An Open Letter to the Passenger in the Green SUV Who Screamed as He Went By Yesterday

07.27.2005 | 2:49 pm

Dear Passenger in the Green SUV,
Yesterday, as I was riding my bike home from work your SUV pulled alongside me, at which point you — the passenger — screamed at the top of your lungs, startling me and making me swerve and nearly hit a guardrail.
I’d like to take this moment to congratulate you on a couple of things:
  1. The quality of your sense of humor. Everyone knows that startling someone who is two feet away from heavy rush hour traffic without any protection whatsoever is simply brilliant. I only wish that you had videotaped it to show to your friends — I must have looked so stupid! And the thing is, this joke’s got legs. I can imagine how you might get a similar effect by suddenly screaming at people as you walk by them in hallways, or perhaps at the dinner table. How about in business meetings — or, in your case, during your lunch break while you sit with the others in your work-release program?
  2. The originality of your sense of humor. I haven’t conducted a survey or anything, but I’m pretty sure you are the absolute first person to ever scream at a cyclist from a moving car. And I’m sure other cyclists will verify that they, like I, have never:
    • Had a car swerve at them as a joke
    • Had a car honk at them as a joke
    • Had someone throw a beer bottle at/in front of them as a joke.

As a fellow humorist — though of course my sense of humor doesn’t compare with yours; I just write jokes and "amusing" anecdotes — I would again like to thank you for taking the time to share your unique and stylish brand of comedy with me.

Finally, I would like to share with you that since you weren’t going that much faster than I was, I had plenty of time to memorize your license plate. We were both going in the same direction on E. Lake Sammamish Parkway, so our destinations can’t have been too different. I’d say it’s almost inevitable that I will find your green SUV parked and alone someday. At which point, I look forward to continuing our tradition of sharing practical jokes with one another.


Kind Regards,


The Fat Cyclist


Today’s Weight: 166.8


PS: I wrote a followup to this post called "Both Sides of the Windshield," responding to one of the comments a person left. Click here to read it.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 07.27.2005 | 4:20 pm

    i like it.

  2. Comment by Unknown | 07.27.2005 | 6:02 pm

    Hate those people. I’m riding to work at like 5AM and hear this car coming. Had a bad feeling about it and sure enough *BAM*. I manage to stay on the bike only to look up and see a guy hanging out of the back of a VW bug with the diving fins he just hit me with. It was a car full of surfing ham-bones laughing at me. At another time I had a guy in a passing van throw a brick at me. Dude was actually trying to HIT me too. This all happened in California. In North Carolina I had a passing car of punks throw a big gulp full of gravel at me.I hope you find that car.

  3. Comment by Robert | 07.27.2005 | 7:19 pm

    While my friend was riding his bike up Provo canyon, someone threw a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at him. It hit his rear spokes and sprayed all over him. Leonard was so angry that he stopped riding. He shouldn’t have stopped riding. It’s one thing to just throw a can or bottle at a rider. That’s not very creative. But iif you can make a PBJ explode all over a cyclist, that’s pretty creative. You should doff your cap and keep riding. That’s what I think anyway.

  4. Comment by Unknown | 07.28.2005 | 2:36 am

    Hey Elden, congrats from this fat cyclist to THE FAT CYCLIST on getting your TdF quiz posted at I’m tempted to say that now you’ve hit the big time (except that you’ve been "big time" all along). Seems that your rep is growing in inverse proportion to your body size.

  5. Comment by Unknown | 07.28.2005 | 3:31 am

    this is the other reason I carry a tuna can in the front of my shorts.

  6. Comment by Unknown | 07.28.2005 | 3:46 am

    E, I have been there on the recieving end of a full "big tall one" Bud can in Flag with a very good friend back in ‘93. It hit him in the head and rebounded and hit me. We "caught" him 15 miles later downtown and he was ‘taking a nap’ on the pavement a few minutes later. Would I do it again? Nah. Now I just carry a handfull of bb’s in my pocket to throw at the oncomming windshield……Let’s do dinner!!!!!!S

  7. Comment by Unknown | 07.28.2005 | 12:57 pm

    Fatcyclist, you have to email me… I have so many commuting stories.. I also have something to sweeten your weight-loss pot for prizes! Just I don’t know how this MSN thing works to contact the blog owner… arfg.Joe

  8. Comment by Sondra | 07.28.2005 | 5:54 pm

    That was brilliant. It makes me want to write an open letter to construction workers about their unique perspecitve on the female anatomy.

