A 75-year-old Erie man has been ticketed in connection with a widely seen YouTube video, which shows a horn-honking driver tailing two cyclists on Colorado 52. The Colorado State Patrol announced Thursday that James Ernst was issued a citation for harassment (two charges), impeding the flow of traffic/minimum speed regulation and improper use of a horn or warning device.
Dirk Friel took the video while he and a friend were followed for about five minutes during a Sunday-morning ride. The footage of Dirk Friel and a riding companion being trailed by a honking SUV has generated a lot of attention, see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqnCArMHfMU. As discussed in an earlier blog, the trend is for more and more cyclists to be videotaping their rids, and their encounters with motorists.
Friel is well-known in the world of endurance sports as a former professional cyclist, coach and co-founder of Peaksware, a software company. He and his companion are obviously riding single file often to the right of the white lane line. For about five minutes, Ernst drove behind the cyclists, honking his horn constantly. The road was not busy with traffic and the cyclists slowed down and tried to wave the vehicle by, to no avail.
As crazy as the behavior appears in the video, it is yet another demonstration of the unnecessary tension between cyclists and drivers on our Colorado roads. Everyone who drives a motor vehicle or rides a bicycle on streets should work to ease tensions. For motorists, that means being courteous, law-abiding and mindful of the size of the vehicle being driven. For cyclists, obey traffic signals and being thoughtful about sharing the road with motor vehicles.