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The Black Cloud

June 30, 2009

Communication between bikefags and rural, truck-driving folk is limited at best in America’s hinterlands and is carried out mostly in a language of horn honks and single-fingered hand gestures.  But nevermind bikefags’ self-importance, graduate degrees or capacity for political organization – the “Republican Trump Card” of cross-cultural bikefag-hillbilly relations is, and will remain, the Black Cloud.


Diesel smoking – or, as diesel truck enthusiasts prefer, the “smoke out” – is the ultimate weapon in the liberal-conservative, bike-vs-truck culture war that happens every day on the outskirts of cities across America.

To learn more about Diesel smoking, I went to the Internet.

Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t the best resource for information and discussion about diesel smoking cyclists.  The closest I could get was this guy, with the delightful Myspace moniker “Fuck Global Warming, Drive a Diesel.”


But even FGWDAD doesn’t mention cyclists specifically.  Which is good because bikefags would all have a total crisis about his PBR background.

Even though I can tell you from personal experience that there are people who regularly “smoke out” cyclists, it doesn’t appear that any of those people have ever heard of this “Internet.”  And if so, they’re tight-lipped about their bike blasting.

But from what I can tell, there are two ways to diesel smoke cyclists:

#1: slow down a little as you pass the cyclist, shift your truck into a higher gear and “stomp her (the gas pedal) down.”  This oughtta blast ’em.

#2: modify your truck.  Diesel truck owners take drastic measures to make as much obnoxious black smoke as possible cascade out of their obnoxious trucks (this may void your truck’s warranty).


But although “smokers” may not be the most web-savvy demographic, cyclists are.  And the thick, black smoke of their discussions in forums talks much about the indignities of being diesel smoked.

I asked around on my former collegiate cycling team’s list serve – the unfortunately-named “Rams Cycling” – to find out about other cyclists’ experiences with the black cloud.  I heard a lot of stories of teeth-blackening smoke outs, botched dually-stalling smoke out fails, multiple accusations of truck drivers having inadequately-sized genetalia, and a troubling tale about Fort Collins elite racer Caley Fretz being yelled at by a 5-year-old boy from the bed of a Dodge Dually, “tastes faggoty good” as the boy’s father blasted him at low speed.

But the one area in which everyone was in agreement was that the #1 offender is the Dodge Ram Cummins Diesel.


It is clear from my Youtube “truck pulling” research that the Dodge Cummins diesel is the top-dog of the diesel truck world.  Just watch this epically-scored video if you don’t believe me.

It’s no surprise that the cycling community agrees that the Dodge Ram is also the top-dog of the diesel smoking world.

Coming in second place smoker is Chevy Diesels with Monster Truck Tires.

Youtube, Youtube, Youtube.

And in third is the Ford “Super Duty.” There’s definitely a link between being compelled to buy a “Super Duty” Ford instead of a regular Ford and being compelled to “smoke out” some “bike fags.”

Most normal, non “Super Duty” Ford Diesels seem to be driven by ranchers or workers and these drivers seem to have better things to do than blow black clouds.


I wasn’t telling the whole truth when I implied that diesel truck drivers can’t use the internet.  In fact, there’s a forum devoted to modifying diesel trucks.

It was with immense glee that I started an account and posted my first thread.

User: SmokeEmOut911

Topic: Smokin Out Cyclists

Seems like every time I drive to the Reservoir, theres a hundred cyclists dressed up like ballerinas in neon spandecks tutus riding around like little suicidal spandecks duckies in the street. Oh well i just let my exhaust pipe do the talking !
200 points for the one on the bike that costs more than my Dodge!

kiddin but seriously don’t these little duckies piss you off? They act like they own the road.

How do y’all handle cyclists?

I’d been inspired by a sign outside a bar on a popular cycling/boat-pulling road that read: “Beware of little spandex duckies in the road.”

And armed with my perfect conservative double-entendred username, I thought I’d be a shoe-in for some insider information about diesel smoking.

Unfortunately, I was roundly condemned by the Diesel Bombers community.

User: Diesel Minded

shouldnt smoke out a cycle you could kill someone , now convertibles thats different


Yeah if they swerve into the road and get hit and killed or they fall off and break there neck guess who’s fault it is. Yours…

User: 94 12valve

you shouldent smoke out any one motorcycle, car, or other truck.

I quickly renounced my diesel smoking ways.

User: SmokeEmOut911

Alright I agree with all of y’all its a pretty stupid idea. Just wanted to hear ur thoughts on this issue

And the condemnations just keep coming in.

