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Bicyclists' hunt for bad driver hits high gear
April 14, 2006, 12:00 AM By Dana Yates
Did a man driving a black pickup truck intentionally swerve into bicyclists, injuring one 51-year-old man who broke two teeth or was it simply an accident as Palo Alto police seem to think?

The bicyclists are hoping some cool cash might help their cause and are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the mystery man in the big bad truck.

At 11 a.m. on March 25, a group from the Monte Vista Velo Club were making their way on the narrow stretch of Page Mill Road in Palo Alto. That’s when the bicyclists claim a man driving a black pickup truck veered into the single file line of cyclists, hit one man and caused another to fall over and break two teeth.

Police took a report and will question the man if they find him, but at this point the incident seems less deliberate and more accidental, said Palo Alto police Agent Dan Ryan.

"One fella felt he was brushed by the side view mirror and another was spooked,” Ryan said.  "They’re pretty hot and I can understand their perspective because it’s a narrow road. I certainly wouldn’t ride there with my bike.”

One cyclist claims he was hit with the car’s right side mirror, but did not fall. Another was afraid he was going to be hit so he swerved into a puddle and fell. He reported nothing more than "bumps and bruises” at the scene and refused medical attention, according to the initial police report.

A bicyclist with the group posted a Craigslist message announcing the reward and calling the incident "a deliberate act by the driver of the truck to send a message to all Bay Area cyclists that they do not belong on the public roads.”

The injured rider is a 51-year-old married father of four. He is an accomplished cyclist with more than 25 years of competitive riding experience. He is also a successful businessman, serving as vice president of engineering at Sun, Kazeon and Oracle Corporation, according to the posting.

The reckless driver was in a late model, full-sized black Dodge Ram pickup with an extended cab, dark tinted windows and black bumpers. It had a "Let’s Rodeo” sticker on the left rear bumper, a dark tool box and a partial license plate number of 6L6.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the Palo Alto Police Department at 329-2406.


Dana Yates can be reached by e-mail: dana@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106. What do you think of this story? Send a letter to the editor: letters@smdailyjournal.com.<


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