GMR Cyclist VS. CHP

2:35:00 PM

(For the record I do sometimes bike to my office but I manage to somehow do it in normal clothing without running any stop signs.)

It's no big secret that I don't care for cyclists... most (not all) are entitled jackasses that don't believe they should be required to stop at stop signs, red lights, yield to oncoming traffic, or even show common courtesy to their fellow road users. For cyclists "share the road" only goes one way.

(You can watch KCAL 9's coverage of it here).

So when cyclists Ken Adams felt a CHP officer got too close to him and his fellow pedal pushers, he decided that it was time for a showdown. He flagged the officer down and started his complaining... while his friend recorded. In his letter (below) he calls the close calls "assaults." The CHP's dashcams only turn on when lights and sirens have been activated so it's likely that there is no footage at all.

Now mind you, cycling has become a strange religious cult, so Ken decided to become a spokesman for the faith and released a spandex-clad rant in the defense of the 3-foot rule towards the officer.

For those of you that don't know last year, a law came into effect in California requiring drivers to keep at least three feet away from cyclists when passing them.

In the short video (amazingly they have no footage of the multiple close calls they claimed happened), the CHP officer remains calm and deals with Adams' rant while explaining to him that he and his friends need to stay on the side of the road. The CHP officer responded politely in my opinion, but Adams went to call him "an arrogant prick and a total asshole" in a post on Social Media (see below). It seems if I read the letter correctly, that the incidents took place on Glendora Mountain Road not Glendora Ridge Road where the video was shot. On Glendora Mountain Road there is a yellow center line.

In the video you can hear the following in the exchange:

CHP: "Should I let other cars drive on the other side (wrong side) of the road to go around you"
Adams: "I don't care about other cars"

His response "I don't care about other cars" is the problem most of us have with cyclists. They don't care that there are other people on the road or that they might be creating traffic and congestion. They don't feel that they should have to stop at stop signs or yield, that they should have to ride with the flow of traffic or keep to their side of the road.

He told ABC7 that he was getting the media involved to "raise awareness" about the dangers of cycling (see the video from ABC7 here).

Adams went on to file a formal complaint against the officer and then took to Social Media and the news to make sure that his complaints were heard by all in the land. On social media, those who replied with their opinions on the story were called "idiots" by Adams.

The letter he sent to Biking in LA is below, outlining his entire story of how.....well how nothing actually happened to him. He calls for the officer's dashcam footage as it will show the "two assaults on us, as well as the numerous other assaults on other cyclists".

If you want to read his long rambling letter it is below:

Re: Encounter with Maniac CHP Officer While Cycling on Glendora Mountain Road / Glendora Ridge Road

I’m trying to spread the word of my experience yesterday as far and wide as possible, because it was quite unbelievable and extremely dangerous.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with the roads I mentioned, but they are very popular cycling routes, especially for Saturday morning rides.  I was riding with a friend, starting from his house in Glendora.  There was another training ride with about 9 people starting from a coffee shop in Glendora that I was aware of because of an event invite on Facebook.

We started our ride just after 8 am.  We started the climb on GMR at about 8:15. At approximately 8:30, about 2-3 miles North of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV passed us dangerously close – probably about 2 feet away. Neither of us gave the incident much thought, as it happens frequently, although it is unexpected from law enforcement.  A few miles later, the same CHP vehicle was stopped and the officer had exited the vehicle.  He was standing on the shoulder and commented something to the effect “watch out, there are cars coming up”.  We turned and looked, but saw nothing.  We assumed he was referring to some type of event that was occurring, so we were extra vigilant.  We never saw any unusual vehicle traffic – in fact, traffic was unusually light for a weekend.
We continued riding, past East Fork road, where GMR becomes GRR.  Approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, this time much more closely.  He was no more than 1 – 1.5 feet from us.  At that point, the road was straight, there were clear sight lines for at least ½ mile, no oncoming traffic and we were riding single file on the white line.  There are also no lane demarcation lines painted on the road, as the road is less than 2 lanes wide at that point.

We both raised our arms as he passed in a “what the heck” gesture.  The officer continued down the road, but we could see that in the distance he was turning around.  My friend started recording as he returned.  I raised my arm again in a “what the heck” gesture and the officer slowed and started lowering his window.  We stopped our bikes and an animated conversation ensued.  I have included a link to that video on my FB page:

Subsequent to this incident, we continued our ride.  We encountered additional riders and described our experience with the CHP SUV.  Incredibly, they told us they had experienced the same thing.  When I returned home, I went to the FB event page I mentioned earlier and posted about my experience, asking if anyone else on that ride had experienced an issue with a CHP SUV.  I got a number of responses from cyclists who had either witnessed or experienced brushes from this same CHP officer.
It is my opinion that this officer had some type of agenda yesterday.  He either has some type of antipathy towards cyclists, was trying to prove a point, or was trying to provoke a confrontation that he hoped would escalate to the use of force.  Even in a best case scenario, as you can ascertain from viewing the video, he is woefully misinformed about cycling laws and vehicle interactions with cyclists.  Most troubling to me was his cavalier attitude about endangering my life and the life of my friend.  He seemed completely unconcerned, not to mention excessively arrogant.

I filed a complaint on the CHP website yesterday, but I hardly trust the CHP to police themselves with this matter.  In case you’d like to read the content of that complaint, here is what I wrote:

I was riding my bicycle on Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road on the morning of 7/11/2015. At approximately 8:30 am, on Glendora Mountain Road, about 2 miles north of Sierra Madre, a CHP SUV with license plate number 1365395 passed me and the cyclist with whom I was riding with significantly less than 3 feet (I’d estimate about 2 feet). We continued riding and at approximately 9:55 am, on Glendora Ridge Road, approximately 13 miles from the previous incident, the same CHP SUV passed us again, barely missing us, by approximately 1 foot. The officer continued on for some time, then turned around and returned. We flagged him down and had a conversation with him. We have a video of this interaction, which I would be happy to share with you. I would like to point out that Glendora Ridge Road is a very desolate spot with minimal vehicular traffic. The road is less than 2 lanes wide and has no lane demarcation lines painted on the road. At the point we were passed by the CHP vehicle, there was no oncoming traffic, the road was straight with clear sight lines for at least 1/4 – 1/2 mile and we were riding single file on the white line. During our conversation, the officer claimed that he must drive on the right half of the road and that he “cannot violate a law to follow a law” when asked about California’s 3-foot cycling law. He seemed completely unconcerned when I pointed out that he had just needlessly endangered my life. In the course of the rest of my ride and subsequently via social media, I learned that this same officer passed numerous other cyclists dangerously close during this same time period on the same stretch of road.

This officer endangered my life twice, the life of the person I was cycling with twice, at least 4 other cyclists that I’ve been in contact with and who knows how many others. I suspect this type of aggressive and unsafe driving behavior is not what you expect from your officers. This incident has significantly affected my trust in the professionalism of the CHP as an organization. Cycling on California’s roads is sufficiently dangerous without our law enforcement officers adding to the danger. I sincerely hope that this officer receives some additional training on correct and safe vehicular interaction with cyclists, because it is clear that he currently is lacking in this area.

I would very much like to get the dash cam video from his tour yesterday, as I’m sure it clearly shows his two assaults on us, as well as the numerous other assaults on other cyclists.

This officer is a menace to cyclists and needs to be dealt with, swiftly and harshly IMO.  It is bad enough when Joe Citizen behaves this way.  It is completely unacceptable when law enforcement does.

In this reply on Social Media Adams refers to the officer as an "arrogant prick and a total asshole"

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