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Experience with pepper spray?

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Experience with pepper spray?

Old 02-19-18, 04:26 PM
  #1  
linberl
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Experience with pepper spray?

I had some idiot teens try to run me off the bikeway today. As a 68 year old female who rides alone often, I was ill prepared for these morons. Anyone had any experience using pepper spray or something else to deter jackoffs while riding? I also encounter off leash dogs when I'm out walking my dog so that might be another use for it. Does it work on a moving person? Or am I more likely to zap myself, lol? Suggestions welcome.
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Old 02-19-18, 04:32 PM
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Yes. As long as they aren't all jacked up on PCP or some other psychoactive type self meds. look up lots of youtube vids see things to avoid - mainly don't spray into the wind.
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Old 02-19-18, 04:55 PM
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I've thought about carrying some OC spray along with me in case of aggressive dogs (almost got bitten once, nipper just got the heel of my shoe) and possible road rage incidents. Something I hope I'd never have to use but would hate to not have in case I really needed it. I suppose I could just carry a jar of my Carolina Reaper hot sauce and throw it in their eyes...
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Old 02-19-18, 04:58 PM
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I carry pepper spray with me on my bike and have used it effectively against dogs...the trick is to spray behind your wind envelope in a sweeping motion across the animal's path so they run into it. I have prepped it against humans, but when their eyes focused and they noted my relative size, they backed off. Look at your various alternatives and read how to deploy to see which suits your situation best...pick something with an eye towards how you want to carry it---easily reachable, minimum fumble to trip the safety and ease of directional control.

I have bear spray as well, but that is ONLY for bear country---it is extremely hazardous and probably illegal against dogs and humans---avoid it unless bears are your threat.

Last edited by Stormsedge; 02-19-18 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 02-19-18, 06:30 PM
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How about something like this ?
PepperBlaster
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Old 02-19-18, 06:50 PM
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I would seriously recommend pulling out the cell phone and dialling 911 asap.

If they're psycho enough to mess with you they'll lose their **** if you pull a can of mace, and miss.

Best to have the phone dialing and have a quick chat with the dispatcher. You don't want a Clockwork Orange scenario going down.

I'm truly disgusted that happened to you.
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Old 02-19-18, 07:00 PM
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I carry pepper spray, velcro strapped to my headtube. Never used it. Most dogs will back down with a squirt of the water bottle, or at least, all I've run against have. Dialing 911 is fine except there may not be a LEO within miles. Not a bad idea to have something that may buy you some time to get away, or possibly deter something more serious. Keep in mind wind direction, you don't want to be the recipient of your own shot. And I can't envision any effective use against someone in a car trying to run you off the road. It's a pretty close range, in your face type of weapon.(no pun intended)
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Old 02-19-18, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I would seriously recommend pulling out the cell phone and dialling 911 asap.

If they're psycho enough to mess with you they'll lose their **** if you pull a can of mace, and miss.

Best to have the phone dialing and have a quick chat with the dispatcher. You don't want a Clockwork Orange scenario going down.

I'm truly disgusted that happened to you.
I'm laughing, sorry, but calling 911 over kids on bikes hassling me would result in nothing around here...... maybe in a small town you'd get a response but here they are waaaay too busy dealing with real crimes. I did call the non-emergency # later just so they would have a record of it. I love your optimism, though!!!
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Old 02-19-18, 07:57 PM
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Pepper Spray

I carry a Kimber, Pepper Blaster. Itís a two shot direct aim deployment system. Highly effective.
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Old 02-19-18, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I'm laughing, sorry, but calling 911 over kids on bikes hassling me would result in nothing around here...... maybe in a small town you'd get a response but here they are waaaay too busy dealing with real crimes. I did call the non-emergency # later just so they would have a record of it. I love your optimism, though!!!
I didn't really think of them responding, just to scare off the kids with the dispatcher on speaker phone. "911 what's your emergency" will get them to back off and find a squirrel to hassle. Maybe keep the line open, in case they get bolder?

