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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 07-27-13, 08:27 AM   #1
kvw1988
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Personal Safety and Protection

Where I live we have some really nice trails to use for biking and running, my concern though is my personal safety. I've never had any incidents where I have felt uncomfortable by someone else on these trails but there are a lot of crazy people out there and there's always a first. I bought a mace holder for my bike that attaches to my handlebars but I have to wonder what else could I do. It would be ideal to have a friend go along with me but sometimes that's just not possible and I don't want to sit at home on a nice day with a perfectly good bike because of something may or may not happen. I'll usually go on the weekends when there are more families and groups going out. We also don't have a lot of bike paths on the roads where I live and honestly I'm more scared of those than the trails, no one pays attention to them.

Anyway other than mace, having my bike properly maintained and telling someone where I'm going is there anything else I can do?
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Old 07-27-13, 09:10 AM   #2
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I know someone who has their ride live update on the web, and his wife can see if he's stopped for too long. That would require something like a Garmin 510 and a smartphone with signal etc however.
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Old 07-27-13, 09:35 AM   #3
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There was an attack of a cyclist on a local bike/ped path by 15 teenagers recently. But things like that, are not a common occurrence on the regional bike/ped paths. While they are a common occurrence on the roads.
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Old 07-27-13, 10:08 AM   #4
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Strange that such a "common occurrence" is rarely reported even by the ever vigilant posters on the A&S forum, much less the news media. Perhaps your and my definitions of common are not the same? Even once a day throughout the entire US among many thousands of daily bike trips is not "common". All too frequent, I might agree with but calling gang style attacks on the open roads common is nothing but fear mongering.
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Old 07-27-13, 10:12 AM   #5
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Old 07-27-13, 11:03 AM   #6
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Not much you can do to deter a determined attacker, so try to focus on defending yourself. Just like a firearm, practice drawing and using your mace so it becomes ingrained and you'll be aware of it's range/pattern. Practice attack scenarios, and using your bike to separate you and an attacker. Call out "two back" when passing to give the impression of a group. And, remember that not all dangerous people look scary.
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Old 07-27-13, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpeters11 View Post
I know someone who has their ride live update on the web, and his wife can see if he's stopped for too long.

Damn, there goes the relaxed evening stop at the local watering hole.
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Old 07-27-13, 11:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kvw1988 View Post
. . . Anyway other than mace, having my bike properly maintained and telling someone where I'm going is there anything else I can do?
Welcome to BROL.

I'd first suggest a strong focus on the biggest risks. As far as I know those are found in our own skills and riding habits, excess speed in congested trail areas, and potentially fatal problems at the intersections of trails with motor vehicle traffic. In many thousands of miles in a variety of settings on trails and on the road all my injuries have been minor and all but one self inflicted. The only time another human has harmed we was while I was stationary and waiting to complete a left turn at the same time a drunk driver came along.

If you ride in areas were you have an special level of concern about attack, you might want to look into a good self defense class. No matter what your body type or athletic prowess quality instruction and practice can equip you well to deal with a variety of situations.
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Old 07-27-13, 11:59 AM   #9
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Old 07-27-13, 01:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howsteepisit View Post
Strange that such a "common occurrence" is rarely reported even by the ever vigilant posters on the A&S forum, much less the news media. Perhaps your and my definitions of common are not the same? Even once a day throughout the entire US among many thousands of daily bike trips is not "common". All too frequent, I might agree with but calling gang style attacks on the open roads common is nothing but fear mongering.
It was mentioned on A&S. I just didn't include the link to the BF posting or any of the news articles.

Here are two links about the story that was already posted: http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/06/...nch-trail.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...b5a_story.html

Also, When I said 'common', I meant to the extent of this attack on the local trail. Of course nationwide trail attacks of this nature is not 'common', but frequent. But I definitely agree with you, about the fear mongering on the roads.

Last edited by Chris516; 07-27-13 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 07-27-13, 02:37 PM   #11
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... And, remember that not all dangerous people look scary.
And not all scary-looking people are dangerous. What was that line from, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

"I'm not really bad, they just draw me that way."

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Old 07-27-13, 05:30 PM   #12
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And not all scary-looking people are dangerous. What was that line from, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

"I'm not really bad, they just draw me that way."
No matter how often I tell people that, they still run away from me.
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