Cyclists ecounter pickup hauling airboat

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Cyclists ecounter pickup hauling airboat

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:14 am

The following is the kind of press that the airboating community does NOT need. This matter needs to be addressed within our ranks. If anyone knows the individual described in the following article, you should bring it to his attention that he made it in the statewide news and that he is the new airboating community's poster boy.
Also, an email to the article's author (Mark DeCotis) would not be a bad idea to let him know that the discourteous behavior displayed by the airboater described in his story is not acceptable conduct and that it would be appreciated if he would not stereotype and attack airboaters in his future articles.

*********** 8)


http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.d ... 062/SPORTS

FLORIDA TODAY

March 16, 2006

Bicycle, automobile incidents on the rise

It would be nice if the following incident could be portrayed as something unusual or isolated. It can't be and it won't be.

On one side was a group of hard-core cyclists, steeled by encounter after encounter with motorists who don't know or can't (or choose not to) understand the laws governing vehicles in Florida. Thus, the cyclists are more than willing to stand their ground -- in this case, protect the roadway that is legally theirs.

On the other side was a guy driving a big, four-door pickup hauling an airboat. He was obviously in a hurry to reach his ever-shrinking accessible stretch of waterway, and obviously fed up with the increasingly more frequent delays on Brevard's traffic-clogged roads.

It was a prescription for flaring tempers, exacerbated by frayed nerves and at least a bad case of road rash or perhaps even worse.

The cyclists were heading east, riding at about 20 mph in a paceline on and just off the shoulder -- until you've done this, you don't know how careful you have to be. Just about warmed up, they were ready to kick into a higher gear.

The guy in the pickup, tooling along at perhaps the speed limit or a little above, encountered the cyclists. He moved off his lane toward and over the center line to accommodate them.

It appeared everything would be just fine, just another driver moving over -- as he or she should -- to make room for cyclists riding in single file as they are allowed to under Florida law.

But then, in the time it takes a bicycle tire to turn, things turned ugly.

The guy in the truck -- recognizing he had reached the point where he needed to make a right turn -- tried to make that turn but found the line of cyclists in his path.

Had he decided to physically force the issue, there was no doubt his multi-ton vehicle could have plowed through the line of people on bicycles weighing no more than 20 pounds apiece -- with horrible consequences.

To his credit, he didn't force the issue. But it didn't stop there.

He let loose with a stream of profanity, which was matched with equal vitriol from the cyclists. For a moment or two it appeared things might get out of hand. But the cyclists moved forward, the driver turned right and the whole incident was forgotten -- at least by most of the cyclists. When you find open stretches of road and the weather is nice and the wind is friendly, there are few things esthetically or otherwise that can compare.

As for the driver, it would be nice to assume that once he fired up his airboat and hit the open water, his day was made.

But we won't know for sure until he encounters another group of cyclists who he believes are impeding his forward progress.


Between now and then, let's hope he lets loose of any grudge he might be carrying because a man or a woman on a lightweight aluminum, carbon or steel road bike is no match for a man or a woman behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

But more car/truck-bicycle accidents are taking place, mainly because of the way traffic is increasing and roads, many without shoulders, are -- or are not -- being built. And guess who ALWAYS loses? That's right, the cyclist.

Keep that in mind, because that next bike rider you encounter has just as much of a right to be on the road as you do -- it's the law. And he or she also has the same right to return home safely to enjoy the company of his or her family and friends, just as you do.

Contact DeCotis at 242-3786 or mdecotis@flatoday.net

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Postby blackpowderscout » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:29 am

I don't find it amusing that the writer chose someone with an airboat to be the centerpiece of an issue that involves many more motorists than the comparitively small # of us with airboats.

Adam
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Postby Waterthunder » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:56 am

It's obvious he didn't have a Rebel flag anywhere on his truck or they would have throw that in there for shock value.
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Postby SwampMatt » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:42 am

The author made some ASSumptions in order to increase the drama level of that one. Ya think?

He pointed out THE REAL PROBLEM in a little blip of part of a sentance.... "traffic-clogged roads".

He obviously has some sort of chip on his shoulder with the line "in a hurry to reach his ever-shrinking accessible stretch of waterway", which has NOTHING TO DO AT ALL with the topic of the article. And ironically, he touched on another part of the problem - More development = shrinking wetlands.... and a certain percentage of the people living in the new development will be cyclists (and whiney newspaper writers).... clogging the roads.

