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What Did I Do Wrong?


crashtap

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So, on Friday after work, I am taking my usual route home from my office. My office is in a pretty little town on the coast of Lake Michigan.

 

I procede down a local side street, and approach the railroad tracks. It's a double track on an active line.

 

Blocking the tracks is a very large orange railroad contractor work truck. The thing is almost as long as the road is wide (both lanes). It is parallel with the tracks, and there was about a ten foot opening in the road on the right side of the truck. This was also the front of the truck. There was no personnel visible in front of or around the truck. The truck's yellow light was flashing.

 

So I slow to about 10 mph and procede on the far right side of my lane, and around the front of the truck. As I pass the front, I hear a blast of F-Bombs from some guy walking around the back of the truck and approaching the front of the truck. As I proceeded about another twenty feet, I hear and feel a heavy thud, and realize the guy threw a rock at me! It hit the back of the left pannier of my R1200RT. It was hard enough to dent it.

 

I smashed on the brakes (great breaks by the way), and stopped on a dime. I was so flustered that after I stopped, I let the bike get the best of me and it teetered and fell slowly on its left side. It slightly dinged my left headcover, otherwise no additional damage.

 

The guy was still screaming, so I decided to avoid additional confrontation with this nut. I flipped out my cell phone, and called the local police. He climbed up into his truck, and said "if you want me, I'll be at the next intersection." He then remarked "nice bike" sarcastically and was off on his way.

 

The police arrived in five minutes, and helped me pick up the bike. They gave me a report to fill out, and said they would try to locate the guy. That's all I know to this minute.

 

What the heck happened here? After thinking about it all weekend, I'm thinking this guy might be so unstable that I shouldn't even try to find out who he is. On the other hand, having supervised guys in the field for years, I want to contact his company and report it. I figure a guy like this probably has been written up before, and this could probably cost him his job.

 

And for the record, I did nothing else to instigate this reaction. I think I may have startled him going around the truck with the super quiet BMW. Only thing I can figure.

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ShovelStrokeEd

Go back to the police and charge the guy with aggravated assault.

 

Had it been me, I would have wound up being the one charged. Was the crossing warning running? Flashing red lights, bells, etc. If not, you are within your right to cross the tracks. If so, you are in the wrong for crossing but he still doesn't have the right to throw a rock at you.

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Jerry_75_Guy

I'm sure others will provide more informative commentary regarding railroad maint. procedure (I never cease to be amazed at the depth and breath of the knowledge base here), but it sure sounds like an 'honest' mistake on your part, if it was a mistake at all.

 

Please do let the local police continue to look for and find this Yahoo; if he has that large a deficit in impulse control (that rock could have hit you, and not the bike) he deserves to lose his job: what if he perceives some maneuver by some hapless biker out on the road as a 'slight' against him, and decides to 'bump' them with is truck?

 

He needs a wake up call.

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Shouldn't be too hard to find out who was working on the rails at that time and location. Were there any witnesses?

If not, it'll be hard to prove if the railroad worker comes up with a story.

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs

If he loses his job, too effin bad. Maybe he was trying to hit you, but has lousy aim. I'd pursue this in all legal manners I had available to me. Where he crossed the line was the throwing of the rock.

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Stan Walker

That's why I would never consider leaving home without a gun

 

So he throws a rock at you, and you shoot him?????

 

Then you wonder why people don't like or trust cops.

 

Stan

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That's why I would never consider leaving home without a gun

 

So he throws a rock at you, and you shoot him?????

 

Then you wonder why people don't like or trust cops.

 

Stan

 

Cop or no cop, better to be prepared than left wanting to be clap.gif

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That's why I would never consider leaving home without a gun

 

So he throws a rock at you, and you shoot him?????

 

Then you wonder why people don't like or trust cops.

 

Stan

 

Do you dislike and distrust cops?

I arrest people almost every day. I've never had to shoot one..But it is his choice..My choice is not to be the victim of a madman.I respect your choice if it differs from mine.. thumbsup.gif

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Firefight911
That's why I would never consider leaving home without a gun

 

So he throws a rock at you, and you shoot him?????

 

Then you wonder why people don't like or trust cops.

 

Stan

 

For the most part cops are liked and trusted.

I arrest people almost every day. I've never had to shoot one..But it is his choice..My choice is not to be the victim of a madman.I respect your choice if it differs from mine.. thumbsup.gif

 

what's that saying???????? Tried by 12 or buried by 6. dopeslap.gif

 

(not a proponent or opponent to anyone's view, just adding levity. I'm out!)

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That's why I would never consider leaving home without a gun

 

So he throws a rock at you, and you shoot him?????

 

Then you wonder why people don't like or trust cops.

