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Old 07-15-05, 09:23 PM   #1
Crinolin
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Sexual harassment, maybe worse . . .

I do not mean to be a fear-monger, I mentioned this on another thread but when I looked up "sexual harassment" in the forum search, nothing came up -that I could see - and I think this is kind of important.

Does anyone else have a problem with riding on relatively deserted, back-country roads and getting hollered, whistled and honked at, sometimes even stopped, by creeps? The kind that actually stop you to subject you to a truly obscene suggestion? This has happened more often than I would like. I actually stopped riding a while ago because I was, frankly, scared to go out. My fears have subsided with time, but honestly - out there by myself - what could I really do? I live in Deliverance country after all (movie reference)- and I have been stopped two or three times - once while I was just walking somewhere. I don't stop anymore, by the way. I used to think they wanted directions, now I don't care if they do.

My dad wants me to buy a gun and get a liscense to carry it. Ugh! I hate that it comes down to that. Just leave me alone!

Any suggestions? Anybody else?
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Old 07-15-05, 09:36 PM   #2
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You know how people uglify their beater bikes so people won't steal it?
Maybe it's about time to do the same to yourself.
Or try riding in less desolate roads, not in the middle of the night, or have a friend with you?
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Old 07-15-05, 09:37 PM   #3
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To make a terrible comment...considering that you are from Deliverance country, I have to inquire as to whether you are male or female?

Carrying a gun is not a good idea unless you are willing to use it. Something less lethal, like pepper spray or a personal stun gun might be entirely appropriate though. I generally carry pepper spray, and I'm rarely harassed, sexually or otherwise.
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Old 07-15-05, 09:51 PM   #4
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Just live with it. You can ask the ladies here in NYC. Almost EVERY SINGLE GIRL here will have to put up with comments every single day.

Men in business suits do it, men on the subway & buses do it......

It's life. Have you ever walked down a block full of construction workers sitting down having their lunch? If you're a female with two legs walking by, you'll get a comment.....more than one.
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Old 07-15-05, 09:59 PM   #5
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getting hollered, whistled and honked at,
Are you complaining or bragging?
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Old 07-15-05, 10:55 PM   #6
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Gee maybe I'm just to old and ugly to get any comments, never had any bad ones that I can recall. Did have some college kids see me riding up a hill and yell "looking good!" or something like that. I'm sure once they were able to look back at me and see how old I was, they regretted saying it. They probably won't make any more comments to any cyclist now. There is only one place around where I live that I am a little concerned about riding alone but it's a pretty popular biking area so I really don't let it bother me much especially on the weekends during the middle of the day.

If someone ask you to stopped, don't, just keep on riding and act like you didn't hear what they said, or just give a friendly wave and keep going. No use taking any unneccesary chances--and definitely go with your gut instinct.
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Old 07-16-05, 12:10 AM   #7
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I think that carrying a gun is a bad idea and likely to get you in way worse situations than you are currently facing. From your post, I am guessing that you are pretty attractive. guys driving down country roads usually drive pretty fast right? How about giving some thought to changing how you look? Not uglify, but just throw them off. I know a woman who always rides with a backpack on because it interferes with the ability to determine what her gender is by an observer. Maybe put your hair up? Lastly, carry a cell phone and take it out if someone stops you ( I agree with Litespeed that you should not stop if possible). If they see that you have a cell phone and can call for help they may not try anything. Also, if someone stops you and makes an obscene comment, call the police right then and there. That should get rid of them.

Hope this helps. You should be able to ride our bike without fear or harrassment.
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Old 07-16-05, 12:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crinolin
I do not mean to be a fear-monger, I mentioned this on another thread but when I looked up "sexual harassment" in the forum search, nothing came up -that I could see - and I think this is kind of important.

Does anyone else have a problem with riding on relatively deserted, back-country roads and getting hollered, whistled and honked at, sometimes even stopped, by creeps? The kind that actually stop you to subject you to a truly obscene suggestion? This has happened more often than I would like. I actually stopped riding a while ago because I was, frankly, scared to go out. My fears have subsided with time, but honestly - out there by myself - what could I really do? I live in Deliverance country after all (movie reference)- and I have been stopped two or three times - once while I was just walking somewhere. I don't stop anymore, by the way. I used to think they wanted directions, now I don't care if they do.

My dad wants me to buy a gun and get a liscense to carry it. Ugh! I hate that it comes down to that. Just leave me alone!

