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Old 09-11-05, 11:34 AM
Dirt Worshiper
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Originally Posted by Roody
My sister used to ride in Humboldt Co. (Laytonville area) day and night. She says she never had problems with humans, even though some get a little paranoid at harvest time, maybe.

There are bears and cougars, no?
I live in a more human filled area than Laytonville, far more people than bears or cougars. I live and go to school in Arcata, a small college town I would not hesitate to ride around in. I work in Eureka, a city with accompianying sketchy areas, one of which I happen to work in. Between these two places is a bay, around which there is no super happy bike route.
There are 1 ways around the bay, neither of which have any businesses open at night. There is a freeway, which I feel fine riding on during the day, although it is not the most relaxing ride. That particular area of it has a somewhat recent 50 mph speed limit, usually a decent sized shoulder with lots of debris. At night it is a bizzare ride, between rushes of cars very surprised by my existance and the occasional stretches with zero cars when it feels really isolated in both a beautiful and creepy way.
There is a few-mile-longer route around the bay, (which I also would not hesitate to use during the day), that has houses, crossroads, a smaller shoulder, and a 55 mph speed limit. It goes through an area that is slightly sketch, although this character is exagerated here, and has more people about during the night. I have never seen people walking, hitching or hanging on the freeway in the middle of the night except right by town, but I do see them on the pennisula route. More people equals, in the harshest view of human existance, more potential attackers and more potential wittnesses.
I haven't taken this route at night yet mostly because they have comparable risks, so I take the shorter route. Although, there are at least roads filled with houses I could change a flat on instead of the side of the freeway. Maybe I should try it.
Anyhow those are my only two options by bike, there are no good or safe routes. I have had a decent, although not great, light set up. I have been carrying a cell phone and defense spray on my handlbars. I despise cell phones and am not such a fan of chemical weapons either. So, after commuting by bike for a little bit I have confirmed two feelings of mine. 1.) I really like commuting by bike, a whole lot, I want to continue this habit in my life as long and as often as possible 2.) I don't feel safe riding in the middle of the night, especially on a regular basis. Thus, I am going to try to change my schedule, which I probably should have friggin done in the first place. I didn't even like getting to work at 11 pm when I was driving.
I think I will continue to ride to work until I accomplish this though, (especially since I am riding my first metric century this upcoming weekend, don't want to stop riding so much right now). Am glad I tried it, I actually feel tougher or more confident or something because of it, (grins sheepishly). And thanks to everyone for all these great tips.
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