Editor’s note: Kenneth Lenger sent along this account on an incident that occurred on Old Spanish Trail last Wednesday. He said they didn’t call the police because they weren’t sure what jurisdiction they were in. He considered stopping into a police station nearby, but eventually decided against it.
I think as cyclists we need to make sure we report things like this. If it were to happen again it would illustrate a pattern and it makes it clear to the police that not everyone on the road respects our right to be there.
Guy McArthur (another cyclist) and I were riding west on the shoulder along Old Spanish Trail, almost to Houghton Rd. An older green pickup truck going the opposite way (east) crossed well into our lane and sprayed us with some unknown liquid (might have only been water but I don’t know for sure) from a device he obviously installed on the truck for that specific purpose. The spray was actually projecting to his left and forward from the vehicle, so it wasn’t just over-spray from the windshield washers. It was also a large amount of liquid in a wide fan. I rode for another 20 miles after that, and seemed to have some burning in my eyes, but that may have been a perceived feeling and not from the liquid. When I got home I showered and tried to rinse my face and eyes as best I could. I felt OK when I woke up the next morning.
What really concerns me is that this is not simply an incident of momentary road-rage in “the heat of the moment”. This guy modified his vehicle for the premeditated purpose of assaulting cyclists and had to swerve out of his lane into oncoming traffic to get close enough to do this. I’m sure he has been and will continue to assault cyclists with this device every chance he gets.