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  1. #1
    I can ride in heels
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    Mace or pepper spray for protection?

    I am a small female and tho I try to plan ahead, I sometimes find myself riding thru sketchy neighboorhoods at night by myself. Have been thinking about carrying mace or pepper spray, am wondering if anyone has any experience or suggestions on these options? Also, I am terrified of dogs and am wondering if either of these products work work in a dog attack situation as well.

    Thx for your feedback!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Not sure about Mace, but I carry pepper spray at work. The stuff for dogs is the weakest concentration, and says right on the can that it isn't gauranteed for "guard dogs". It has almost no effect on large dogs. The next up is the stuff intended for use on humans. It also can have no effect on large dogs. The best stuff is the spray intended for bears. The cannisters are large and easy to hold. They have a good range of spray, but if used on a human might cause the throat to swell up enough to kill a human. Might also have the same effect on dogs, but if I'm attacked I wouldn't worry about the dog's well being.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    At night, a very powerful "weapon" is a police-type tactical flashlight. They give off a brilliant white light which temporarily blinds an assailant if his eyes are night-acclimated. These flashlights are sold only at police supply stores, a very well-known brand is the SureFire brand, and some of these models are pretty small. But the light doesn't last long, a few minutes, then the batteries are dead. It's not meant for illuminating a work area, in other words.

    Also an excellent nighttime emergency signaling device. It will be a good companion to your strong pepper spray.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  4. #4
    Wheres the beef? rattking's Avatar
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    freeze + p
    I believe is mace and tear gas.. verry painfull stuff! i recomend the foam spray as it splatters and blows back less then the liquid
    also always rember to shake the can of mace/pepper spray really well.. people get upset when they realise they have been mased and it isnt hurting
    be carefull and aim for the mouth

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    They both work better than fists and feet (in most cases). Go to the local police supply store (usually in a *** shop) and they will get you what you need.

    Good luck and stay safe,

    ehenz

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    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Get some bear repellant. If it's good enough for bears, it's good enough for that 220 lb attacker. Also, keep keys between your fingers and aim for the eyes. Go for the groin when he's down.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but whoever thought of that "keys in the fingers" things was just dreaming a pipe dream... I can't believe it would be effective at all. The pain of having your fingers cut when your keys impact whatever would cause you to drop them.

    I think a rolling pin, U-lock, broken beer bottle, kitchen knife, very large nail, would all be far superior improvised weapons compared to keys!

    Peter
    Shodan rank, Aikido


    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    Get some bear repellant. If it's good enough for bears, it's good enough for that 220 lb attacker. Also, keep keys between your fingers and aim for the eyes. Go for the groin when he's down.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  8. #8
    Quadricepius Exquisitus eurotrash666's Avatar
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    mace may not be the best. for many people, it will slow them down. i'm in the army, and they gas us all the time. honestly, you can acclimate to it easily. i once had a riot control grenade thrown in my tent- i picked it up and threw the sucker back at 'em. i've also (accidently, i swear!) been maced. stings a little, but wouldn't stop me from taking your wallet. never experienced pepper spray, though. i imagine that stuff burns a little longer. perhaps taking some self-defense classes will build some confidence. an assailant will read your body language, if you feel you can handle yourself, it will show.

  9. #9
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kf5nd
    I'm sorry, but whoever thought of that "keys in the fingers" things was just dreaming a pipe dream... I can't believe it would be effective at all. The pain of having your fingers cut when your keys impact whatever would cause you to drop them.

    I think a rolling pin, U-lock, broken beer bottle, kitchen knife, very large nail, would all be far superior improvised weapons compared to keys!

    Peter
    Shodan rank, Aikido
    I just tried it with my bundle of keys, using the key ring and the bundle as a handle. My front door key between my index finger and middle finger popped a hole in the fabric chair of one of my absent coworkers. The kryptonite flat key between my ring and middle finger dented the fabric. I'm sure if I aimed for the eyes, it'd do some kinda damage.

  10. #10
    yak
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    Zircon Encrusted Tweezer yak's Avatar
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    ... popped a hole in the fabric chair of one of my absent coworkers. ...

    I'm glad I don't work with you

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    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yak
    ... popped a hole in the fabric chair of one of my absent coworkers. ...

    I'm glad I don't work with you
    God forbid I do it to my own chair.. nuts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seanholio's Avatar
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    Pepper spray is much more effective than mace. In the proper concentrations, it will distract your attacker long enough for you to escape. If you overdo it, the person can be killed from an anaphalactic reaction, where their throat closes up and they are unable to breathe. This usually only happens when several people douse an attacker in the stuff, not from a single cannister. If the solution is too weak, it will irritate the attacker greatly, but it might help you get away.

