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  1. #1
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    "Rolling coal" caught on video during yesterday's ride

    I'm sure most of you have heard of diesel trucks "rolling coal". For those who haven't, it's when the driver does something to cause the truck to belch out a thick cloud of black, carcinogenic smoke. The bullies who do this like to smoke out cyclists, pedestrians, and even other motorists. Yesterday it happened to me while on a group ride in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

    We had just started our ride in downtown Colfax, so we were going pretty slow. After making the video from my helmet-mounted GoPro, I grabbed a screenshot off the raw file to try to get the license plate number. I am able to decipher all but the second digit. Here in California that digit is usually a letter. It is either an "X" or a "T".

    Dodge Ram Cummins Turbo Diesel 'rolling coal' on road group ride 8-30-14 by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

    Here's the video.

    Dodge Ram 'rolling coal' on our group road ride 8-30-14 Video - Pinkbike


    I have noticed that the dbag behavior in the hills seems to happen most while on group rides. When I ride solo I have almost zero issues. I also "dress down", meaning that the only cycling-specific clothing I wear is the shorts. I wear regular clothing up top. I have found that motorists treat you better when they think you're using your bike for transportation instead of "playing" on "their" roads. Sad, but true. Other cyclists have reported the same thing.

  2. #2
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    what a fkn inbred redneck.

  3. #3
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    License plate number , phone call, assault charge.

  4. #4
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    What difference does his licence plate make?

    While annoying he did not do anything threatening, unsafe or illegal.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    What difference does his licence plate make?

    While annoying he did not do anything threatening, unsafe or illegal.
    In California that's considered harassing a cyclist and the driver can be sued in civil court. If you modify your truck (which is what is required) in order to do this then it is illegal.
    If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    What difference does his licence plate make?

    While annoying he did not do anything threatening, unsafe or illegal.
    "jurisdictions have incorporated the definition of civil assault into the definition of the crime making it a criminal assault intentionally to cause another person to apprehend a harmful or offensive contact." I'm thinking it fits the description. It's illegal, harassment is illegal, it caused riders to veer , take eyes off road , obstructed their vision. It's definitely against the law to intentionally dump unburned and dirty exhaust mix into the path of a cyclist. Run it through a A/F analyzer and see if the EPA thinks it unhealthy to breathe.

  7. #7
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    I've seen a few of those d!cks here in Texas do that. Those guys are idiot a-holes.
    Knowing California with their environmental laws, how do these guys pass inspection? In the rural counties, does CA even require smog check? Those modifications seem ridiculous and without purpose, other than blowing huge amounts of smoke.
    A-1 D-bag behavior at its best.

  8. #8
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    Re: "Rolling coal" caught on video during yesterday's ride

    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb View Post
    In California that's considered harassing a cyclist and the driver can be sued in civil court. If you modify your truck (which is what is required) in order to do this then it is illegal.
    It doesn't take modification to do that. My old rabbit was diesel, and I could lay out smoke if I wanted. Simple downshift and hit the gas. I reserved doing it only to tailgaters...backed 'em up to safe following distance pretty quick.
    Stop in at Element Sports. www.elementsport.com
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle View Post
    It doesn't take modification to do that. My old rabbit was diesel, and I could lay out smoke if I wanted. Simple downshift and hit the gas. I reserved doing it only to tailgaters...backed 'em up to safe following distance pretty quick.
    I've only seen it with trucks that have those huge (6"+) diameter tail pipes. Some have them going straight up out of the bed of the truck, but those aren't the ones blowing smoke at the cyclists. Either way, classic douchebag behavior.

  10. #10
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    It's fairly common around here. Really pisses me off.

    I was on a century ride earlier in the year, couple months ago or so, and some guy did this to me and the guy I was riding with. There was a huge crowd of folks behind us that saw it and were yelling. We were on a wide open and empty country road.

    What was bad about this particular instance is that right after "rolling coal" on me, the truck cut me off so he could pull into his driveway that was right in front of me. The guy I was with went down but not hard avoiding him. Lucky for everyone it was a very long country driveway and nobody was going to chase up after him.