Any suggestions? Anybody else?
I'm sorry this has happened to you. People say things from cars and anonymously and cowardly disappear down the road. There is no accountability from without or character from within to stop them. My girlfriend has a hard time riding by herself. It is intimidating to her and I know it makes me mad as hell. Pepper spray or mace might suit you better than a gun, but I think you really need to talk to other women cyclists who understand the situations you face. I believe if you send a pm to Koffee Brown, who is a mod on the boards, she will get you into the women's forum.
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Old 07-16-05, 12:42 AM   #9
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http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/akita.htm This breed can deal with pitbulls....dudes too.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cadd
Just live with it. You can ask the ladies here in NYC.
Please do not think this inane comment reflects any other New Yorker's opinion on this matter, or anyone who has ever been here, or wants to come here or has seen a postcard from here, or...

I am sorry that things have happened to you and it is too bad that it made you give up riding because of it. You shouldn't have to put up with this, could you call in lic. numbers to the cops after something spooky happens? The cellphone is a good idea, also you can pretend to take pictures with it if need be, capturing, or pretending to, cools off a lot of tough guys. One bit of City advice if I may, do not act afraid, be stern and look strong even if you are jelly inside. I think some people look for weakness and inspired to act on it. Best defense is a good offense blah blah. Be strong and keep riding.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:18 AM   #11
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Honestly, I think a young gal is safer in most of NYC than in deliverance country.

Learn, and have, some dirty tricks up your sleeve, from a hideout gun to some ammonia hidden away, etc.

Frankly, I live in an area where, if any real redneck types still live here they're one in a million, have been able to avoid getting a criminal record, getting afoul of the law, etc. Silicon Valley imposes a strict filter on people to live here, you have to be very "clean" legally, be capable of affording to live here which takes some real smarts and ability, the kind of ppl you're among would have a hard time lasting here.

If they were ever here they were last seen on I-40 with a mattress(es) on top of their old Ford F-100 and heading east lol.

If I'm harassed by one person or set of people in a car, chances are pretty good the next set of people in the next car are decent enough to help or call for help.

You don't have that gurantee - remember in Deliverance there was *not* a cop or a good samaritan (or Hindu) a few trees over. That's what made what happened possible, it was in an isolated area.

Please, be careful and realistic.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:22 AM   #12
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cars make people feel brave. so the poorly edgucated like to vocalize because they are pretty imature people. they don't understand that yelling out a window makes them real idots.
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Old 07-16-05, 05:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycm'er
Please do not think this inane comment reflects any other New Yorker's opinion on this matter, or anyone who has ever been here, or wants to come here or has seen a postcard from here, or...........

.........The cellphone is a good idea, also you can pretend to take pictures with it if need be, capturing, or pretending to, cools off a lot of tough guys.
Obviously my comments are my own personal opinions. I hope I did not convey that I was representing all NYers when I posted. Now that that's clear, I don't think a camera would be a good idea.

If I am a trouble maker and somehow teased a cute lady on a deserted road and she took a picture of me, what would I do? Remember, I'm a criminal here....maybe even a warrant. I would definitely want that camera or the film. I don't want to be reported to the authorities!

I would stop and try to grab the evidence.....and with body contact, it may not be a bad idea to drag you in a nearby ally to get some bonus action.

I would personally try no to tick off someone. Who knows he could be some psycho.
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Old 07-16-05, 06:22 AM   #14
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It's a sad state of affairs that the people in this country and elsewhere cannot respect each other enough to allow each other the freedom to move about unhindered by comments not invited. But there it is. Reality. The world is chock full of neandrathals and horny boneheads who can't keep their comments to themseles where they belong. IMO, the best way to combat the hecklers is to carry on without acknowledging their presence, but keeping an eye out for a safe escape if necessary.

I will be the first to admit I notice good looking women. I cannot help myself. But what I can do is control my urges and allow them the same freedom from harrassment they allow me.
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Old 07-16-05, 06:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilHinault
Frankly, I live in an area where, if any real redneck types still live here they're one in a million, have been able to avoid getting a criminal record, getting afoul of the law, etc. Silicon Valley imposes a strict filter on people to live here, you have to be very "clean" legally, be capable of affording to live here which takes some real smarts and ability, the kind of ppl you're among would have a hard time lasting here.
Silicon Valley imposes a strict filter? Do you have a secret handshake? The valley has it's share or crooks and pervs also, they just drive better cars.