    My pepper spray instructor, from back in the day when you needed a license to get the stuff, said that mace makes you think that your eyes and throat are burning and swelling. Pepper spray actually makes everything burn and swell.

  14. #14
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    I just tried it with my bundle of keys, using the key ring and the bundle as a handle. .

    You will need a bundle/keyring in the palm of your hand when you wield keys as a weapon between your fingers; other wise the keys will jam into your palm, or turn sideways and spread your fingers. I had this discussion with a young lady when we were on assignment in siberia and she was worried about petty theft from Russian juvenile delinquents.

    You are likely to have your keys close at hand; but still in the heat of the moment you have to fumble a bit with them. I told her a better 'weapon' (if ya really want to think of it as that) is a corkscrew: it has one mean looking (and lengthy) axis, and you have a firm handle to hold on to.

    But to be honest...if you are not physically strong enough (and aggressive enough) to fistfight, I doubt that either keys or corksrews or any other 'weapon' that involves close contact with an assailant will be a threat or wielded effectively. The advantage of pepper/sprays is that they are effective from--and can put some distance between you and your assailant. Much the same can be said for cyclists who ride with a ******.

    On my world tour I carried an old fashion riding crop; sort of the tool jockeys use to whip their horses. I used it central america a couple times (never hit anyone, but swung it at a few). You cna get it from a leather shop, your local dominatrix, or your local girlie man.

    In the spirit of Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, I suggest you read about these issues in my subpage cycling in dangerous places.

    roughstuff
    Electric car sales are on fire! :)

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    A) Are you honestly going to have time to find your keys and arrange them properly in your hand if you're attacked? Seems like the time would be better spent running.

    B) What keys? I don't carry any keys when cycling. Even if I did carry my keys, there are only two keys on the ring, my car key and my house key. And the house key isn't always on there as I don't lock my house very often. But I suppose that's an indication that I don't really need to worry much about being attacked.

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    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughstuff
    On my world tour I carried an old fashion riding crop; sort of the tool jockeys use to whip their horses. I used it central america a couple times (never hit anyone, but swung it at a few). You cna get it from a leather shop, your local dominatrix, or your local girlie man.
    LOL. Brilliant!

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    I used to have troubles with dogs while riding my bike. After I caried a pepper spray I did not have any problem with dogs any more. Dogs knew that I had confedences and ready to attack them. I had one rottweiler running home when I scolded at him with a pepper spray in my hand.

  18. #18
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    along the same lines as a riding crop:

    http://www.coldsteel.com/sjambok.html

    for $11, it's non-lethal, and you can tie it to your bike rack pointed out to the left to keep cars away... or use it as a flagpole for your recumbent


    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    LOL. Brilliant!
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzyQ
    I am a small female and tho I try to plan ahead, I sometimes find myself riding thru sketchy neighboorhoods at night by myself. Have been thinking about carrying mace or pepper spray, am wondering if anyone has any experience or suggestions on these options? Also, I am terrified of dogs and am wondering if either of these products work work in a dog attack situation as well.

    Thx for your feedback!
    Hi Suzy,

    It's good you're thinking about personal security, and not just trying to calm your fears with bromides about having "confidence", the "right attitude", and so on. Those things are important, to be sure, but in the real world sometimes you need more than inner peace.

    Before saying anything about the pepper spray, I'll say this. Can you leave those neighborhoods? Avoid them on your route? Or even move? I'm not kidding here. If these places are freaking you out, then there's a good reason to be somewhere else.

    Nowhere is perfectly safe, of course, and sometimes life being what it is you live in a place with some risk. I understand. But it's worth mentioning.

    I'll say this, too. When it comes to specific dicey situations, the best thing to do is avoid them. Turn tail and ride the other way, even if it seems to the whole world you're afraid.

    Weapons shouldn't change this way of thinking. If anything, you should be more careful to avoid trouble if you've got a weapon, and that includes pepper spray. If you think you might have to use it, try and find a way out. The idea should be, if you're pulling it out, you're going to use it. And if you're going to use it, you're in a *bad* situation already.


    Pepper Spray:


    All right, that said, get pepper spray, not mace. Mace is usually more strictly controlled than pepper spray, and harder to get.

    Pepper spray varies in its intensity. The proper way to measure it is by Scoville Heat Units, or SHU. *Don't* pay attention to the concentration of oleoresin capsicum in the formula-- that's what the manufacturers usually emphasize when they sell pepper spray at 5%, or 10%, or whatever. Look at the SHU rating, usually some number in the millions.