    I do believe though that this is a classic case of bullying/harassment and the backwoods dorks that do it should be dragged out of their penis compensation devices and beat bloody. Just my personal opinion.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle View Post
    It doesn't take modification to do that. My old rabbit was diesel, and I could lay out smoke if I wanted. Simple downshift and hit the gas. I reserved doing it only to tailgaters...backed 'em up to safe following distance pretty quick.
    Its a modification on any late model diesel. Not some old POS VW.
    It is actually a federal offence because it usually involves removing or defeating an emissions device.
    These trucks are equiped with a DPF that requires a "regen" to burn the collected soot to ash. These are often removed and the programing in the engine ECU changed to ignore the missing components. The drivers state fuel economy increases.
    This regeneration needes heat to work properly. If the vehicle is used to haul a load and is operated under a load at a steady speed, like driving down the road it will take care of its self. The heat comes from the engine load. No impact on operation and the driver dosent notice. This is called a "Passive" regen.
    If there is not enough heat due to low load, like driving around town the engine will need to preform an "active" regen. The heat comes from fuel that is injected on the exhaust stroke and travels to the DPF to create the heat needed. This impacts fuel economy.
    If this cant be completed the engine will need to preform a "parked" regen. The owners view this as an inconvenence and remove the devices that cause this to be needed.
    The reality is that people buy these trucks that need a load to operate properly and just drive them around town. This causes all sorts of problems. Like creating more motoring douschebags.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgrat View Post
    I've seen a few of those d!cks here in Texas do that. Those guys are idiot a-holes.
    Knowing California with their environmental laws, how do these guys pass inspection? In the rural counties, does CA even require smog check? Those modifications seem ridiculous and without purpose, other than blowing huge amounts of smoke.
    A-1 D-bag behavior at its best.
    They are, and yup.

    People will pay $500 to modify their truck to be jagoffs. They look at it as thumbing their nose at the EPA and Prius owners.

    America F#ck Yea!
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  13. #13
    JFR
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    Please report the incident to the local PD and/or CHP. Anybody who experiences assault from a vehicle should, regardless if they have a full lic plate or video, or just a description of the car. Law enforcement need to know it's a problem. It is illegal.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    he did not do anything threatening, unsafe or illegal.
    Ya! Breathing clouds of diesel smoke never hurt anyone!

    OP needs to light up a Marlboro and relax like a real man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinelli 82220 View Post
    Ya! Breathing clouds of diesel smoke never hurt anyone!

    OP needs to light up a Marlboro and relax like a real man.
    Woman ;)

    I will report this jerkoff to CARB/CHP.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    Woman ;)

    I will report this jerkoff to CARB/CHP.
    Be respectful though. Refer to him as "Mr. Jerkoff".

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb View Post
    In California that's considered harassing a cyclist and the driver can be sued in civil court. If you modify your truck (which is what is required) in order to do this then it is illegal.
    The only problem with a civil suit is in most places you can't simply collect just because a motorist or someone else is "wrong." You have to demonstrate injury and loss because a case is actionable. If, for instance, as a result of someone rolling coal you became disoriented, crashed, and injured yourself, then you could sue, and if there are real injuries, like broken bones, collect substantial money damages, not to mention punitive.

    But if you were just smogged out by one of these douch*bags, there is no injury, I am pretty sure you can't collect anything. However, if you have it on your helmet cam AND you got the license plate, I am pretty sure you can at least have the cops pay the guy a visit. It is illegal to harrass cyclists, and not only that, but there really is a danger that a cyclist can be seriously injured if made visually disoriented like that.

  18. #18
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    This phenomenon is a variation on the saying "it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt"

  19. #19
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    I have had this done twice to me on rides this year. I guess the effort it takes to leave others alone and move on is beyond the ability of some folks. The idea that I am not so much a person, but entertainment for some idiot is comforting.
    Mike

  20. #20
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    In my fantasy land, I would have a paintball gun on hand to tag the truck after getting smoked! In real life that would probably end up leading to a physical confrontation or worse. One can dream...