I'm afraid I can't write to the guy - it'd be an angry letter sure to reinforce his bigoted view of airboaters. People like the author of that article are the kind of people I have little patience for!

matt.

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Postby dblj006 » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:50 am

Didn't the guy have the right of way? Isn't it illegal to pass
on the inside? If you were a car behind the guy you would
have yielded. Or even on a motorcycle.
Those cyclists are all over Sarasota and
they seem to think that the line is one traffic entity when
each individual bicycle is one.
Am I missing something?
Talk about biased reporting...

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Postby Rich Andrews » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:06 am

He sounds like a typical writer who has his own views on things.......With that being said, I don't think all the details were documented. Who knows if someone pissed this guy off while passing him, maybe they scratched his truck? Maybe someone spit at him..who knows. Just because he had an airboat in tow doesn't mean the article should have been written depicting an angry airboater. It should have been just another motorist on the road. Why not stand up to this guy? Are we afraid? What if it were a bass fisherman would it matter? He had the right of way and the motorist were BREAKING the law! Not him.
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Postby Guest » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:54 am

The writer's e-mail address is there. Anyone want to "Educate" him a little about singleing us out & maybe invite him on a ride, and event (Kissimmee Clean up?) or a meeting? Could be an opportunity.

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cyclist encounter

Postby calbrigsr » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:17 am

I would like to teach him how to waterski behind a airboat!! Where in Florida Law does it state that a motor vehicle of any type must yield to a bicycle?? :evil:
Chuck S.J.R.A.A.
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Postby cntry141iq » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:35 am

Not only must you yield it is a law that you must avoid a collision with one if it is possible at least according to my last driving school instructor who probably didnt know what he was talking about. Yep airboaters were singled out in this case and the airboater could just as easily have been a granma or grandpa. seems like a while back a grandpa ran through a line of cyclist and maybe even killed a couple of them. Everybody is getting stress overloads these days so the simple things like common sense and courtesy are gone. Everyone thinks evrything is their right and by god their gonna standup for it or be damned trying. I am sometimes just as guilty of these things so I am not picking I am just using a low stress moment to reflect on it.

The tighter people get jammed together the more the indidual interests of those people begin to affect the each other. There is no answer easily available but it sure does make for interesting reading at times. :D :shock:
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Postby calbrigsr » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:42 am

Thanks, Cntry, Did Not realize it was a Law!! :?:
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Postby Waterthunder » Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:13 pm

Your right about cramming people together country. Felber told me about this test a University did about crowded populations. They built a city for rats and kept adding rats to it. When it became over populated all the rat's became violent and started killing each other I don't think us humans act any different. That story always amazed me because when you go into the sticks and see how friendly people are then drive into a city, you better lock your doors and be prepared to see violence. Sorry guy's once again I strayed from the thread.
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Postby SwampMatt » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:14 pm

Waterthunder wrote:Sorry guy's once again I strayed from the thread.


I don't see it as straying, thunder. Not in the slightest. At least WE'RE smart enough to see thru the bigotry of that writer's 'tude and see the real point of the article.

I could invite him out on the moodmobile. Passengers ALWAYS get out and push when we get stuck! And there is a lot of black mud between here and Brevard County. :twisted:

Cyclists are often in a bad attitude from the start. I used to work with one. He was a pretty cool guy, but he DEFINITELY had a biased attitude when it came to him being on the road. As was said before in thes thread, the truck driver may have been provoked, but you'd never know it from the biased reporting.

The article seems to make a big deal of the driver shouting profanity. ooooh! Dirty words! yikes. What a ruffian. :roll: I get that sometimes (I often drive below the speedlimit - in the slow lane), and I just say to myself "Sticks-n-stones...." It's not that big of a deal.

Cyclists have a saying: Share the Road yet, they often get pissed if they have to touch their brakes to be courtious to another driver. They sure don't lead by example.

Granted these are bigoted statements AGAINST cyclists. Just as in ANY thing... a few bad attitudes ruin it for everyone. I'm sure not all road cyclists are evil... But it sure seems like it at times!!!! :lol:

Maybe the writer choose airboaters for his example over senior citizens because he was afraid of some blue haired old lady kicking his hiney!

