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Old 04-10-14, 01:07 PM   #1
Badgerjohn
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Personal Safety While Touring

All,

Just curious about personal safety and what methods, rules etc... you employ, to avoid any harm or trouble that may arise. IE: getting robbed, or assaulted by some crazy person.

I will be touring Maine this summer and just want to be safe.

I will carry pepper spray for dogs for sure.

Thanks,

John
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Old 04-10-14, 01:14 PM   #2
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Maine..... nothing. Nothing more than the same level of care you take in your everyday life.

If you pack heat to go to the mall, do that. If you go unarmed, but aware... do that. Touring doesn't add a level of danger above a common trip to the mall.
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Old 04-10-14, 01:18 PM   #3
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Whatever you do, please don't turn this thread into a gun debate. Gun threads get moved to P&R, where they are promptly assaulted by more crazy persons than you can shake a stick at.

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Old 04-10-14, 01:21 PM   #4
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Oh sorry, I had no intention of a gun debate. Just safety.

Thanks
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Whatever you do, please don't turn this thread into a gun debate. Gun threads get moved to P&R, where they are promptly assaulted by more crazy persons than you can shake a stick at.

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Old 04-10-14, 01:26 PM   #5
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The pepper spray I'm bringing for dogs will be the same pepper spray I use on people if I have to , but I don't expect to have to.

Think about it this way--a lot of crime is because of an easy opportunity for crime (careless person, unlocked bike, etc) but if you show up to an area looking and smelling like you've been on the road for a few days, on something as foreign and complicated looking as a loaded touring bike, YOU'D be the crazy one that people would feel they had to arm themselves against
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Old 04-10-14, 02:50 PM   #6
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I've been harrassed only twice since 1987. Both teenage red neck boys. The first time I smiled and waved (don't ever flip them off). The second time was more serious and there was three of them. I won't go into it except to say I talked my way out of it. They wanted me to start something but I never gave them a reason.
Teenage boys are usually idiots. They like to show off in front of their friends. Enough said.
Next time I will fake a foreign language or throw a prayer their way.

Last edited by boomhauer; 04-10-14 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 04-10-14, 03:21 PM   #7
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The one question I ask when someone tells me how dangerous some place is to ride a bike is. "Have you been there?"

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Old 04-10-14, 05:44 PM   #8
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Sort of along the lines of what capejohn is saying ...

One way I look at it is this ... (might be a little bit hard to explain) ...

How do you feel about living and cycling in the area where you live? You probably go to work, go shopping, go for a ride on the weekends, etc. etc. and hardly give it a second thought. Unless you happen to live in some really awful place, chances are you feel reasonably comfortable and fairly safe going through your normal daily activities.

We all (or most of us, I hope) live in reasonably decent places, or places that we've deemed to be suitable where we can go about our business with feelings of safety and comfort. And these places are dotted all over the world.

Therefore if you decide to come to my part of the world, and I feel reasonably comfortable there, why shouldn't you?

And if I decide to go to your part of the world, and you feel reasonably comfortable there, why shouldn't I?

When I came to the realisation that people (including fellow cyclists) are happily living in the areas I wanted to tour, my nervousness and worry about those areas was reduced.

Of course, we still pay attention to our surroundings and take precautions as we would anywhere.

There is a good thread going in General Cycling right now about Anxiety while Cycling (or something like that) with lots of excellent suggestions for the precautions we might take while cycling in our own area ... or anywhere else.
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Old 04-10-14, 07:34 PM   #9
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If you hear banjos....

Keep riding.
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Old 04-10-14, 07:50 PM   #10
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This topic hits home for me right now, since I'm saving for a tour of Arizona in July. Rationally I know that the state of Arizona is probably just as nice a place as Ontario (and a whole friggin' lot safer than biking in or around Toronto), but I can still feel a bit of fear creeping into the back of my mind, along with various "what if" scenarios that will probably never happen.

Since I'm planning on camping in the desert, though, I wonder what kind of dangerous wildlife might be there, and just how bad a rattlesnake bite can be.
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Old 04-10-14, 08:35 PM   #11
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This topic hits home for me right now, since I'm saving for a tour of Arizona in July.
Your biggest safety issues will be the heat and staying hydrated in July.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:17 PM   #12
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Whatever you do, please don't turn this thread into a gun debate. Gun threads get moved to P&R, where they are promptly assaulted by more crazy persons than you can shake a stick at.