  21. #21
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    Some people carry a small frame pump with them. Maybe I'll start to carry one of those telescoping beat down sticks... This may be an idea in the making.
    use a torque wrench

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgrat View Post
    In my fantasy land, I would have a paintball gun on hand to tag the truck after getting smoked! In real life that would probably end up leading to a physical confrontation or worse. One can dream...
    That's why you carry more than one paintball, and it's also why you have the CO2 cranked to 400 feet per second.
    Ghurarmu shirkush’ agh azgushu. Zant ya apakurizak. Gűl-n’ anakhizak.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiroVette View Post
    The only problem with a civil suit is in most places you can't simply collect just because a motorist or someone else is "wrong." You have to demonstrate injury and loss because a case is actionable. If, for instance, as a result of someone rolling coal you became disoriented, crashed, and injured yourself, then you could sue, and if there are real injuries, like broken bones, collect substantial money damages, not to mention punitive.

    But if you were just smogged out by one of these douch*bags, there is no injury, I am pretty sure you can't collect anything. However, if you have it on your helmet cam AND you got the license plate, I am pretty sure you can at least have the cops pay the guy a visit. It is illegal to harrass cyclists, and not only that, but there really is a danger that a cyclist can be seriously injured if made visually disoriented like that.
    Do you actually believe all this BS?

    No one was visully disoriented. The police have better things to do especially when no one even had to even had to alter their line to avoid the incident.

    Civil actions? You would be laughed out of court.

    Seriously, if you are going to ride your bike, especially in our near urban areas, then be prepared to ignore the actions of the others on the road who don't appeciate your presence on the road.


    If I didn't learn to do this myself I would either be wasting my time trying to report every driver who I felt wronged me on the road or I would return from my rides with a great big chip on my shoulder and higher blood pressure than when I left.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    Do you actually believe all this BS?

    No one was visully disoriented. The police have better things to do especially when no one even had to even had to alter their line to avoid the incident.

    Civil actions? You would be laughed out of court.
    Reading comprehension problems or did you just skim my post and decide to call it BS? The part in bold was precisely what I said. Where there is no injury or provable loss attributable to the defendant's actions, there is no civil case, period.

    By the way, you don't know if there is a potential for visual disorientation from actions like this. Maybe not in the OP's case, but that is a dangerous thing for a motorist to do, particularly with newer or less experienced cyclists.

    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    Seriously, if you are going to ride your bike, especially in our near urban areas, then be prepared to ignore the actions of the others on the road who don't appeciate your presence on the road.
    There are laws to protect cyclists from things like the OP posted, though. We are not talking about yelling, cursing out cyclists, or being mean lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    If I didn't learn to do this myself I would either be wasting my time trying to report every driver who I felt wronged me on the road or I would return from my rides with a great big chip on my shoulder and higher blood pressure than when I left.
    If you went to the police stations in my area with that video and had a license plate clearly displayed on it, cops would more likely than not pay the person a visit. Yes, they have more pressing things to do, but if you have a motorist purposely spewing out black smoke into cyclists faces while they are innocently riding, that is something that you can make a stink about in your precinct. But if you don't think that it is potentially dangerous to bellow a noxious cloud of black smoke into a cyclists face, potentially (albeit temporarily) robbing said cyclist of his ability to see his or her surroundings, then I have to respectfully disagree. Distracting people who are vulnerable on cycles while they are trying to navigate their way through all sorts of on-road obstacles can be seen as an assault of sorts. I am sure there are some lazy cops that might blow you off, but not all cops would take such a lazy attitude toward an arguably toxic and potentially dangerous "assault," though I put the word in quotes because no cop would charge said motorist with assault.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz View Post
    Do you actually believe all this BS?

    No one was visully disoriented. The police have better things to do especially when no one even had to even had to alter their line to avoid the incident.

    Civil actions? You would be laughed out of court.

    Seriously, if you are going to ride your bike, especially in our near urban areas, then be prepared to ignore the actions of the others on the road who don't appeciate your presence on the road.


    If I didn't learn to do this myself I would either be wasting my time trying to report every driver who I felt wronged me on the road or I would return from my rides with a great big chip on my shoulder and higher blood pressure than when I left.
    No, you wouldn't be laughed out of court. Los Angeles is taking this very serious. Cyclist's cannot be harassed verbally or physically.

    New Los Angeles law bans harassing bicyclists
    If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

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