Reckless Tesla Driver Costs Startup Spandex-Clad Friends

Street war between drivers and cyclists goes electric

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Sep 17, 2009  |  Updated 9:40 AM CDT
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Reckless Tesla Driver Costs Startup Spandex-Clad Friends

Stephen Shankland

Tesla's fast, all-electric cars are all the more deadly for their silence.

Electric-car drivers ought to be allies of bicyclists in the war on gas guzzlers. Instead, they're playing cheap pranks on each other.

After sighting "a bunch of City-boy ponces in fluorescent Spider-Man outfits," a driver chose to run them off the road by sneaking up behind them in a whisper-quiet Tesla Roadster and then blasting his horn while blowing by.

"The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror."

The quotes were part of a review of the Roadster, an expensive but sexy all-electric car from Tesla Motors.

A car favored by, to put it equitably, "City-boy ponces."

It was enough to draw the ire of Olympic Gold Medal British bicyclist Bradley Wiggins, who ranted on Twitter in disgust.

Naturally, it also brought a regretful statement from a Tesla spokesperson, cited the deep bond between cyclists and electric car enthusiasts against "petrol heads" to the San Francisco Weekly.

My husband and I, we're members of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and in fact, I've participated in many Critical Masses, which are awesome, awesome wonderful events in San Francisco Fridays once a month, and they are a time for bicyclists to pull a critical mass on the cars.

The company did get some good news alongside the bad publicity: Tesla raised $82.5 million in investment from European venture capitalists after delivering it's 700th roadster to Frankfurt, Germany.

Photo used with permission by Stephen Shankland, who happens to be aforementioned bicycle-loving husband of the Tesla spokesperson.

Jackson West is, actually, concerned for pedestrians and cyclists having to share the road with cars, electric or otherwise.

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