Apparently, the people who discuss modifications to their diesel trucks in internet forums are not the people who smoke out cyclists.

But they’re out there.  The more I ride, the more I get diesel smoked.

Since it now seems unfair to the diesel truck community to condemn them all, how do bikefags deal with getting diesel smoked?

I’ve tried chasing trucks down with a rock in my hand, hoping they’d have to stop and I could smash out their back windshield.  I’ve tried flipping them off.  I’ve tried complaining to the police.  But none of this stops diesel smokings.  It seems like the only alternative is to quit cycling and stay indoors or move to Marin County where everyone in the country drives hemp-powered cars.

But I think that one of my former Rams Cycling teammates Dan Zube has the answer: learn to love the black cloud.

The great thing about being diesel smoked (aside from the terrific
black cloud blown in your face), is shortly after the truck speeds
past, watching it take a nose dive as it slams on its brakes to
prevent slamming into the car in front of it.  Of course, this nose
dive wouldn’t be nearly as noticable if the Napoleon-complexed owner
hadn’t rigged up his sweet pick-up with a three-foot lift.  This
typically leaves me with the same thought running through my head: “Man, I
need to get some of those steel testacles to hang from my bottom

The Zuber is right!  Diesel Smoking is hilarious (not to mention totes blggbl).  We have to learn to love the black cloud!  It gives bikefags stories to share with their bikefag friends on bikefag forums.  It gives them justification to feel superior over country folk.  It’s gives them opportunities to be pissed off at hillbillies; to forget about the pain of climbing hills for just a moment.  And it’s just a really great, hilarious white-trash phenomenon to make fun of.

With enough time and enough smokings we can all learn to love the black cloud.

Meanwhile let’s pray that the pickup truck driving, “no big government” hillbillies who keep fucking diesel smoking me get a taste of their own fucking medicine; the US government does not bail out the Chrysler Corporation and General Motors; all of the Detroit Big Three fail; and the future generations of gigantic douchemobiles go to Hell where they belong, along with their Budweiser-drinking, meth-smoking, thimble-cocked owners!

Somehow, I’m just not as intimidated by a Nissan Titan.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2009 4:26 pm

    Hah I just got blasted with “Freedom particles” from a flag-bearing truck cruising College Ave last night – so did everyone walking on the street. Gotta love those <2.5um carcinogenic particles! Those dudes get all the girls, right?

    • bikefag permalink*
      July 3, 2009 6:01 am

      Did you get a Pussy Per Gallon figure for that bro?

  2. July 1, 2009 9:17 pm

    I got smoked by a truck last year, ruining my nice white kit. Fortunately there was a cop at the next corner who pulled the guy over. Was pretty funny

  3. July 2, 2009 6:27 pm

    Posts like these makes me think that even if I live in one of the least cycling friendly european countries, I’m still lucky. Here the latest rage is to not use turn signals and it goes for all sorts of cars…

  4. josh permalink
    July 3, 2009 12:11 am

    how wonderfully ironic! fgwdad has the pabst blue ribbon logo for his background

  5. July 6, 2009 8:50 pm


  6. Bobby permalink
    July 7, 2009 8:25 pm

    I’m with you, Smoking out people is a show of immaturity and flat out disrespect. Now here’s the kicker… I own 2 Dodge Cummins. Both of which are VERY powerful. You see we don’t build these trucks for smoke (well some immature idiots do) but we build them for performance, its our hobby, much like yours is riding. The smoke is just a sign of a very poorly tuned truck. I could go into detail but I wont bore you with details. Both my trucks are capable of closing down a 4 lane road with smoke. But I don’t, I have more common courtesy then that. I’m very sorry that a handful of jerks have ruined our image to the general public. I’m sure you all have a small group of people that make the rest of you look bad. I bet if you were to hang out on some of those sites you would see quickly that the general population of diesel enthusiasts is mature, responsible, and courteous. Be safe guys (and girls) and if I see you on the road, I’ll make sure to honk and wave!


  7. Robin permalink
    July 9, 2009 5:31 am

    You are awesome!

    • bikefag permalink*
      July 9, 2009 6:38 am

      Thanks. You probably are too

  8. bikefag permalink*
    July 9, 2009 6:38 am

    Also, if you haven’t seen the Diesel Bombers thread lately, y’all should look again. They found me out and it all made for some good copy and chuckles all around.

