Cyclist Covered in Black Smoke in Apparent “Rolling Coal” Incident

Andrew Danly rides in a cloud of black smoke, apparently from the pickup truck. The incident took place on Highway 14 near Cedar Breaks, Utah on August 25, 2018 during the Hoodoo 300 Bike Race. Photo by Michael Conti

August 28, 2018 – Andrew Danly was out on a ride on August 25, 2018 on Highway 14 near Cedar Breaks, Utah while his friend Michael Conti waited to photograph him on his bike. Danly was racing in the Hoodoo 300 bike race, a long distance 300 mile solo ride through some of Utah's most beautiful roads. He received an unwelcome cloud of black exhaust in what appears to be an example of “Rolling Coal”.

Conti happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture the following images of a pickup truck apparently emitting a large cloud of black exhaust in the direction of his friend.

Conti summarizes the incident in a Facebook post:

“WELCOME TO UTAH. This is something that unfortunately happens to all cyclists out on the road. All of us cyclists have WAR stories about some A..hole that rolls coal on us or intentionally tries to run us off the road. You can see in the third picture that this was intentional and the kids were looking back to make sure they covered my friend Andrew Danly “Metal” in black exhaust. I was lucky enough to be in the right place with a great camera to capture this and turn it into Utah Highway Patrol. I was using a long lens and the kids were shocked when I was standing in the middle of the road giving them the universal bird.”

Conti contacted the Highway Patrol, “basically it’s not illegal they say. They were bothered I called. I’m persistent.”

Video of the incident:

Utah does have a statute that should apply to this in all cases but only applies to gasoline engines, 41-6a-1626:

(2) (a) Except while the engine is being warmed to the recommended operating temperature, the engine and power mechanism of a gasoline-powered motor vehicle may not emit visible contaminants during operation.

(c) A person who violates the provisions of Subsection (2)(a) is guilty of an infraction and shall be fined:

(i) not less than $50 for a violation; or

(ii) not less than $100 for a second or subsequent violation within three years of a previous violation of this section.

The penalties are relatively light for this, with only a $100 fine for the first infraction.

An effort by Rep. Angela Romero in 2018 to increase the penalties and add Diesel engines failed in the legislature. ( )

Conti would like to see the law changed, “It seems like even with the evidence we have they don't seem to want to do anything. It's dangerous for the rider.”

Conti just finished 5th overall in the Race Across America. He commented, “Going across the country it happened multiple times between people trying to hit me or rolling coal. They are picking on a person who can't match their speed or chase them down. Cyclists deal with this all the time. I don't know why.”

[Editor's Note: Cycling Utah has contacted Rep. Romero to ask her to bring the bill back again in 2019.]

Andrew Danly rides in a cloud of black smoke, apparently from the pickup truck. The incident took place on Highway 14 near Cedar Breaks, Utah on August 25, 2018 during the Hoodoo 300 Bike Race. Photo by Michael Conti
The pickup truck occupants look back. The incident took place on Highway 14 near Cedar Breaks, Utah on August 25, 2018 during the Hoodoo 300 Bike Race. Photo by Michael Conti
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20 Responses to "Cyclist Covered in Black Smoke in Apparent “Rolling Coal” Incident"

  1. Michael T Staten   August 28, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    It’s illegal – it’s a threat of violence, not a joke, as anyone knows who has been on the receiving end of this. Bad form, UHP!

  2. Richard Petty   August 28, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    This truck is obviously had it’s fuel system altered for it to be able to do this. You have a license plate, ind out who this redneck is and have the local authorities cite him for at least a emissions infraction.

  3. Dan   August 28, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Unfortunately, the citation goes to the driver that the cyclist will need to positively identify.