I guess how serious are we talking here? Not serious enough to report it asap but serious enough to mace kids?

I mean, are these fourteen year olds or eighteen year olds? Are they wheel sucking you or body checking you? Just taunting?

Are you ready to deal with very angry young men? The best way is de-escalation imo.

Last edited by GrainBrain; 02-19-18 at 08:17 PM. Reason: Added "asap"
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Old 02-19-18, 08:13 PM
  #11  
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Pepper spray is a close range weapon. Effective if used appropriately. Under duress when you've never actually used it before, it's much less likely to be effectively employed.

And how dangerous do you figure these teens are? You're not likely to be able to get all of them. Are you sure the remaining ones wouldn't attack you?

If you're certain they really aren't dangerous, are you sure pepper spray wouldn't be an overreaction? Depending on who they are, are you confident their parents wouldn't claim you viciously attacked their poor baby with a dangerous chemical when they were innocently riding past you? That could end up being an expensive and annoying legal PITA.
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Old 02-19-18, 09:23 PM
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People riding directly at me on purpose with the intention of hitting me or forcing me off the road (which could easily damage me and/or my bike) is a good enough reason imo to respond in whatever way I can to defend myself short of causing them permanent injury. I don't bend like I used to - at 68 things break and take a long time to heal unfortunately. So I don't believe it is inappropriate for me to use less than bodily-force to protect myself. I was talking about this with my son who is 30 y o and 6 feet tall and he said he wished they had done it to him - he would have left them as road smears - but there is a reason they chose a "little old lady". Cowards. So my hope is that having pepper spray in my hand would be enough to deter the little aholes from riding at me - I would definitely recognize them if they were riding the pathway. First and only time this has ever happened but I'm not interested in having it happen a second time and ending up hurt or with a wrecked bike. It was a joke to them but not to me. My bike is expensive and is also my "car" so I'm not okay with letting them cause damage to it (or me, for that matter).
I am open to other ideas, as I did request suggestions. I was also thinking getting a helmet cam might be a deterrent. I don't need one for riding in traffic as I've not had any issues (other than an occasional right hook) but it might deter these kids if they are filmed.
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Old 02-19-18, 10:59 PM
  #13  
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Mace gun comes out in a stream so you do not get the back blow.
https://www.amazon.com/Mace-Defense-...rch&th=1&psc=1
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Old 02-19-18, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexanderLS View Post
I'd suggest pepper gel/foam.
Foam is kind of like a pepper shotgun, close/wide range no blowback. Pepper gel hits more precise at a greater range on your target, it also has the benefit of no blowback.

I'm a fan of Sabre HC-14-CPG-BK-US. It has nice casing over the canister and a quick release mechanism that allows you to get at it quickly.

I've only used pepper foam once against a dog. It deterred the dog but I've read it can make some dogs more aggressive and angry so be prepared for that possibility. If you want to be more humane during your dog walks, you could carry vinegar water or some other more mild dog deterrent.
I will check that out. The only time I would use it on a dog is if it actually attacked me or my dog. She was jumped by a pit bull once that an owner had tied out on too long a lead, but fortunately the guy was like 300lbs of pure muscle and he just picked his dog up. That would have been a situation I would otherwise have used it; I'm not gonna let my dog get killed if I can help it and I know enough to not get in the middle. Too bad they don't make something that just sticks to the dog's face so it can't see.
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Old 02-20-18, 12:12 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by AlexanderLS View Post
Maybe take a stun cane/cattle prod in case the spray isn't enough.
Experts say that no spray is effective against a truly aggressive dog.
The stun cane/hiking stick/cattle prod would give you a little range.
You could of course just go with a good old regular stick/bat, It's not humane or pleasant but if your dogs life is on the line don't be afraid to put the hurt on an aggressive dog.
I've got my grandad's shalaylee in the garage; maybe time to get it out. That sucker has a huge knob on it!!! And it wouldn't look quite so weird carrying it around, lol.
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Old 02-20-18, 03:05 AM
  #16  
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Currently wife and I have this when biking/walking ..... https://www.sabrered.com/pepper-spra...p-belt-holster .... and in car/home. No blow back with gel. Primary is S&W Body Guard 380 w/laser.
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Old 02-20-18, 04:33 AM
  #17  
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I do not want to dissuade you form defending yourself, but if you escalate, be ready for them to also.

