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Screen shot from a video uploaded by cyclist Kate Mundie

Screen shot from a video uploaded by cyclist Kate Mundie

On Wednesday, local cyclist Kate Mundie uploaded a video to YouTube which, sadly, shows what some bicyclists have to go through on Philly’s streets.

While bicycling with her children in her cargo bike on the 1200 block of South 11th Street on Wednesday, Mundie spotted a pickup truck, unnecessarily, dangerously parked in the bike lane. After checking to see if any cars were coming, Mundie safely rode out of the bike lane, around the truck.

Once back in the bike lane, a man driving a 2002 red Chevrolet Trailblazer with a cargo carrier on top and a Pennsylvania license plate pulled up beside her and began verbally assaulting her.

The video is below. Keep in mind it contains graphic language which may be disturbing to some.

If you are harassed the way Mundie was while bicycling, we highly recommend you file a complaint with the nearest police district. As we noted on our Facebook page this morning, mounting cameras to either your helmet or handlebars, as Mundie did, can help prove the situation actually happened.

Unfortunately, Mundie says, this sort of situation is not that uncommon.

“This sort of thing was happening a lot,” Mundie told the Bicycle Coalition. “Not always as aggressive but enough to leave me shaken and not feeling like a confidant rider. So I got a GoPro. I have been riding with a GoPro for about 18 months. After getting the camera, people did not hassle me as much. But in the last month I am have been yelled at about once a week. This incident was by far the worst and most explicit.”

Using the camera, Mundie said she’s able to often go back to old incident footage and see if she were in error. “I can look at the footage and know that I am doing everything I can to bike in a safe and predictable manner,” she continued. “Also, in the heat of the moment when you have a driver yelling or driving too close you get really upset. When I review the footage later I can have a little more perspective and not feel as upset.”

Though what’s particularly alarming about this driver’s reaction to Mundie safely following the rules of the road was his willingness to use profanity (and explicitly calling her the C-word) in front of her children. They, she says, were a bit more alarmed by this than she was, which is understandable.

“As we rode away we talked about how the man would be angry at anyone on a bike and it’s not about us. But this morning my older son was worried the guy was going to come after us,” she said.

Randy LoBasso

Author

Randy LoBasso is the policy manager at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.