I just wanted to share this incident that happened to me last week on the 4th of July as a warning for other bikers and drivers out there. I was heading back from a bike cruise around the national mall during the late afternoon around 7pm heading north up 11th street NW. I reached the point where the bike lane merges into the road a little north of the shaw skate park. At this point I heard someone honking at cars behind me, but was just ignoring it. Around S or T street an old tan minivan with VA tags (with the mountains on them) sped up to me with the window down. The young (probably late 20’s) African american man driving the van told me to “get the F**k outta the road with that Sh*t!!” and waved his hand at me. This was while I was riding in the bike lane on the right side with plenty of room for people to pass me.
Let me just say at this point I should have ignored him and got away from him. Instead I chose to confront him verbally since I was not in the wrong.
I told him “NO” and kept riding and this began a tit-for-tat argument which escalated quickly. He clearly didn’t like my answer and sped up to me again. This time he began trying to hit me with his car. I was on an ebike so I was able to go faster, I tried to get in front of him, but he started hitting his side mirror into my handle bars – trying to slam me into the parked cars on the right. I was able to get in front of him and screamed at him when we came to a halt at the next stop sign. Again I should have got away here, but I was being stubborn. He then said “Do you want me to F**k you up?!!” to which I replied “F**k you!!” and kept riding up 11th street.
He then floored it pass me and said “I’m gonna F**k you up motherf**ker!!”. At this point I also noticed something protruding from out of his pocket (like a handle) that was taped up with masking tape. I’m not sure if it was a weapon, but I did not want to find out. He kept clutching it with his right hand while he had his left hand on the wheel. He swerved his car in front of me blocking the right side of the lane and then jumped out trying to attack me. Fortunately, since I was on my ebike I was able fly around him before he got to me. He jumped back in his car, floored it up to me to tell me he was going to F**k me up and I again told him “F**k you!!”. He then for the second time tried to swerve his minivan in front of me and jumped out to attack me again. I swerved around him quickly as he tried to grab me. At this point after getting away from him again I didn’t know what he was about to do so I went as fast as I could up 11th street crossing Florida Ave up the hill next to Cardozo. He came barreling up the hill past me and swerved into the Garfield Terrace entrance at the top of the hill and slammed his brakes on the corner. I thought for sure he was going to try and attack me a third time so I flew past the corner and kept going as fast as I could. I realized I finally got away from him a couple blocks up and just went as fast as I could back home and called the police.
The detective I spoke with is looking at street camera footage currently to see if they can catch his plates. Unfortunately I was unable to recall his plate number during the whole incident and only remember that he had VA plates with the mountains on them. Please let people know if they see an old tan minivan (possibly toyota) matching this description to stay away from him. Fortunately I escaped unharmed from this whole incident. Please do not do what I did when riding your bike even though I was not in the wrong. Ignore insane drivers, take a picture of their license plate if you can and report them to the police. I refuse to stop riding my bike, but I now ride with a Go Pro recording every ride since.”