    Found out on page two:

    the commentary continues to page three:

  9. six20 permalink
    February 23, 2010 8:39 pm

    Living in New Mexico, where big cities are encroaching on rural, backasswards hill folk, diesel smoking is a common occurrence. About 80% of time is is unintentional but every once in a while you can hear that 27 foot tall truck blasting nickle back and you know the black cloud is coming. Simple solution to this, one piece of gear every bike fag needs is a traffic cop.

    In short a traffic cop is a 10 to 16 oz. ball peen hammer. Keep readily at hand (i find keeping in the loop for my u-lock is the best) and just hop you can catch up to the jerk off at the light and happily relieve him of his side mirror. You may ask, the poor chump in the truck is going to be rather upset and try and run over me with his urban monster truck, I mean that huge tapout sticker on the back must mean he can fight. Well, have you ever seen a Dodge dully try and drive down a alley that isn’t quite wide enough?

    Plus, when this traffic cop thing catches on, think of all the owner “pimpage” one can do. Florescent grip tape? Chrome hammer head? Limitless possibilities.

  10. Joe shmoe permalink
    March 10, 2010 11:53 pm

    Diesel smoke is unburnt fuel, thats it. It is also potential power being wasted. My truck only blows smoke when I am spooling my turbo up but I have a very large turbo and it takes alot to get it going. After that it is clear of smoke completely. I have smoked out 2 bikers ever but they fuckin deserved it. One was in the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD AND BACKED TRAFFIC UP. I smoked his ass so hard he probably didnt know who the hell he was for a while. The other one threw trash in the bed of my truck as he rode buy me at a stop light. I smoked him as well, my truck isnt yours or anyones fuckin garbage can. I dont blow smoke unless it is justified. I will smoke out tailgaters because they will not get within 100 feet of you after you do it. For me its a tool for keeping people in line and more of a quit being a fuckin idiot meeting than it is funny. I dont think its funny at all because someone can get hurt. Hell if the biker is close enough, they can get really bad burns because the EGT on diesels is sooooooo hot. Diesels have a bad image because of guys like some of you have been discussing are just pricks and do it to every biker they pass and yada yada yada. Diesels are actually more efficient and cleaner burning then a gas combustion engine. This is because diesels run on Compression not combustion. These big old trucks get 22 mpg in town but yet are faster then most sports cars and stronger then any gas engine truck. My truck will run a 1/4 miles in 10 seconds and has 847 horse power with 2100 foot pounds of torque.

    And yes we do get alot of girls because most girls think black smoke and big trucks are sexy =P!!! And I’m not compensating for SHIT! HAHAHA

  11. Brian permalink
    June 16, 2013 10:44 pm

    You want to stop the smoke outs? We call them Rollin coal. You need to meet us half way.
    1. Pay road taxes on your bikes.
    2. Stay off road with speed limits greater than 25mph.
    3. Ride single file and never cross the white line.
    4. act more like a pedestrian and not a car.
    5 stop setting up races that close down huge part of a state.
    Do these five easy steps and you will notice the smoking will stop. It’s war. Smoke is our weapon!

    I have a switch in my truck that does nothing more than throw smoke on bikes who ride side by side up a mtn pass and think they own the road.

    Oh and please come throw a rock in my window so I have a reason to beat the crap out of you! Remember that most of us carry fire arms are are more than willing to protect our selfs and our propriety with it.

  12. bikefag permalink*
    June 17, 2013 1:04 am

    In response to Brian:

    You mention a few things that I believe are based on ignorance of laws and funding mechanisms that few but the most serious bicycle advocates know, so let me take your points one by one:

    1: Road taxes – road funding varies by state. As you might imagine this is complicated. There is the federal Highway Trust Fund tax which is assessed as a fuel tax. Obviously when riding a bike, a cyclist is not participating in paying that tax. But since the vast majority of cyclists – especially the recreational road cyclists you describe – drive cars, they do contribute to this tax when they buy gas.
    Anyway, this is largely a moot point. Any road that a recreational road cyclist would ride on would be a state highway, or a county road. Some state highways are funded by the Highway Trust Fund tax but smaller roads (e.g. a “mtn pass”) are probably funded entirely by a state or county.
    How do states and counties get funding for these roads? All kinds of ways, and it’s different in different states, but this mostly comes from local taxes like state, county, and city sales tax. Obviously cyclists pay sales tax the same as drivers do.
    But the difference is that cyclists USE the road less. How much maintenance do you think is incurred by my 18lb road bike vs. your (5000 lb?) truck? I have 25mm tires, and I’ve only got a total of 160lb rolling on them.
    Therefore, I believe that I actually pay more, WAY MORE, for the roads I use per use. I contend that I as a cyclist am a MUCH better deal for the bodies that fund road building and maintenance than you are in your truck.
    How’s this for meeting in the middle: I’ll stay on small county roads, and you stay on Freeways funded by the gas tax?

