Your Street-Fightin' Weekly Reporters, Or: Jackass Cyclist Kicks Food Writer, Gets Beatdown!

biketrail.jpg
Dave Lieberman
This is a story about an asshole cyclist.

If you read the retrograde morons in the comment section of any news story about cycling, you'd think all cyclists are assholes. This is not true; the vast majority of the people who zip along the Santa Ana River Trail on the weekends are polite, pleasant people. They're out for exercise, often with their kids, and they greet fellow riders with a nod, a "Good morning," or a polite "On your left."

Nevertheless, I met one of the small minority of jackass riders a week and a half ago; he's the kind of person who gives all cyclists a bad name and lends credence to the peanut gallery.

On Sunday morning, August 26, I was headed southbound south of Garden Grove Boulevard, near the wooden bridge crossing, on a rise near where the good residents of SanTana raise corn and calabacitas in their backyards.

A small peloton of Lycra-clad cyclists came northbound around a bend, taking up both lanes. Most moved over into the northbound lane; one just waved his hand at me to give way, which would have put me into a particularly ugly-looking patch of cactus. There was nowhere for me to go; we collided.

He got up first and started ranting and raving about how I'd ruined his $2,000 carbon fiber-and-unobtainium bicycle. His friends, visibly uncomfortable, suggested he just move on.

"You guys go ahead. I'm going to teach this motherfucking faggot a lesson," he said, and started to kick dirt and rocks onto me as they took off and I tried to get up. Then he kicked me in the shoulder where it had hit the ground.

I'm not particularly nimble, but I'm not totally immobile either, and so I swept my leg, carried his skinny shaved legs out from under him, jumped on top of him, gave him a shiner to remember me by, and shoved his shoulder hard into the edge of the pavement. Then I threw his precious $2,000 penis extension into the nopales, just as the cops showed up.

The cops were very professional, listened to both sides (though we were cuffed momentarily while they sorted it out), and let us go in opposite directions after we both declined to press charges. I owe thanks to the Martinez family, who were cooking food in their yard and told the police what had happened.

Adrenaline still pumping, I biked to the beach, then sat and licked my wounds over a restorative bowl of kotteri ramen at Daikokuya in Costa Mesa. I had to wear a sling for a couple of days while the swelling in my shoulder went down but am otherwise unhurt; I'm hoping that weaselish little weekend warrior came up with a better story for his black eye than "I got beat up by a fat guy."

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35 comments
JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

The only thing missing is a review of what the Martinez family was cooking in their yard.....

Guerro
Guerro

Is this why you got into journalism?  To air your personal conflicts and chest thump? 

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Just curious, how old was this kid?

gottaknow247
gottaknow247

You should have been on the trail early Monday when peloton after peloton flew in both directions. I use the 25 mile round trip from the Big A to the beach for exercise a few times per week. I'm not terribly slow, but I friggin hate it when these a-holes ride two-by-two at 25 mph plus. Too many dogs and kids on the trail for that.

sygyzy
sygyzy

This guy was clearly in the wrong, taking up both lanes, and calling you names, then kicking rocks at you. However, I think it really hurts your side when, as a writer, you can't even restrain yourself from calling him name after name. You obviously have a problem with someone riding a bike and wearing Lycra? Is that "gay" to you? And he has a "nice" bike and somehow that's a crime? It's made of carbon fiber - he told you as much. Not unobtanium. I am sure you are angry but I don't really understand the childishness.

m.bouffant
m.bouffant

Very sorry you didn't get to make the bastard bleed. Two questions: How'd the police show up so quickly, & why in hell wouldn't you have pressed charges? If the police had interrupted me while I was administering justice, I certainly would have demanded that he be arrested & charged.

qdpsteve
qdpsteve

"fiber-and-unobtainium bicycle." LIKE! :-)

 

Sure this asshole wasn't Lance Armstrong himself Dave? But seriously and whatever he was, glad you got to serve a nice hot knuckle sandwich to the steroid-stuffed Lycra Loon.

WeHo Newsie
WeHo Newsie

YEAH! YOU ARE MY HERO - not only did you give the jerk his just desserts, but you have a publication through which you can trumpet your accomplishment (and embarrass the jack ass).

My only complaint s that you failed to publish his name.