  4. Brix   August 28, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    You could also look at a disorderly conduct charge (either as an infraction or a class c misdemeanor). Food for thought

  5. COJ   August 28, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    The license plate is clearly visible. Even though law enforcement doesn’t seem interested in addressing this, I’m sure a vigilante cyclist out there will eventually find this truck and get even with the booger eating punks. Maybe a good key scratch the length of that nice GMC truck? Paybacks can be a bitch sometimes.

  6. James H. Catano   August 29, 2018 at 6:25 am

    It’s assault and no different than if they spit in our faces. How about a website of license plates and vehicle descriptions to let all of us can be on the lookout for these knuckle draggers so we can leave “notes” on their rides?

  7. Lew Hansen   August 29, 2018 at 8:10 am

    A fresh cannister of bear spray, preferably a large one, released into the cab of the vehicle seems entirely appropriate to me.

  8. Justice   August 29, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Is there any way to find an address linked to that plate?

  9. Chad   August 29, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Technically that statute doesnt apply to Diesel fueled vehicles as long as they are compliant with the local emmision requirements and have not illegally modified their exhaust system. With the new fuel and “def” added exhaust system the “black” smoke is not as common. During an particulate burn off the vehicle may emit large clouds of off-white smoke. Still an uncool thing to do..just an fyi that statue applies to gasoline fueled vehicles.

  10. Keith Bateman   August 29, 2018 at 10:45 am

    This truck is most likely a diesel, so the gas rule wouldn’t apply.

    I’ve never had this happen, yet, and find for the most part people are friendly but there is always a jerk.

    We’ve got to get our state legislators more involved to create specific laws that penalize actions like this.

  11. Keith Bateman   August 29, 2018 at 10:46 am

    The worst part of this is this immature jerk is teaching his kids to also be immature jerks, perpetuating and multiplying the jerks of the world.

  12. J   August 29, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Future perpetrators of this kind of thing shoild be aware that many cyclists are packing heat…just saying.

  13. Elliott Mott   August 29, 2018 at 11:19 am

    If you ride this happens. I’ve experienced this many times most typically while ascending hills in rural areas, always from diesel pickup trucks, and almost always with youthful male drivers with passengers. Most recently in American Fork, in Logan Canyon, and on my way up Monte Cristo.

  14. David Mckee   August 29, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Utilize some sort of spray to retaliate? Wasp spray shoots far enough and may damage paint?

  15. Brent Olsen   August 30, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I commute 16 miles a day on a bike; coal rolling is the least of my worries since I can hold my breath for the 5 seconds until I ride through it. It’s the sideswipes that scare the crap out of me.

  16. Gerrish   September 3, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Statewide smoking vehicle hotline 385-GOT-SMOG. Be ready with: plate number, date and time vehicle spotted, vehicle description, and location (street name/number)..

  17. Glenn   September 4, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I’m with Brent Olsen. If you ride roads there are interactions. The truck did give plenty of room on the pass and the long lens of the photog made it look more dramatic than the video clip. In the video it is obvious that the racer passes right thru a brief puff and it is over in less than a second. Drama, drama, drama.
    Retaliation suggested (damage the vehicle, wasp sparay, bear spray, covert operations)? That’s sick. Get a grip and peace out.
    Ride safe and I’ll see ya out there.

  18. Dell   September 4, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    It has happened to me many times. Just take a deep breath and ride through it. I’m not excusing the behavior by any means. The world if full of these people and you just have to deal with it the best way you can. Great timing on the picture, btw!!

  19. bob   September 12, 2018 at 11:09 am

    If I encounter this vehicle while parked, most likely a “note” will be placed on the vehicle.

    Similar events have occurred to me and my friends and one law enforcement official literally laughed in my face when an attempt was made to initiate a report.

    The best remedy I’ve seen for this behavior occurred when a retired police officer caught the culprit at a red-light. He emptied the contents of a pepper spray can into the air vents of the vehicle.

  20. KNDR   November 1, 2018 at 6:20 am

    I heard through the grapevine that the driver had gotten a ticket for his emissions just a few weeks before this incident-some people just don’t learn.

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