Quote:
You don't have that gurantee - remember in Deliverance there was *not* a cop or a good samaritan (or Hindu) a few trees over. That's what made what happened possible, it was in an isolated area.
Ahh, Deliverance was a work of fiction
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Old 07-16-05, 07:44 AM   #16
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Your security issues are quite different to those of a big-city rider. A few passing comments in a crowded city can be shrugged off, a rider can easily out-pace a driver or pedestrian. On a deserted rural lane things can be different.
Your best defence is in numbers, consider finding some riding partners.
It is best to do your thinking before trouble comes. Work out a few scenarios from unpleasant to very bad and figure some tactics for escape. Real self defense is not just a few neat karate chops but the ability switch into combat mode and think tactically and with a cool head. Landing the first blow is always a sound move (2nd only to running away) but nice people dont like to hit. Combat training should turn you from a nice civilian into a somone who is quite prepared to hit hard, fast and first.
Whatever weapon you chose (bike, bike lock, pepper, fire-arm) you need practice. With a firearm you need good training that is more than mere target practice.
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Old 07-16-05, 08:17 AM   #17
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As a runner I was always worried on country roads, I feel a little safer on the bike, but it's still an issue. I carry a VERY strong peper spray, and have been taking Krav Maga for about a year-some people think it's fluffy, but it's given me the mindset neccessary to defend myself. I'm aware of how to use my elbows and knees, how to stay upright, get out of headlocks and chokes, etc.

Try and find a similar self defense class near you-if nothing else the mindset will be very helpful. As a woman it took a couple weeks for me to really let go and hit with everything I've got-we're taught from a young age not to punch and hit, it really takes effort to get over that.
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Old 07-16-05, 09:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobber
Silicon Valley imposes a strict filter? Do you have a secret handshake? The valley has it's share or crooks and pervs also, they just drive better cars.



Ahh, Deliverance was a work of fiction
As are the fantasy generalizations about moral purity coming from (and about) that California Garden of Eden - Silicon Valley.
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Old 07-16-05, 09:56 AM   #19
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MichaelW is the only one I'd listen to on firearms or any weapons for that matter. Personally, I would normally recommend a firearm and a carry license to someone with your fears, but if you've thought it over and decided you don't want to do that, then it wouldn't do you any good.

Carrying a gun is not a bad idea nor, by itself, a particularly good one. It all depends on YOU. Training is a must if you're going to carry a firearm responsibly, and mindset matters.

Now, I believe a firearm is the single most effective self-defense weapon ever developed by mankind. It can't do everything, but it has some real advantages over things like pepper spray or TASER weapons.

My signature has several places where you can go and ask any question you can think of about firearms and self-defense without being judged. I highly recommend www.thehighroad.org, where I moderate the Legal/Political forums and Non-Firearm Weapons (dealing with knives, pepper spray, TASERs, etc.)



The thing to remember about weapons is that WEAPONS ARE NOT MAGIC TALISMANS.

They will NOT corrupt a good person into an evil killer, as so many would have you believe. But you also do not magically become safe because you have one with you. Your own awareness and mindset will still always be the most important thing.

You also need to understand what a firearm will and will not do. It will be very useful, maybe a lifesaver, in a situation where you are attacked and are genuinely afraid that you're going to be killed or raped. It will do absolutely nothing about people who make creepy comments to you or leer at you on isolated roads.



If you're still undecided as to whether you should get the gun, I would recommend going out now and getting the CCW license. If you decide not to carry, having the license won't hurt. But depending on your state, it may take weeks or more to get it once you decide you want it. In many states having the CCW will also exempt you from waiting periods if you need to purchase a firearm.

Please feel free to PM or email me if you have any more questions about any of this.
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Old 07-16-05, 10:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff williams
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/akita.htm This breed can deal with pitbulls....dudes too.
Akita's are crazy for one. Much more crazy and bad temperment than a pit bull. even though pit bulls are the "media darlings" at the momment. Plus dogs are not good to take riding, or running for that matter. Dogs are sprinters not distance runners.

As for the original post:

I'd go along with the suggestion to get pepper spray or a stun gun. The only problem is if you are in far north Georgia (where Deliverence was filmed) populated areas are few and far between. So say you pepper or stun a creep messing with you and take off. He might have time to catch up to you once he recovers a bit since he is in a car. Long before even the cops get to where you are. Just thought I'd point that out.

As for a gun that is your call. If you have one you have to be ready to use it. Plus you can't exactly shoot someone for talking dirty to you. Even in Texas. So it is not a deterent reallly unless you skip the concealed weapon permit and wear it in a holster on your outside in plain view. I don't think a creepy guy once he pulled up closs enough to say something would mess with you if he saw a gun on your hip. Be sure to have a cell phone no matter what.
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Old 07-16-05, 12:38 PM   #21
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These posts have been very helpful, thank you very much. I have done things like plan escape routes and always keep in mind the nearest houses or places to run if need be. I also have a cell-phone, and will start taking that with me all the time now.