Al the best...

missbrandicruz
missbrandicruz

i am so proud of you! although you REALLY need to CALL HIM OUT BY NAME!

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

DAVE LIEBERMAN IS GOD...

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Wait a minute, he kicked you while you were on the ground?

 

anon
anon

Sweep the leg Johnny!

 

That is pretty fucked up, sounds like you got the better of him.

cyclelicious
cyclelicious

@bikinginla Riding 5 MPH amongst walkers on crabon road bike this AM; run off trail by weaving aggro jerk w/ safety vest & commuter bike.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @Guerro Actually, I got into journalism for the money and fame. Talk about disappointment!

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @20ftjesus Mid-thirties, just like me. He might have been early forties, because we all know bicycling keeps you young.

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

Riddle of the day: If you don't want people to know that you're an asshole, don't act like (insert answer here).

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @sygyzy Continuation... I don't fully understand why an average cyclist needs such a fancy bike. Far be it from me to stop anyone if they want it, but I suspect most of the time it's either just a status symbol ("I can afford a $2,000 bicycle!") or delusions of grandeur ("I'll buy this ultralight bicycle and suddenly be Taylor Phinney!").

 

As I said, though, it was the implication that I should have seen how fancy-shmancy and expensive his bicycle was and flung myself and my $400-three-years-ago Giant DX off the path.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @sygyzy Assholes are assholes. And given that I was riding a bicycle, too, no, I don't think I have a problem riding a bicycle. What I have a problem with is his repeated crap about the $2000 his bicycle ostensibly cost. It could have been an $89.99 off-the-rack clearance special at Maison de Target and he still would've been wrong.

 

Also, I think you're projecting your own concerns onto me. I didn't say or imply anything about his orientation, nor would I. The only mention of Lycra was a description of the peloton—and anyone who's ever ridden a bicycle on SART or any other Class I bike path would get the imagery immediately.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @m.bouffant I assume his friends called the police. They're often near that stretch of road—the little park just south of there sometimes has problems with solicitation and so there's often an officer (or a park ranger) parked near the park.

 

As for the charges, justice was served, and the police officer said quite rightly that if one of us pressed charges, the other one was sure to.

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

 @20ftjesus

 Doesn't that make Dave's response self-defense?

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @20ftjesus Yes, the jackass kicked me while I was on the ground. He was kicking up rocks and got me in the shoulder.

bikinginla
bikinginla

@cyclelicious Long been my opinion that people ride the way they drive. An aggressive, jackass driver will be a jackass on a bike, too.

JimmyZelski
JimmyZelski

 @Dave_Lieberman  I'll give you one example - speaking only for myself.  I've spent the last 20 years bike commuting, touring, and riding recreationally on a steel mountain bike.  Last fall I decided to ride a century with it.  One hundred and four miles later, I was beat, had hurting knees, and took about a week to recover.  I realized I'm not as young as I used to be (59), and if I still want to do things like ride centuries I could probably benefit from something lighter and easier to propel than a 35-pound mountain bike.  So I bought a carbon bike.  The difference is unbelievable.  I still have the mtb though - it is my go-to touring bike and is awesome for that.

 

I'm not a racer, and usually ride alone.  I don't care what anyone else thinks of my choice of a bike (obviously, if I was worried about that I wouldn't have spent 20 years on an old mtb).  The motive behind my choice was purely function over form, but I like the way the bike looks anyway.

topcatuptown
topcatuptown

 @Dave_Lieberman  @sygyzy   As when Eric Packer says in "Cosmopolis" he wants to buy the Rothko Chapel -- like he bought (and flew) a Backfire Bomber -- just so he could say he bought the Rothko Chapel and flew a Backfire Bomber. Having founded the Anti-Violence Project at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center 25 years ago, it appears you resolved this situation quite nicely. Better yet, you lived to tell the tale, with a salutary deterrent effect.

JimmyZelski
JimmyZelski

 @Dave_Lieberman  As a guy who regularly rides a carbon fiber bike and wears lycra,  I wish you would have given this jerk more than a shiner, but that's a good start anyway.  People like this dick give all of us a bad name.    Congratulations for not letting the jackass off easy.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

 @BillxT Yes, but as Dave said, the cops would have arrested the two of them. 

BikeSD
BikeSD

@bikinginla totally agree.

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