  9. Comment by Richard | 07.28.2005 | 11:42 pm

    Sorry to hear of the incident. Ya know there will be more, though. I’ve had my share of screams and other things, and its always fun to catch them at lights, although i never quite know what to say; prefering usually to glare, so they don’t know I’m out of breath. Be careful out there, and keep rollin’ away the miles. BTW, who do you think its gonna be next year…Ivan Basso?Rider of the KnobbiesRichard

  10. Comment by pete | 07.28.2005 | 11:43 pm

    Been enjoying the site for a few weeks now and I had to reply to this. The concensus in the UK (where fewer drivers carry firearms) is to do your damnedest to catch the fool at the next set of lights and let him have it through the window with the contents of your bidon! Connoiseurs say a blackcurrant-based beverage provides optimum staining power.

  11. Comment by Unknown | 07.29.2005 | 12:14 am

    Wow. I live in scenic, pastoral Portland, Oregon and haven’t had the misfortune of running into any , shall we say, prankster motorists. Yet. I’ll look forward to these run-ins and polish my repertoire of counter-pranks.

  12. Comment by Unknown | 07.29.2005 | 9:01 am

    I love catching up with these guys. They are so much fun. I know they love the jokes that last. Like the guy who did similar to me, I later fillesd all his tyre valves with super glue and then glued the caps on. I call this the "Rolls Royce 8 coates of paint" joke. You can’t get to see it but you know its there. Share the love.

  13. Comment by mark | 07.29.2005 | 3:46 pm

    It’s not cars that hurt bikers its people who shouldn’t be behind the wheel: irrate mothers, senior citizens who can’t see, punks who just got their licenses, inbred rednecks in pick up trucks… and the list goes on. But just keep spinning…and let the BS just pass. Or as I like to say, let sleeping dogs lie. Take the case of jennifer figuerro, 8896 N Majestic Mountain Drive, Tucson AZ 85742 the wife of a Marana arizona police officer. After nearly missing me, I caught up to her and tried to ask for more room, she called all cyclist crazy and to get the hell out of her way. It became clear she intentionally tried to harm me with her vehicle. What could I do? Soooo, I refused to move. I ignored her until the cops came. I was arrested for threats and intimidation And false imprisonment. Pima county sheriff dep(Miyata) had me stand in the exhaust plum of his cruizer until I got sick( I still have some short term memeory loss).And the lesson is….Let sleeping dogs liehope you made your weght(long rides, plenty of fluids, and no excuses…)

  14. Comment by Unknown | 07.29.2005 | 9:07 pm

    Excellent work. I commute about 120 miles per week in northwestern Montana and have plenty of stories as well.Like the time that a mother with 3 children in her minivan tried to reach the shoulder of the roadway in front of me before I did in order to pass a stopped car in the road who was waiting so that he could turn left. I don’t think she realized that I was traveling 25-30 mph. When she figured out that in order to make her planned manuever that she would have likely killed me, she locked up her brakes and collided with the stopped vehicle. By this time I was about 10 feet from the impact. Talk about scary, I tell ya…She severely damaged her vehicle, and at least one of her children sustained injuries. In retrospect I’m very lucky that her instinctive reaction was NOT to take me out.

  15. Comment by Unknown | 07.29.2005 | 11:03 pm

    At least you have shoulders in your state.

  16. Comment by The Running Pol | 08.1.2005 | 3:14 am

    I spend more of my time on my feet running, and have two particular favorites. First are the motorcyclists who find great pleasure in gunning the pipes right when they drive by you. That one is funny, Ha Ha!.The other are the drivers who feel that crosswalks are more of a suggestion, even if they are blowing a traffic light. We had a guy get hit while running here at home. The sad thing is he was actually in a marathon. The car ignored the cones and the 3000 runners, gunned across a street and hit this guy. The only humor there was when the cops arrested him.It’s so nice of people like this to teach everyone that they have to travel defensively.