 

Stan

 

So Stan, should we take that to mean that you don't like or trust cops? Or are you just asserting that a great many people have that opinion of those that put themselves at risk to keep you safe? I also don't see where Lawman said he would shoot anyone. Perhaps he would prefer to be armed to help him make an arrest in a case like this. It's assumptions and rush to judgement like yours that make policework more difficult than it has to be. Remember your reaction the next time you need an officer's help.

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PS: I go almost everywhere armed. If I have it, I can choose whether or not, and how, to use it. If I don't have it, I have no choice.

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Stan Walker

I go almost everywhere armed. If I have it, I can choose whether or not, and how, to use it. If I don't have it, I have no choice.

 

Then would you suggest that we all should do that?

 

Stan

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Hi Stan,

 

Why not ease up a bit. It's a choice we all get to make. There is no right or wrong. wave.gif

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Sounds like just the wrong place at the wrong time. There are plenty of strange people out there, and it sounds like you came across one of them.

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You might have unintentionally startled him or something but obvioulsy he has some pretty severe anger management issues. You were probably right not to confront him and let the police handle it... you know the saying about 'wrestling with a pig...".

 

 

I go almost everywhere armed. If I have it, I can choose whether or not, and how, to use it. If I don't have it, I have no choice.

 

Then would you suggest that we all should do that?

Around here, most people do! Also, most people are very polite. I don't know if there's any connection.

 

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Then would you suggest that we all should do that?

Sure, why not? Do you really think that a rational person would be likely to assault someone knowing there's a good chance that the intended victim is packing heat?

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Stan Walker

Hi Stan, Why not ease up a bit

 

Hey, he drew first.....

 

But probably better, before one of the offended officers sees me and writes me a ticket for 105 in a school zone....... dopeslap.gifdopeslap.gif

 

(just kidding..... and remember I'm only 4'5" tall riding a RED BMW!!!!!)

 

smile.gif

 

I'll not post again on this topic wink.gifwink.gif

 

Stan

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I go almost everywhere armed. If I have it, I can choose whether or not, and how, to use it. If I don't have it, I have no choice.

 

Then would you suggest that we all should do that?

 

Stan

 

Not everyone has the proper mindset or requisite self control to be armed. I am guessing that Lawman is a fellow officer so he should be armed as often as possible, just as I am. Remember, it could be you or a loved one that we help some day. Keep that in mind.

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Just as it has done here, went from a man downed by a thrown rock and what to do about it to heated discussion about carrying guns.

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Lone_RT_rider

Crashtapper,

 

I have read this entire thread (for a change) including the side-step and rant about firearms and noticed that there was one thing that wasn't stated. I want to personally compliment you for keeping your head on straight and handling the situation with the utmost tact and civility. I don't think you could have done anything different. Well, maybe not dropped the bike? But, it the same situation I probably would have left it in gear (by accident) and had it spinning like a top! grin.gifeek.gifdopeslap.gif

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First, from the sounds of things, you didn't do anything wrong. Though some of us seem to be eager for confrontation, you did the right thing by getting the police involved. I would not let this drop--keep in contact with the police, let them know that you will stick with it if they identify the guy, then cooperate with them and the prosecutors if they do.

 

Second . . . let's try to keep this away from the realm of a gun debate, gang. Crashtapper was looking for advice (and possibly consolation)--you're doing him a disservice by trying to move this thread toward a different topic that you want to talk about. Thanks.

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As motorcycle riders we must all be aware of our surroundings and ready to act or react to what the street throws (pun) smirk.gif at us. You did everything right in this instance.

 

But if this guys is working he is probably not packing so warm up your pitching arm and find a bigger rock crazy.gif just kiddennnnn thumbsup.gif

 

just stay safe

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Well, you all made me feel better. However, I will make no comment regarding the gun discussion.

 

I am dropping off my final report to the police station today. I am going to see what the police come up with. If nothing, I think I am going to write an objective letter to the president of the railroad contractor, with a copy of the police report, and see what happens. If it's a reputable contractor, and I have no reason to believe it is not, I'll probably get at least some satisfaction.

 

Time does heal wounds though. Friday night, I was worked up for about six hours. I had the delight of having Steely Dan tickets at Summerfest that night. It was a great way to help calm down.

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The truck was obviously trying to block traffic by positioning himself across the lanes. They were obviously working on the tracks or the switches and the railroad being VERY BIG on safety tried to block traffic until they were done. You never know what's going on behind that truck if you can't see across the tracks. So here's a RR guy trying to do his job...SAFETY FIRST is the RR motto.........and you go around the truck. He certainly shouldn't have thrown anything at you but I kind of understand him getting pissed off. Sorry you dropped your bike.

