Central Indiana Bicycling Association

Saturday we Learned Escalation is not a good response.

Tue, August 08, 2017 9:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Good Morning Everyone,

Please take the following commentary preliminary as it is in response to recent information from riders who participated in the CIBA Mass Ave Kickoff Ride. Stories are subject to change but this is how I understand it to date. On Saturday (Aug 5th) there was a nonproductive interaction between a driver of a pickup truck on the south side of Indianapolis and a group of bicyclists who were participating in the CIBA ride. The report I have received indicated that the driver was acting in an unsafe way by passing on a double yellow on a hill. Unfortunately, one of the cyclists on the ride responded with an inappropriate gesture to the driver. From my understanding, this gesture initiated a conflict in which the driver stopped and started to drive backward towards the cyclists causing some to seek safety in the ditch.

I'd like to point out a couple of points and provide some perspective on how we would like people participating in our rides to behave and act.

While the driver initiated the unsafe situation and was not driving in a safe or legal manner likely on purpose, the behavior of the bicyclist is unacceptable. We ride together to take care of each other and share a hobby in which we all enjoy. This bicyclists' actions perpetuated the stereotypes which we fight and placed their peers in a very dangerous situation.  Also, it is possible that this driver will now be even more angry and hostile because of this interaction which could lead to lethal consequences to a cyclist in the future. Additionally, when reporting these experiences with law enforcement this behavior undermines our position. It becomes a case of two grown people acting like children which is not helpful to our cause.

So what does CIBA expect of you? We expect you to ride within the law and to act in a responsible and respectful manner no matter the situation.  Your actions can have impacts on the other people around you as well as people in the future. Unfortunately, these types of interactions will happen and it is best to take the high road. Instead of acting out and placing your fellow bicyclists in danger, lean on your fellow riders to calm you down. If there is a driver breaking the law or causing a dangerous situation please record the license plate and share that information with the ride leader or leadership as soon as possible. It can be useful to get these reports on filed in case of repeat behavior.  We also expect our club members to be empowered and convey this message and the club's expectations to those who may not be aware.

I hope this provides some clarity and some guidance of what culture the club is trying to build as well as what we expect from all the riders who take part in our rides.


Jason Ochoada - Current CIBA President


  • Mon, August 07, 2017 11:35 AM | Anonymous member
    If it was an inappropriate hand gesture, I'm pretty sure inappropriate hand gestures are now part of the Indiana Road Rage law (illegal), and should apply to cyclists as well as motor vehicles since bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as motor vehicles. I also agree with the comments from the CIBA president in this letter to our membership.
    Link  •  Reply
    • Mon, August 07, 2017 12:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
      Thank you for the response and support. It's not clear if such actions are covered under the road rage law but it is certainly provoking others which are mentioned in code:

      IC 35-42-2-3
      Sec. 3. A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally engages in conduct that is likely to provoke a reasonable man to commit battery commits provocation, a Class C infraction.
      As added by Acts 1976, P.L.148, SEC.2. Amended by Acts 1977, P.L.340, SEC.32.

      DMV.org also has a nice explanation of Road Rage.
      Link  •  Reply
      • Mon, August 07, 2017 12:42 PM | Anonymous
        Battery is not a response of a "reasonable man" to being flipped the bird.
        Link  •  Reply
      • Mon, August 07, 2017 1:42 PM | Anonymous member
        I thought the law had been amended in Indiana to include hand gestures and verbal communication but it looks like those two forms of driver actions did not make it through the legislative process about 10 years ago. I don't even think Indiana law refers to it as Road Rage, but rather aggressive driving. I just talked with a Indiana State Trooper, and he said the aggressive driving laws in Indiana really don't apply to a bicyclists actions, but he definitely advised against bicyclists using inappropriate hand gestures (as the current incident shows). Thanks.
        Link  •  Reply
  • Mon, January 01, 2018 4:19 PM | Anonymous
    Is it appropriate or within the law to ride beside another rider rather than single file?
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