--Juha, a Forum Mod

Since when? I have seen threads that went on for pages. If they were just political type threads, fair enough, but if they are serious about whether to carry, or bear defence, I don't see why they would get moved if they were on point. This isn't a gun forum, or a political forum, but it isn't a tent, hammock or cell phone forum either. Those tools are discussed frequently.

I say the above never having carried on a bike tour, or felt a terribly big need to. I did do one trail in Quebec, where I saw so much bear sign it was literally like cow sign had one been following a trail drive. I bought bear spray for the next time I did that route, but forgot it at home, and saw no sign at all. Roughly the same time of year.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:30 PM   #13
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Your biggest safety issues will be the heat and staying hydrated in July.
+1, sounds like a bad idea. Arizona in March was fantastic. 80s.
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Old 04-11-14, 12:15 AM   #14
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I am in the "do whatever you do in your normal daily life" camp. I also think that you are better off not dreaming up stuff to worry about. Given that I live in a semi urban area, I figure that if anything I am safer on tour than at home.
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Old 04-11-14, 05:42 AM   #15
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I will be touring Maine this summer and just want to be safe.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Of mosquitoes.
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Old 04-11-14, 05:44 AM   #16
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+1, sounds like a bad idea. Arizona in March was fantastic. 80s.
Did I see on the news the other day that it has already topped 100 in Phonenix in April?
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Old 04-11-14, 05:48 AM   #17
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and just how bad a rattlesnake bite can be.
It can be fatal to your health and your wallet, although if you end up dying despite treatment you might not care about the cost.
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Old 04-11-14, 06:13 AM   #18
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Be afraid. Be very afraid. Of mosquitoes.
Good point.

Badgerjohn, you're gonna need a bigger can of pepper-spray.

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Old 04-11-14, 11:47 AM   #19
Badgerjohn
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the damn horse flies are the worst up here. can't out run them.
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Good point.

Badgerjohn, you're gonna need a bigger can of pepper-spray.

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Old 04-11-14, 12:22 PM   #20
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In Maine, your main safety risk would be getting attacked by mosquitoes or rogue lobsters. I would be much more concerned about traffic.
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Old 04-11-14, 12:39 PM   #21
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And the the Moose population is largely stuffed and mounted these days .
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Old 04-11-14, 02:15 PM   #22
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I forgot about mooses. Now that I would be afraid of if encountered on the road. They can be mean.
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Old 04-11-14, 02:27 PM   #23
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Basically I always carry a nice little folding pocket knife that I use purely for opening boxes, cutting tags and other assorted work duties. That is it's only purpose. Sometimes I am away from work and there are larger less cardboard boxes, luckily I haven't had to open any of those larger less cardboard boxes but if you look like you would be punching said box with a knife most boxes would want to be in another area away from your knife wielding box punching hand. I have also used U-Locks to scare people off.

Generally what I find is if I act crazy most people don't want to mess with me. I remember many years ago flicking off some idiot in one of those big Ford Expeditions, who was driving like a jackass, and he gets out with his son ready for a fight. I start yelling and pulling out my cell phone which was in a silver duct tape case and he thought it was a gun (not my intention) and went off running trying to keep the poo from falling from betwixt his cheeks. I went at him crazy and he backed off. Most of the time though I am friendly and can just use words to get out of a bad situation.

All that being said I would agree with most of the others, don't change what you do in your normal daily life. Things aren't really that dangerous and much of the news is heavily played up to get ratings and to make you fearful to sell more products. Yes the world is unpredictable and things can go south at any time but usually most of the time it is hunky dory.
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Old 04-11-14, 06:12 PM   #24
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If you hear banjos....

Keep riding.
I have a couple of roads like that not more than a half hour ride from my house!
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Old 04-11-14, 06:20 PM   #25
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OP,

If it is Hwy 1 you are considering then traffic is going to be a huge danger factor. This is not a fun ride and far from the idyllic coastal ride you might think it to be.

My advice is to either find a different location to tour or do the tour with automobile assist. Use your car to travel to each of the peninsulas and explore them by bike. The peninsulas are simply beautiful and well worth exploring.
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