 

Personally, I would never have gone around the truck without stopping and beeping my horn to see if anyone was on the job and if it was okay to go around the truck.

 

I come from a RR family. Dad 38 years, hubby 32 years so my opinion might be a little one sided...but....I don't think so wink.gif

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They were obviously working on the tracks or the switches and the railroad being VERY BIG on safety tried to block traffic until they were done. . . . So here's a RR guy trying to do his job...SAFETY FIRST is the RR motto.........and you go around the truck.

 

Laura--

 

I agree with you, regarding the railroads' emphasis on safety, but from the original post I found it hard to determine that the truck was positioned as it was in order to block traffic (Crashtapper indicates that ten feet of the road was open and no personnel were visible). If it was an attempt at a road block, I'd bet you dimes to donuts that this was an unapproved (unsafe) method of doing so--if you believe the original post, there were no warning devices or signs and no signman, only a truck that was parked in a way that (partially) blocked traffic. And, of course, as you note, the chucking of big-ass rocks at motorcyclists is hardly a pro-safety message. grin.gif

 

My take on it--taking the original post at face value--would be that it was more likely than not a lazy effort to block traffic, done this way to save the few minutes that would be required to properly secure the worksite. Maybe it was an emergency situation and the worker was trying to do the best he could until reinforcements arrived. However, having observed human nature for the better part of a half century and having worked in environments that are, if anything, even more safety-focused (USAF flightlines), my guess would be that the guy was just trying to save a step or two and, as you noted, got startled when dear old Crashtapper failed to read the situation as the RR worker had intended.

 

Anyway, there are two lessons to be learned here. First, when in doubt around railroads, err on the side of caution (entire graveyards could be filled with the bodies of those who miscalculated at railroad crossings). Second, if a guy who has ready access to big rocks starts cussing at you, it might be a good time to call on the torque reserves of your mighty BMW opposed twin engine. grin.gif

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Dave McReynolds

SAFETY FIRST is the RR motto

 

I don't know how things are in Wisconsin or New Joizee, but in California, the worker would have been committing some pretty serious safety violations if he attempted to block a road with just his truck with just one flashing yellow light. If his intent was to block a public road to do some work on the tracks, I would have expected to see warning signs a hundred feet or so before the work site, barricades with flashing lights leading up to the work site, a flagman, etc.

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Agent_Orange

Well, when the bike went down, ya shoulda' fell on the ground, screaming at the top of your lungs. Then, after a trip to the ER, found 'Bernie, the attorney' and filed a nice, fat civil suit. grin.gif

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If his intent was to block a public road to do some work on the tracks, I would have expected to see warning signs a hundred feet or so before the work site, barricades with flashing lights leading up to the work site, a flagman, etc.

Exactly. One particular RR crossing here in town was redone over the past winter, and the street was closed off entirely, with those big, orange diamond-shaped "ROAD CLOSED" signs on both sides at the closest intersections where a detour could be made, along with a sufficient amount of cones and flashers in close proximity to the work site. And a month ago, a signalman was working on a malfunctioning crossing gate near my workplace and a fellow signalman was monitoring and directing traffic accordingly.

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But if this guys is working he is probably not packing so warm up your pitching arm and find a bigger rock..

Not a difficult thing to do, as there's a pretty big supply to choose from (track ballast). grin.gif

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Lawman/Geep

so what, you would shoot a guy that you claim threw a rock at you? Any witness? Just your word someone maybe threw a rock in your direction to get your attention and it accidently hit you and then you respond with lethal force... Good thing you carry a badge, the rest of us would be locked up! I have a carry permit and have no problem with guns but your comment about how you would respond < that's why I carry...> IMHO is an irresponsible comment by someone who appears to be a LEO.

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I sometimes do not understand what some folks read into a post on these forums.

 

Maybe Lawman shold not have mentioned a gun in this post but he did. He did not say anything about shooting the rock thrower as Geep pointed out in his posting. I bet Crashtapper felt that rock at the time was deadly force. Many a person have been hurt badly and killed by rocks.

 

As officers of the law as I assume they are they are taught when and if the use of deadly force is necessary. As a citizen of this country my hat is off to these guys and gals who try to protect us everyday with their own lives. I would not want that job would YOU? So try and be a little more tolerent. After all like it or not the freedoms we have to voice our opinions now were given to us at the point of a gun and are still protected with the same.

 

If they step too far out of line they are subject to the same laws and court systems we are also subject to.

 

Now let's talk motorcycles...........

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***

MODERATOR EDIT: Mike asked once politely to stay on topic, and Andy dropped a second hint, but it seems not to have been enough. As the thread seems now to have run its course, we'll call it a day. Thanks for participating.

***

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