And the bright side of the article... ONE airboater [alegedly] does a mean thing.... and it makes the news! That alone says something FOR us. :)

matt.

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Postby Whitebear » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:32 pm

In an accident the citation goes to the person who had "the last clear chance to avoid the accident". Am I right? Any LEOs in the crowd??

Were just seeing the tip of the iceburg here folks. Its going to get ugly and its going to get mean, wait and see. Were being WAY too nice and polite and considerate. Were going to get eaten alive.

My opinion.

Scotty
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Postby big feather » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:44 pm

Did anyone besides me send an email to Mark DeCotis, the writer of this pathetic article? Writing on this forum, to each other, feels good but it changes nothing.

BF

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Postby basketcase0302 » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:45 pm

Hey ya'll,

E-mail sent. Yeah, I was nice this time :wink:

Formally invited this fictional reporter/writer to ride the "Basket boat" for the lake clean-up.

Basketcase

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Postby cowboy » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:43 am

If I'm gonna ride a motorcycle this time of year, I like to do it hyper early in the morning, and choose roads that are not very busy. That way I can better enjoy the ride without likelyhood of dangerous situations developing. I identify other motorists as my biggest hazard. Going out early, I can minimize the hazard, and maximize my enjoyment.

It makes sense to me.

Then I see the yellow jerseys out there, riding on narrow roads,at the worst times. Like rush hour, and Mr.s Brady is already late getting Marsha to cheer leading practice, or whatever. Mrs. Brady makes a bad choice, and the results can be predictably not good for the oblivious cyclists.

This scenario is usually observed by me to be one or two inexperienced bike riders, who probably just bought a $4k racing bike, and go ride it in 5:00 traffic patterns, struggling into a 15 mph headwind.

Usually when I see larger groups of cyclists, they have a plan. Their out very early, and trying to minimize the danger they place themselves in.

Due to poor decision making, the bicyclists set themselves up for inevitable dangerous situations at times. It's just common sense.

They have every right to the road that I do, but I make sure that I try and make the right decisions about where and when to go airboating, motorcycling, offshore fishing, or just to go to the store for a gal of milk.

This is modern day Florida. You have to compete for everything. If bicycle riders would just stop and think about what they are doing for a second, before they do it, then these would'nt be such issues.

Anybody with a lick of sense would'nt be out on hwy 192 at 5:30 pushing a baby stroller towards the river! But that don't mean you may not see somebody do just that.

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Postby blackpowderscout » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:58 am

Here is his response to me followed by my original email to him...how do you like his tone??

Thanks for the note Adam. Nice try on the airboater. He could have been hauling horse manure for all I care.

He was wrong.

Mark
----- Original Message -----
From: adamnicole2@netzero.net
To: mdecotis@flatoday.net
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 7:09 AM
Subject: Cyclist VS Pickup Article


Mr. DeCotis,

Good morning, my name is Adam Wetherington. I am writing this email to you in response to your article in which you described the encounter between the cyclists and the airboat hauling pickup. I DO agree with the underlying theme of the article...the fact that Florida's roads are becoming way to crowded. However, I am curious to know why you chose to single out an airboater to become the villain in your article??

I am certain that these cyclists have many more bad encounters with other vehicular traffic besides pickups hauling airboats. The tone in which you describe the whole incident leads one to draw a pretty bad picture of airboaters as expletive shouting, uncouth, uncourteous ruffians. This just is not the case.

While I understand that you were writing the article to draw attention to the plight of cyclists on our roads, was it really necessary to single out an airboater? Do you have something against the airboat community? If you would like to witness some of the good things our community does I'm inviting you to contact me for a ride on April 1 at the Kissimmee River Valley Sportsmans Association's annual lake cleanup around Lakes Kissimmee, Hatchineha, and Cypress. I can easily arrange a ride for you and you would have the opportunity to see first hand that many of the negative things you hear about airboats are misconceptions or, in some cases, lies spread by anti-airboaters.

Thank You For Your Time,

Adam Wetherington

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Postby big feather » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:35 pm

Adam, his response to me was almost identical to that. In my letter to him I had said, " .. and I can only hope that if that driver had been hauling a powerboat he would have been attacked in like manner. Your reference to him in that fashion, because he was an airboater, was both unfair and unwarranted."