    (I probably need to do a lot of research on this but you get the idea: cyclists DO pay for roads)

    2: No. Maybe you can successfully lobby your county to enact SPEED MINIMUMS. But for now, anyone is allowed to operate a vehicle at any speed up to the speed limit (as far as I know. Again, different states and counties probably have specific laws). I realize that this inconveniences you, but so does all other traffic, stop lights, stop signs, tractors, wildlife, etc. If you can’t deal with the inconveniences of other users on a PUBLIC ROAD, you need to remain in your own private space.

    3: Good point. If all cyclists had the opportunity to ride to the right of the white line, we’d certainly prefer it. But we don’t always, and we don’t always have the ability to get single-file fast enough.
    Your local laws might be different from mine, but where I lived when I wrote this (Colorado) and where I live now (Oregon) the law is very clear that cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast.
    While I am not required by law to ride single file, I feel that as a respectful cyclist, I should ALWAYS get in line when a car is coming from behind and there isn’t room to ride two-abreast to the right of the white. Often I don’t have time and I’m greeted with an angry asshole in a car yelling something or honking and buzzing me. This is especially counter-productive because instead of thinking, “ok a car’s coming. Let’s get single-file so they don’t have to be inconvenienced,” I switch to thinking, “fucking asshole! Fuck you! Fuck cars! Fuck getting single-file!” and then I want to be aggressive and mean too. Obviously a bit of patience and respect from either party to begin with could result in a respectful pass with no one very inconvenienced.
    Also, think about this: how would you feel if you went on a two hour drive with one of your best buddies and he had to sit in the seat behind you? Wouldn’t you rather he sit in shotgun so you can talk?

    4: No. It is unreasonable to ask cyclists to “act like pedestrians.” They are going as much faster than pedestrians as you are going faster than cyclists. Also, it is MUCH more dangerous to ride on sidewalks if you are going any significant distance because exiting a sidewalk is the most likely place for a cyclist to be hit by a car. Furthermore, it is TEDIOUSLY PAINFULLY SLOW AND HORRIBLE to ride on the sidewalk – WAY, WAY more inconvenient for a cyclist than it is for you to slow down for a cyclist for 20 seconds until you have a spot to safely and respectfully pass them like a fellow human being. “Meeting in the middle” my ass. You just want people to get the fuck out of your way rather than slow down and be BARELY inconvenienced. Again, no. This will never happen, and you’re not at all supported by the law on this one. In many places, cyclists aren’t even ALLOWED to ride on the sidewalk.

    5: No. This is what I live for, man. All of your forums you talk on; all the stuff you read on the internet; everything you love: what if that were bike racing?
    Well, it is for me!
    I will not stop doing everything in my power to facilitate, organize, and yes CLOSE THE ROAD FOR bike races. They don’t happen often on well-traveled roads and they don’t get approved without permits and MASSIVE EFFORTS on the part of the bike racing community.

    Fine. Fight your “war” by smoking cyclists out. But you REALLY don’t need to. (plus there’s no way to “win” when some of your demands are contrary to the law and there are like 1000 new roadies every week who don’t have a clue what the fuck they’re doing out there (sorry about those guys)).
    I learned when I wrote this post that what I thought about diesel truck enthusiasts was wrong. Diesel truck drivers are people exactly like I am. Some of them are even cyclists.
    I hope that you can appreciate that cyclists are also people – exactly like you.
    We are as passionate about being able to use the roads as you are.
    Would YOU stop using the roads because someone wrote a comment on your blog post asking you to? Of course not. Do you think any cyclists will stop using the road because of an internet comment? Of course not.
    We’re going to have to work together, man.

    Thanks for your comment, and I apologize for the aggressive things I said at the end of my original post. It’s been a few years and I’ve gotten a little smarter.


  1. Smokin Out Cyclists? - Page 2 - Diesel Bombers
  2. Sweeping It Under The Carpet « Bikefag’s Blog
  3. One Year Blogiversary! « Bikefag's Blog
  4. R.I.P. Bike Fag: April 2009 – April 2011 « Bikefag's Blog

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