New Paltz town and village leaders said comments like one recently posted on Facebook -- and the replies that followed -- hint at some friction between drivers and bicyclists in this growing community that has become a haven for bicyclists.
The post -- shared by members of the Mid-Hudson Bicycle Club with Deputy Mayor KT Tobin and later passed along to New Paltz Police -- irked some bicyclists because the author spoke about purposefully causing the type of accident many of them have had before.
"It's complete [expletive]," he wrote, venting about bicyclists on the road. "Brand new rail trail, [and] they have to 'Lance Armstrong' down 299. I don't move over. If they [are] over the white line, they are getting a mirror [expletive] slap."
"That's not uncommon," bicyclist Kevin Shriver said after reading the post.
Shriver said he has previously experienced incidents like the one the poster threatened to create.
"I've had cars brush by my shoulder," he said. "I've had mirrors actually hit my shoulder on my bike. I've had guys drive by me, yelling at me to get out of the middle of the road... ...What are you supposed to do though?"
New Paltz Police were unable on Tuesday to provide the number of complaints involving bicyclists and motorists or the number of car accidents involving bicycles in 2018. Police did say, however, they frequently receive complaints from bicyclists who are upset with drivers and from drivers who are upset with bicyclists.
After a recent accident in a crosswalk near SUNY-New Paltz, town officials and police began talks on how to further protect bicyclists.
"We've got to coexist," said business co-owner Rick Gottlieb.
Gottlieb said he believes most drivers know bicyclists are supposed to move with traffic and drivers should keep at least an arm's length buffer when passing someone on a bicycle.
He wonders if language like the words used by the Facebook poster come from anger about other things.
"I would think people would generalize and think that people on bicycles -- especially adults -- must be liberal," Gottlieb said. "And vice versa... ...People [might] think that when they see somebody in a pickup truck, it means they're conservative."
Deputy Mayor Tobin added on Tuesday that New Paltz residents should expect more bicyclists to flock to this area since New Paltz is on the Empire State Trail, which is going to connect New York City to upstate communities and Albany to Buffalo.
It is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
While the comment was reported to police, village officials said it is "not actionable" since the post's author was not specifically threatening anyone, adding that it could be used to show intent in a criminal or civil court if he were to be involved in an accident like what he described.