He replied, "Thanks for the note, but I'm not buying for one minute this alleged conspiracy against airboaters ... the driver could have been hauling horsefeathers as far as I'm concerned. He was wrong and that's all there is to it."

I replied, "It sure didn't come across that way, Mark. Granted, he was wrong, but the crack about him rushing out to diminishing waterways sounds pretty unnecessary to us."

Mr. DeCotis probably thought as a lot of writers do, that he could throw a remark into his article about an airboat to give it a little 'editorial color' and get away with it because most writers have been able to get away with that before. He and others are discovering that is changing.

Airboaters were in the past a pretty disorganized bunch precisely because of who we are, very individual thinking folks who like to play with boats that are anything but mainstream, boring runabouts.
Airboat clubs and this Forum have allowed us to remain individuals, but have made us a LOT better organized. We're no longer the seperate, easy targets we once were. Now, we communicate, and when there's something that affects one of us we realize that it affects all of us and we act ..... we write letters, send emails, make phone calls, and attend meetings.

Mr. DeCotis probably doesn't like airboats any better today than he did the day he wrote his article, but I'd be willing to bet that he'll think twice before he has anything negative to say about us in the future. :wink:

BF

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Postby cntry141iq » Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:56 pm

Sorry guys but gotta disagree with you. Mr. butthead will certainly use airboaters again just because of the fact he saw it raised a stink. They thrive on that stuff it helps sell papers and get attention for them. But I understand ya'll wanting to say something but it did no good you can tell by his replies to you. I look for a article in the future about bad attitude ( in his opinion not mine) of airboaters. Maybe after another 100 or so good press articles on us we may get some on our side. The bikers been fighting this crap for years and have just recently started winning sorta. but it has to start somewhere and I really don't have any better advice to offer so if it made you feel better then git r dun. LOL damned if you do damed if you don't.

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Postby Croc1 » Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:13 am

why do cyclist ride on the road when there's a bike path built with our taxpayers $$ 5 feet away

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Postby blackpowderscout » Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:30 am

cntry141iq wrote:The bikers been fighting this crap for years and have just recently started winning sorta.


If you're talking about motorcycles I think you're right. But it's due to the fact that now it's COOL to have a bike. It's too cool for me. Ironic how a hobby that began as a way to break away from the norm has become mainstream and now EVERYBODY wants to be a part of it.

If that's what it takes for us to stop getting sniped at then I'll park my boat and take up chess. I would hate to try and ride somewhere with that many boats and all the mainstream BS that goes with it. It's bad enough all the country stations play pop now but to have poser airboaters??? No thanks.

I know Phil's gonna be on me about that but oh well, that's how I feel.

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Postby Whitebear » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:04 am

Were suffering from over regulation and it just isn't mainstream cool yet. Hopefully it never will be. I'm on your side Adam, Stations now don't even know what Country is.

When I started riding motorcycles it was a sin. You'd rather have your sister work in a pool hall than to be seen riding a motorcycle. I've seen biking go from a wornderful outlaw lifestyle to hollywood, to every wannabee with a buck riding and trying to be cool. I can't imagine these same folks trying to run an airboat. If they run an airboat like they ride a bike, it sure would help out with population control though.

Theres a flip side to all this. It has spawned a plethora of journalists who just open up and let all manner of efluviation fly out of their typewriters, oops, word processors, oops again, computers ! The real trouble with journalists is they write about things they have no knowlkedge of and expect to sound authoratative. They twist and mame the truth and spin the theme so in the end its really nothing more than entertainemnt for the mind numb masses of sheeple. The only folks who pay any serious attention to journalists anymore are the truly dim and incapable of original thought.

PLEASE, SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT TO THINK ! WHINE !

Just my opinion of course. :)

Scotty
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The government cannot give anything --
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big feather

Postby big feather » Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:51 am

Blackpowder and Whitebear, I couldn't agree more.

The point I was trying to make earlier in this thread is that because we are a minority sport, the mind numbed masses see us as a 'fringe' culture. They don't understand our love for these boats, so they fear them and us.

We will constantly be tested by both the press and by lawmakers. When we are pushed, we have to push back. For as long as we do that we'll have a chance. There is an old saying that "you have as much authority as you take". The day we stop pushing back is the day we can all start thinkin' about takin' up golf.

I have to disagree with Cntry on this one. Writing letters is not a perfect solution, but it is Many times better than doing nothing.

BF


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