I can deal with just being yelled or honked at, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that - I certainly did not mean to sound flattered! I realize that is just annoying and not necessarily endangering, I'm not trying to have a perfect world. It was really the guys who actually slow down and stop or turn around - how many ways can you interpret that?

I appreciate the gun advice too. When dad first suggested it to me I didn't want to hear it at all - I don't want to kill anybody! But then again, I don't want to be a helpless, wilting flower. I wouldn't get a firearm unless I took some classes and cultivated a Laura Croft attitude .

Also, the nature of this forum, for safety, makes me sound like this is an all-consuming problem, but I don't want to make myself sound like a wimp or scaredy-cat or worry-wart. I love to ride my bike and that is why I will even though there are risks. Knowing there are others out there dealing with this and also getting all this good advice really helps. I'll take normal risks; I just don't want to be an idiot. Thank you so much again.
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Old 07-16-05, 12:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crinolin
I do not mean to be a fear-monger, I mentioned this on another thread but when I looked up "sexual harassment" in the forum search, nothing came up -that I could see - and I think this is kind of important.

Does anyone else have a problem with riding on relatively deserted, back-country roads and getting hollered, whistled and honked at, sometimes even stopped, by creeps? The kind that actually stop you to subject you to a truly obscene suggestion? This has happened more often than I would like. I actually stopped riding a while ago because I was, frankly, scared to go out. My fears have subsided with time, but honestly - out there by myself - what could I really do? I live in Deliverance country after all (movie reference)- and I have been stopped two or three times - once while I was just walking somewhere. I don't stop anymore, by the way. I used to think they wanted directions, now I don't care if they do.

My dad wants me to buy a gun and get a liscense to carry it. Ugh! I hate that it comes down to that. Just leave me alone!

Any suggestions? Anybody else?
Hi

I am afraid to ride alone. However, last time I rode with two female friends we were jeered by Medusa in an SUV and had racial slurs yelled. I am not afraid of any sexual harrassment, because here in the North east I have not experienced it while riding my bike. Last Monday I went for a ride alone and came across a realy suspicious character. There was no one around and I had to ride past him. I just waited until I saw another cyclist coming my way and pedaled really fst to go past him at the same time as the other cyclist. But it made me realize how easily I could have been attacked and dragged into the curbside bushes. No one would have seen or heard anything. I would be another statistic. As much as I love to ride I will not ride alone anymore or on the roads. I also plan to buy a 'jogger's pepper spray that can be attached to the wrist and possibly a spring baton that will snap out by pressing a button. The thought of using any weapon really scares me. Definetely stay as far away from a gun if possible, they have guns too. Try to find groups to ride with ie clubs, colleges, at work. I am still trying. I have been somewhat successful inviting people from work to ride once a week. It's sad but the reality is that anyone can be attacked while riding a bike.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:17 PM   #23
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I have thought of making a banner to wrap around my bag that says "conceal/carry" to make people think twice about wether to harass me or not. I'm a duder so I'm not facing the same kinds of harassment as the women might be. Just the usual get off the road stuff.

When things get out of hand and you're out in the middle of nowhere, I would thing a stungun might be a better way to go than pepper spray. I bring it up for the wind factor. Wind blowing around and a sleezeball is reaching for you, you don't want it spraying passed said perv-o. A stungun would be something where they would be within reach and therefore also way too close for comfort.

Most importantly would probably to get into a martial arts/selfdefense class. Learn lots about yourself and how to project confidance and an attitude of "I will take you down."

When you can get that sort of confidance and start radiating it, then pervotrons will start avoiding you.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:17 PM   #24
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The corporate definition of verbal sexual harassment is that it is unwelcome and recurring (by the same person).

On the road, this becomes almost meaningless.
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Old 07-16-05, 01:42 PM   #25
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The niftiest anti-**** device I've heard of is a small vial containing what was essentially skunk spray... the user (female) would break it on herself. thus rendering her almost entirely unattractive and not someone you'd want to put in a car. there was a special 'neutralizer' at home which would make the stink go away. the market was small because of the 'eww' factor, but if push came to shove most of the women I talked to would rather use the vial... it followed from the general anti-**** advice which some reccomend, of trying to vomit, ****, convulse, and do anything possible to make yourself too revolting to associate with.

I always thought it made more sense than a weapon, unless it's a gun, _and_ you know how (and are willing and able) to use it. Problem with sprays etc is taht you can get them on you if you spray upwind, they can be taken away and used against you, and the deterrent effect (if you've never been sprayed) isn't as bad as a gun.

Though if this is really deliverace country, youd probably look normal with a shotgun strapped to the handlebars. You'd get more respect, too
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