If you have ever been enveloped by a thick cloud of diesel exhaust from a passing truck while riding on a quiet country road, it may not be coincidence. Apparently, there are anti-environmental pickup drivers who rig their trucks to belch out a cloud of black soot at the flick of a switch. They are called “coal rollers”, and their favourite targets are pedestrians, cyclists, and hybrid cars.
CBC has a report about how a group of 19 cyclists from Ottawa were attacked by one or more coal rollers during a recent ride through Vermont. One of the cyclists complained to the police, but local law enforcement officials were not very interested.