extremely busy road) all lit up and flashing like a Christmas tree.

In reply to pcunningham

Glad your OK. Riding alone we may need front and rear camera's. Even if caught or they are nice enough to stop not much appears to be done except blame us.

I will keep an eye out as I ride that route twice a week to and from work plus drive it every day to work and home. A red with silver flat bed passed me yesterday so not quite. It may take a while but I'll find it.

Three cheers for the Farmington PD!!! I received a call on Sunday from the case officer that they had made an arrest in connection with my experience in Rt4 a few weeks ago. I don't have many details other than what is listed in the police blotter on May 21st.

Of course I googled the name and saw that this individual also has a DUI prior in Old Saybrook back in October. Two arrests in 6 months. His parents must be so proud.

Farmington Police Blotter

Great news, but I'm surprised they would file charges based only on your complaint with no witnesses or a tag number. Maybe the guy confessed, which would be about par for his apparent intelligence level.

In reply to Carey_Gregory

I thought the same and suspect there may have been a history of this behavior leading to the arrest. However, the officer that left me the message did say that he was charged in connection with the incident I reported.

Glad you found your guy.

I have noticed a red pickup with black bed but not a flatbed on Meadow Lane twice so doesn't quite match.

Anyway, like I said, glad they found it.

In reply to Jeffb

They got him. The officer who contacted me said they got a partial plate from a witness and with the vehicle description were able to ID the truck. Turns out the vehicle belongs to the parent of driver who had to passengers with him, one of which hurled the bottle at me. When they applied a little pressure on the driver he caved on his friend like a snow fort in July. Mr. Bottle guy is headed to court charged with 2nd degree reckless endangerment........ and littering! Hopefully he figures it out and decides not to go through life as a dumb ass.

In any event I now have a rear camera/blinky combo and I am considering a front mount as well. I would suggest this for anyone who rides solo. Ask at the shop about cycliq front and rear cameras. They can order them for us.