Probably if you mace one in the eyes, the rest will also stop.

911 is fine ... response times average about 11 minutes I guess.

If you Really think you cannot be safe riding somewhere without a weapon ....

If you do mace someone once, you could never ride there again---those people might wait for you seeking revenge.

I might wonder if it really was worth it to ride there----risk assessment.

Last edited by BillyD; 03-20-18 at 02:02 PM. Reason: Gun talk deleted
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Old 02-20-18, 04:53 AM
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I noted that you're from CA. Better check your laws regarding carrying any type of pepper spray.

That being said, I carry Halt! spray when I ride. It's the stuff the US Postal Service gives to the letter carriers. I've only had one occasion where I had to use it (a very aggressive country dog decided the entire road was part of his territory, and unfortunately "his territory" was uphill, so I couldn't out-run him). I waited until I was certain he intended to bite, and gave him a short squirt. He put the brakes on pretty quickly. I don't know how effective it would be against a person, but I bet it would give you enough time to get away. Just make sure you can get to it quickly. It doesn't do much good if you have to fumble through a handlebar bag, or try to pull it out of a loaded jersey pocket.
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Old 02-20-18, 06:15 AM
  #19  
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Dogs are way different than people.

A dog who got sprayed will likely steer clear next time. A person you sprayed might come back with three friends and guns.

I am not trying to be alarmist. However, I know I lived in one city that had places I simply didn't go after a less-than-pleasant experience. It worked out well that one time, but I chose not to roll the dice with my safety.

I don't know anything about your situation. However, I Think (I surely don't know) if it was me, and I felt that I wasn't safe riding somewhere without a weapon, i simply wouldn't ride there.

On another hand, if you carry pepper spray and it helps you feel safe enough to ride there, so long as you never need it ... you have won a great victory. Do whatever you need to do.
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Old 02-20-18, 06:31 AM
  #20  
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It isn't really the dogs cyclists should be dealing with, it is their owners who clearly have not acted responsibility if they let their untrained dogs run wild. As to pit bull terriers, because they appeal to groups least likely to train them properly, they are a hazard.
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Old 02-20-18, 07:13 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
(snip)
So my hope is that having pepper spray in my hand would be enough to deter the little aholes from riding at me - I would definitely recognize them if they were riding the pathway. First and only time this has ever happened but I'm not interested in having it happen a second time and ending up hurt or with a wrecked bike. It was a joke to them but not to me. My bike is expensive and is also my "car" so I'm not okay with letting them cause damage to it (or me, for that matter).
I am open to other ideas, as I did request suggestions. I was also thinking getting a helmet cam might be a deterrent. I don't need one for riding in traffic as I've not had any issues (other than an occasional right hook) but it might deter these kids if they are filmed.
I can almost promise you that macing these punks will not discourage them next time - they'll probably just get mace cans of their own. As a grown man who grew up around a lot of "bullies" I learned how to ride smarter and develop advanced bike handling techniques.

I say "bullies" because most of them either had masculinity issues, at home issues, whatever. De-escalation is the best response always, you need them to recognize you as a fellow human being. With no personal connection they'll view you almost like an object, something to mess with and maybe get some cheap thrills and laughs - so just slow down and let them pass. Get eye contact and make a positive comment on their bike or how it's a nice day. Smile. Keep their heart rate and adrenaline low, and they will see no use in bothering you further. Maybe even next time they'll be courteous and yield; your previous interaction triggering latent memories of happier times with their mothers or grandmothers.

...

I'm not saying don't carry something for your protection, they could be psycho enough to escalate after you've tried your best to avoid confrontation. It's just that I cringe at the thought of them playing a little chicken, then having you mace them asap. I'd never want to try and mace three young guys, you better be able to sprint like a pro!

