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


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”.

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

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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  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

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

  6. 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.

  7. Do an easy search (I’m too cheap to pay for the service, even though it’s really cheap) at or google “Reverse License Plate lookup” and pay a very small fee to get the registered owners name. Then put the name into a white pages website like Spokeo to get their address and most likely, where the white (2015 GMC Sierra 2500 SLT Crew Cab / LWB / SWB 4D 6.6L V8 DI) truck is parked …. this is all hypothetical of course

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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!!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. I believe that there was no right/wrong, it was some kids playing a joke having fun in their truck, as for the biker, well most reasons I find for this are people who say that bikers don’t have to pay taxes for rode maintenance. And this truck didn’t neccessarily have to have been modified, it depends on the conditions, miles, and enviroment it’s in. We have a tractor with less than 500 hours on it and it smokes a bit like that whenever we give it some throttle. Also, old trucks are what to look for, not many people owning older trucks (that I know of) will do this, but older diesels like 1st gen Rams, 7.3/early 6.7 Powerstrokes, early Duramax, and old semis will do this, sometimes (like what I said with our tractor) whenever they’re given gas. So get a grip, and live with it pansies, the ones who talk of damaging the paint. Be thankful they weren’t trying to run him over.

  18. To anonymous:

    “Be thankful they weren’t trying to run him over.” – Yeah people really appreciate it when you don’t try to run them over when they are out for a ride/run/walk!

    “well most reasons I find for this are people who say that bikers don’t have to pay taxes for rode maintenance.” – Hard to believe i know but every biker i’ve ever known owns one or more vehicles (i own five) and pays taxes for “rode” (learn how to spell) maintenance.

    “it was some kids playing a joke having fun in their truck” – If those Dbags in the truck play jokes on the wrong people while “having fun in their truck” they may get a life altering response.

    “…the ones who talk of damaging the paint…” – But, but wouldn’t that qualify as “some kids just playing a joke”????? hmmmm?????

  19. Since when is it legal to ride a bicycle on the side of a high way?! You cyclists think you own the whole road when there are side walks and paved pathways for you to ride on. Road ways are for motor vehicles. So unless I see a legitimate bicycle lane painted on the road I’m going to continue doing the same thing that truck did.

  20. T: You are utterly misinformed. Cyclists have the right to use the roadway just as much as motorists. And, you may want to check Utah Code regarding rolling coal. Hint: it’s not legal.

  21. Dave: Regardless of whether it’s legal or not I will continue to do so. I also like the fact that you completely disregarded everything else I said. “Cyclists have the right to use the roadway as much as motorists” sure that’s true except for freeways but the roadways were designed for the use of motor vehicles, especially those that have a speed limit greater than 45 miles per hour. I can’t fit on the sidewalk or the pathways that are intended for pedestrians and cyclists. Therefore use the intended path for your bicycle and quit taking up space on the road way where you do not need to be. Quite frankly I find it absurd that you cyclists have no regard for your safety riding on the side of the roadway, a car passing by could have a blow out or lose control at any given time and potentially cause some serious harm. So if anyone and I mean anyone wants to answer this for me, please do. What exactly is the point of putting your life at risk and riding your bicycle on the side of the road way, especially the highways?


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