    Or, you can save time, and go here and buy this:

    www.foxlabs.com

    Fox labs' sprays are over 5 million SHU, about twice the intensity of the stuff you can buy at the army surplus store or most *** shops. That's what I use. Tough stuff.

    I'd love to see a cyclist with the shoulder sling and metal tank sometime. But you probably can get away with a 3 oz unit.

    Do yourself a favor and don't keep the spray in your pocket. Even with the "safety" top on the unit you're going to make the canister squirt a little spray as you move about. Then, you can count on your skin being irritated near the saturation point every time you wear those pants for weeks. *Several* washings won't help. Trust me here.

    You'll have to decide about your purse. But unless you want your hands itching every time you reach in there, make sure the canister isn't pressed against anything.

    Don't get the foam, that stuff is hard to aim properly at any distance. But if you use the spray, *don't* spray it into the wind.

    The stuff really works, though bear in mind really angry people and drunk people are less affected. If you buy some, spray yourself sometime and see what it's like. If you dare....

    It is murder on dogs-- if you can spray them. Most dogs are pretty cagey, though. The aggressive ones, especially, have had people throw things at them, try to hit them with sticks, and so on, so if you are going to try to spray them they usually keep their distance. If you do spray a dog, though, trust me, he won't forget. You probably won't have any trouble ever again with that dog.

    Dog problems are another topic altogether, though, and there about seventeen hundred threads on the topic all through this forum. Have a look at those.

  20. #20
    Senior Member TechJD's Avatar
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    mace is illigal to use in some area and so is pepper spray, but it's more widely accepted
    and there is also a foam pepper spray garreented to stick and burn
    and if all else fails you can make your own pepper spray
    I have a recipie
    79 Schwinn Continental II
    Ride cause you enjoy it!

  21. #21
    riding a Pinarello Prince orguasch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehenz
    They both work better than fists and feet (in most cases). Go to the local police supply store (usually in a *** shop) and they will get you what you need.

    Good luck and stay safe,

    ehenz
    while there get a Glock 17, it a 9 mm and carry a whopping 19 rounds, you can't get wrong on this one, that is a very good deterrent, and start practising or get lesson on how to shot
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  22. #22
    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    I just tried it with my bundle of keys, using the key ring and the bundle as a handle. My front door key between my index finger and middle finger popped a hole in the fabric chair of one of my absent coworkers. The kryptonite flat key between my ring and middle finger dented the fabric. I'm sure if I aimed for the eyes, it'd do some kinda damage.
    The best way to use keys like this is to rake them across the face, especially the eyes, or across the back of someone's hand where they have grabbed you, or any area where skin covers bone or tendon close to the surface and the skin can be ripped or shredded.

    This is not meant to debilitate someone. It is meant only to provide a distraction. During the small period of time they are distracted, you are granted the opportunity to escape or apply a more damaging technique.

    Application of these types of techniques does require a good measure of presence of mind.

    Dan
    There is nothing homlier than the face on your last dime.
    --John Wildcat, Greenback Friend

  23. #23
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    Obviously, it is not a great idea to ride alone at night in many areas. If you are ever close enough to a human attacker to get more pepper spray on him than you get on yourself, you have gotten way too close. You don't want to be close enough to have to use that stuff.

    A bike and rider weighing 150 pounds or 200 pounds and moving twenty miles an hour is NOT something a person wants to be in front of. Bright lights will tell someone you are coming, and putting on speed tells them you are not stopping. Ride near the center of the street, have bright lights, ride fast, and don't slow down when someone says "hey, you looking for something..." Don't speak...just keep accelerating.

    If you ride fast in the dark, people can not be sure who YOU are. When I am wearing dark shorts and a white helmet, plus the bright lights on my bike, I sometimes hear people on the sidewalks saying stuff like "Put that stuff away, that guy is a cop"...the police patrol my town on bikes, wearing shorts, white helmets, and riding bikes with bright lights.

  24. #24
    Just riding andygates's Avatar
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    Dogs: just ride faster. Bad neighbourhoods: pick arterial routes and just ride faster. Bright lights are good for both as they say "vehicle".

  25. #25
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    If we are talking about a sub-human attacking you than I would recommend oven-cleaner. It will stop them in their tracks. Possibly blind them (too bad) and mark them for identifcation. Unlike pepper spray it doesn't spread back by the wind (too heavy).
    If we are talking about dogs - pepper spray.

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