  17. Comment by Ariane | 08.15.2005 | 2:49 am

    Hey dude…I just found your blog today, (I think I linked to it from cyclingnews) and have now spent over two hours reading every bit of the hilarity that is still posted. Just today, while i was waiting to get across a big road near my house, some cretin in an SUV made like he was going to let me cross in front of him (you know, he stopped and waved me across) and then as soon as I laid my foot on the pedal, he hit the gas and peeled out in front of me. As if it’s so impressive to spook a wee toad on a bike like me, armored in only a helmet, when he’s in a several ton hunk of steel. The fellow must’ve been feeling very inadequate in other areas. Other times it’s boys in their daddy’s cars yelling or honking… This part of New York just isn’t cycle-friendly, I guess. If you find that SUV…ooh…do something horrible to it! -AT

  18. Comment by Unknown | 08.25.2005 | 4:53 pm

    I live in Colorado and every weekend (when the weather is nice) there are cyclists EVERYWHERE!!!! The area I live in has only two-lane roads and NONE of the cyclists are going anywhere near the speed limit much less the speed of traffic. They do not follow the traffic laws, they do not ride near the side of the road, and they do not even move over to the side of the road when there is a line of cars behind them. However, they do weave in and out of cars waiting at stop signals, they do impede the flow of traffic, they do cause drivers to tale unnecessary and sometimes dangerous ‘evasive action’ just to get past them, in short they’re RUDE… I don’t condone any violence or retaliatory action… but please, please FIND A F$%*@ING trail or a bike path and get the hell out of my way.

  19. Comment by Unknown | 08.28.2005 | 7:02 am

    I remember an old trucker trick… involving WD-40 with the short length of plastic "straw" from canned air, and a length of small tubing… like the size of my oxygen tubing. I’m trying to figure out how you could engineer this on a bike.I know they have those water bottle carriers that go on bikes… hmmmmmmmm…Okay… so maybe you wouldn’t actually do it… but isn’t it fun to think about it?I’d try it my my bike but it would only affect someone sitting in a recliner behind me… watching TV… in the event someone happened to be sitting there, which no one is. Nohow.

  20. Comment by Kelly | 10.31.2005 | 2:29 am

    Today I’m embarrassed for two reasons (I’m limiting it here for obvious reasons):1. I failed to memorize the license plate of the SUV that ran me off the road this summer. I did, however, scream every cuss word I knew. Only me, my bike, and the surrounding cornfields could hear it. I’m guessing the corn is not happy with me. 2. My blog from today contains a reference to a ‘fat cyclist’ and THEN I found your space to write a comment. It wasn’t entirely derogatory in nature. It was simply in jest. Forgive me?

  21. Comment by Peter | 11.30.2005 | 9:59 am

    Good story Fatty.I have a similar tale – screamed at on the way home from work one night, and memorised the car and plate. I later found the car, parked outside a house on a major bike route (thinks, this guy is a dope!).So I looked up the house on the property information system at work, and found the owner’s name. Googled him up, to find he is one of the king pins of the state government, in which I work.The dilemma now is how to ’share the joke’ and keep my job. Any suggestions are welcome.Donga

  22. Comment by Unknown | 03.29.2006 | 12:31 pm

    I am sorry that all of you cyclists have to indure such disrespect, and painfull outburst , not to mention all the near death experinces..My husband really hates it when you all are all over the road as well. I always take up for you all by telling him that you have just as much right as the next , and plus there really isnt very many places to actually ride these days, with all the cars and trucks and semi’s and etc. I also tell him that I would like to do it myself , and would not appreciate it when some one like him goes by yelling or what not, but then , i didnt realize that you all are just as bad. Like one of the post above ,where the mini van with children was in a wreck, well , it might of being her fault but you could of came to a halt as well, THERE was children in there , you said yourself! OR did you even care?
    Here i thought that being a cyclist would be great and fun, and just out riding with groups and friends, but i see that you are all snobs, and that you all have to compete with one another on what kind of bike you have , all the way to the peddals …. just rediciulous..I say that no matter who you are OR where you are from , or background, as long as you have RESPECT for one another,a truely good person  that it shouldnt matter. It shouldnt be how much money you have or what brand of bike, type of clothes , or if your black or white, etc.
    Its like a cult you all have formed. "you have to be this or that , and have this , have that , and if not , your this or that…." I AM SOO very glad that i was born the way i am , I am not rich , nor care to be, i will buy my bike from Academy and I will ride it where i am suppose to ride it ON trails , and back roads. AND if i dont fit in SO be it. I know that road rage can change a person, but this is rediciulous, if you think about it road rage comes from people making you mad because they have NO respect! Like riding your tailgate, etc. same thing, but throwing things at you and trying to run you off the road is a outrage. I am sorry for anyone that has to put up with that , just to get out and ride a bike.

  23. Comment by smatheny | 03.30.2006 | 3:05 am

    You are freaking hilarious!

  24. Comment by Ted | 03.31.2006 | 10:20 pm

    I was cycling my usual route late Friday night when this truck sneaked up behind me and had the occupants scream as loud as they could……Woo wee what fun…… I cursed back….after I peeed my pants of course.  Your story was great though.


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