You'll go from a random side diversion to an epic confrontation the likes of which they'll be bragging about to their scummy peers. If they're thugs in training getting maced and beating the hell out of someone will give them street cred in jail, the finishing school of future gang leaders.

Good luck and happy riding!

Last edited by GrainBrain; 02-20-18 at 07:14 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 02-20-18, 07:42 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
People riding directly at me on purpose with the intention of hitting me or forcing me off the road (which could easily damage me and/or my bike) is a good enough reason imo to respond in whatever way I can to defend myself short of causing them permanent injury. I don't bend like I used to - at 68 things break and take a long time to heal unfortunately. So I don't believe it is inappropriate for me to use less than bodily-force to protect myself. I was talking about this with my son who is 30 y o and 6 feet tall and he said he wished they had done it to him - he would have left them as road smears - but there is a reason they chose a "little old lady". Cowards. So my hope is that having pepper spray in my hand would be enough to deter the little aholes from riding at me - I would definitely recognize them if they were riding the pathway. First and only time this has ever happened but I'm not interested in having it happen a second time and ending up hurt or with a wrecked bike. It was a joke to them but not to me. My bike is expensive and is also my "car" so I'm not okay with letting them cause damage to it (or me, for that matter).
I am open to other ideas, as I did request suggestions. I was also thinking getting a helmet cam might be a deterrent. I don't need one for riding in traffic as I've not had any issues (other than an occasional right hook) but it might deter these kids if they are filmed.
I have ZERO patience with anyone who suggest not defending ourselves because of possible repercussions. That's asinine and only further emboldens those who go through life bullying others. My suggestion is yes YOU GET ANGRY and DON'T PUT UP WITH IT.

But IF you do use pepper spray, IMMEDIATELY call the police, report what happened and make sure they know you were in fear for your safety as you felt you were being ASSAULTED. If the parents then go looking to make trouble, the police will then know who assaulted you. I doubt the kids' parents will be so anxious to make a lot of noise when they realize their little darlings can be charged with assault.

Point is MAKE SURE your story is the first one the police hear. Don't hesitate to call them, don't wait til you get home.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:34 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
I have ZERO patience with anyone who suggest not defending ourselves because of possible repercussions. That's asinine and only further emboldens those who go through life bullying others. My suggestion is yes YOU GET ANGRY and DON'T PUT UP WITH IT. Point is MAKE SURE your story is the first one the police hear. Don't hesitate to call them, don't wait til you get home.
Might I point out that a 68-year-old woman is Not the person who needs to start a fight with three young thugs? Might I point out that if she doesn't flee the area immediately, once the thugs recover a little they might well track her down and kill her accidentally, knock her down and break her hips without even knowing it might happen----or caring?

I would not encourage a young body-builder martial artist to pick a fight with three strangers. Was any of them carrying a knife or gun?

Also, as I mentioned "Call the Cops" is great ... if the cops are already so close they don't need to be called because they saw the incident and are already running over.

Otherwise ... what, should she stand there for ten minutes waiting? In ten minutes the thugs will be well able to retaliate and escape.

People who pull that macho stuff online ... whatever. I can tell you, in the real world you would learn your lesson quickly.

And did you miss that she is a 68-year-old woman?

Sorry but that is some stupid advice.

Escalating to using a weapon is a "Do it or Die" option, not a "Teach them a lesson" option. And one reason it is a "Do or Die" option is because you might die Because you used the weapon ... it is Not a Game. It is not the movies. It is not TV.

People get killed often enough---including women of a certain age---because they stood up to bullies. Righteousness and the moral high ground is no defense.

I don't like bullies, but shoot ... when I was Much much younger and extremely fit I barely got out of a situation with a gang of punks ... I could have taken out any two of them, but there were six or eight ... in their own neighborhood ... and that means their neighbors, parents, and big brothers and Their gang buddies were probably watching.

If I had started something, I might never have left that neighborhood. Knowing that---not in melodramatic, Hollywood-movie-scene imagination, but realizing "Wow, I am Deeeep in this stuff here," well .... I learned a lot of lessons. I am sure some folks would have earned Darwin awards.

I was able to walk the fine line between not showing fear and not provoking aggression, not looking weak and not looking threatening, and I managed to walk out of there ... but those punks Knew they were perfectly safe no matter what, and no amount of "I don't tolerate bullies" would have worked.

I got lucky ... but if I had maced some of them, .... well whatever.

Nowadays, old and fat and slow ... I would simply not get into that situation if I could avoid it.

You want to read something from someone who has a clue?

Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I can almost promise you that macing these punks will not discourage them next time - they'll probably just get mace cans of their own. As a grown man who grew up around a lot of "bullies" I learned how to ride smarter and develop advanced bike handling techniques.

I say "bullies" because most of them either had masculinity issues, at home issues, whatever. De-escalation is the best response always, you need them to recognize you as a fellow human being. With no personal connection they'll view you almost like an object, something to mess with and maybe get some cheap thrills and laughs - so just slow down and let them pass. Get eye contact and make a positive comment on their bike or how it's a nice day. Smile. Keep their heart rate and adrenaline low, and they will see no use in bothering you further. Maybe even next time they'll be courteous and yield; your previous interaction triggering latent memories of happier times with their mothers or grandmothers.
Notice "De-escalation." Unless this lady is a trained soldier carrying a full-auto weapon it is not likely a 68-year-old woman is going to fare well escalating to violence with a group of three young men.

That I would even have to type those words makes me feel embarrassed for anyone who has to be told.

Calling the cops is a fine idea .... she could take their pictures and share them with the police--if she could do it surreptitiously (helmet-mounted Go-Pro.) If she even pulled her phone out to photo them ... they would probably knock her down and take her phone. She could call the cops and give a good description ... but even then, if the cops hassled them, they'd think, That old lady snitched," and that is not a great thing in some circles.

On the other hand, if she acts unafraid, engages slightly, and makes them see her as a human, if only a little ... she might get home to post the story of her next ride.

Just my opinion.

Last edited by Maelochs; 02-20-18 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:38 AM
  #24  
mccornwall
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I carry Sabre Red in the stream formulation (not wide spray) and have used it on a dog exactly once. It immediately lost all interest in pursuing me. I have also pulled out a folding knife in one hand and spray in the other when I got tried to run me off the road and found me later fixing a flat. He pulled over and got out of his car. I pulled the items and told him to get back in his car. Fortunately for me, he did. Footing would have been a little dicey in cleats for CQB. After he left and the adrenaline dump petered out I continued my ride without incident. So I have deployed on a dog to excellent effect but never on a human thankfully. And hopefully never will. We're really at a disadvantage in these situation.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
I have ZERO patience with anyone who suggest not defending ourselves because of possible repercussions. That's asinine and only further emboldens those who go through life bullying others. My suggestion is yes YOU GET ANGRY and DON'T PUT UP WITH IT.
I'll bite

When it comes to defense, we have many choices at our disposal. I have suggested that macing a few punks would be a disproportionate response to what occurred. Had they turned around and followed her, then yes perhaps a greater response is warranted.

I am also not against her carrying mace, but I would strongly encourage the OP to take a course in personal defense before trying to deploy this against a threat. We had a situation last year where a woman was assaulted on our mup system - thankfully she got away with a few bruises after fighting off the attacker. This creep stalked her down, and was intent on harm. The punks that harassed the OP were doing just that, harassing. There's a big difference in how we treat harassers vs assaulters.

I didn't suggest slinking away and crying about it, it takes a lot more guts to face your harasser eye to eye then just blast them with mace and ride away. Human beings have been gifted with the tools of wit and empathy, along with our weapons. It's the clever individual that knows when and where to best use them.

Bullies do not grow up to be bullies in adulthood. Either they mature into decent human beings, or they become psychopaths. I promise you that psycho's are not deterred by force, they only will become more emboldened by it. To a psycho it's about the adrenaline rush, and power.
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