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I Have To Admit, I Was A Little Scared Last Night

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I Have To Admit, I Was A Little Scared Last Night

Old 01-21-14, 12:50 PM
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recumbenttoad
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I Have To Admit, I Was A Little Scared Last Night

I was riding home from my mother's last night after 10:00 and made a quick stop at a local eatery to get a sandwich to take home. As I was locking my bike up I noticed a car parked in an odd place by the building with voices and laughing coming form inside. For some reason my Spidey sense started tingling, so, I went to the door on the other side of the building to keep from walking by the car.

When I left a few minutes later, the car was still there and one of the passengers was out of the car smoking a cigarette and watching me as I unlocked my bike. As I rode off I took a wide berth around the car. The passenger snuffed out his cigarette and got back in the car as I rode off. Sure enough they started the car and started to follow. I rode quickly to a convenience store a few doors down just to be around some other people. I stood by the door waiting. The car pulled in an parked, and nobody got out for quite a while. I was taking a drink out of my water bottle trying to decide what to do - Go into the store? Call the police? Well, I didn't do either. I didn't want to go into the store and leave my bike outside and I didn't want to call the police and sound like a goof when the guys in the car hadn't done anything. I carry a gun, so, I took off my gloves (it was cold) in case I hade to grab it.

Finally, the passenger got out of the car and I jumped back on my bike and rode back the way I came. I got to a place where I could duck into some deep shadows and waited. After a while, they came back the same way also. I waited a bit, then took some back roads home. I left my gloves off and my lights off all of the way.

As I was riding home I was trying to figure out why the Spidey senses were tingling and it came to me rather quickly. Last July there was a cyclist shot in the leg late at night as he was riding home. The police investigated and decided that it was a random act of violence and the guys were never caught. I kind of remembered the description of the car and shooter that the cyclist gave the police and after checking the news article I was correct. The description the cyclist gave was of a late model black four-door vehicle. The shooter was a heavyset black male with a round face and long dreadlocks. This is the exact same description of the car and passenger I saw last night.

Was it the same people? I don't know. Did it scare me. Yes, it did. The city I live in just made the list of the 100 most dangerous place to live in the US. We came in at number 95 , but I still had no idea that this town of 160,000 had become that bad.

I really want to get back to commuting most of the time, but I just don't know how safe I feel on a bike at night here anymore.
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Old 01-21-14, 01:25 PM
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Always trust that gut instinct. Be glad you can carry in your state. In California, my only hope is that I'm faster than the guy next to me or that I can get to my knife fast enough.
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Old 01-21-14, 01:26 PM
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I've gotten scared suddenly, too. I like the term spidey sense, because I know just what you mean. When you get that feeling, go with your gut and get the heck out. I had a guy try to wave me down, as if he needed to ask for help, but I just drove away, as I was in my car at the time. My heart pounded for half the day after that.

I'm glad nothing came of it. You'll never know what happened. Their weird behavior might have had nothing to do with you, but that doesn't mean you were wrong to avoid them. You might have been right. I'm glad you're safe.

Do get back out there, though. If you have to avoid a neighborhood, that's fine, as long as it doesn't keep you living in fear.
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Old 01-21-14, 01:54 PM
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Sounds really alarming. Good for you to have a gun and sharp sense of what's going around. Being followed creepily is worse than just running into bad guys in shady neighborhood. What could be the motive in the reported shooting? Not robbery, just wanting to make trouble and kill cyclists?
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Old 01-21-14, 02:07 PM
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What could be the motive in the reported shooting? Not robbery, just wanting to make trouble and kill cyclists?
No motive was ever established. The guy that was shot didn't know the shooter.
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Old 01-21-14, 02:12 PM
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Carry a camera in future, and you'll get his license or even his person if you ran into him again (hopefully not).
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Old 01-21-14, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Carry a camera in future, and you'll get his license or even his person if you ran into him again (hopefully not).
I imagine the sort of guy who shot someone in the leg for fun would have few compunctions shooting someone in the face and taking his camera if he thought he could be identified.
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Old 01-21-14, 02:32 PM
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I didn't mean to take out your camera to snap a picture when you see him (who would do that), but just to have a bike video camera mounted on the bike or helmet as many cyclists do, which constantly records video, regardless whether there is an event or not.
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Old 01-21-14, 02:37 PM
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I'm not sure you are any more or less safe because you're commuting on a bicycle in a situation like you described. People walking, driving, or cycling all could have experienced the same thing you did. Glad nothing came of it.
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Old 01-21-14, 02:42 PM
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How and what do you carry? Considering trying to come up with a readily accessible carry method for biking, recently
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Old 01-21-14, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ben Beckerich View Post
How and what do you carry? Considering trying to come up with a readily accessible carry method for biking, recently
Well, I don't wear bike specific clothing to commute, so, I usually carry a S&W 642 or a Ruger LCP in a pocket. I'm probably going to start carrying a Glock 26 in Smartcarry holster to have something more at my disposal. I've also had two attempted break-ins in the last couple of years while I was in the house. This city isn't the city I grew up in. Heck, it's much more dangerous now than it was ten years ago.
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Old 01-21-14, 02:51 PM
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I'm guessing you called it in to the non-emergency number? Guys like this tend to keep doing this till they are stopped. Local cops should know he's in the area again.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:01 PM
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I'm kind of wondering what this has to do with bike commuting.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:11 PM
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Well, maybe it was a troll. Then I was fooled.

I didn't mention guns in my previous post, but I will now. I've never wanted to carry a gun, because I expect if I did, it would have the potential to escalate situations beyond where they tend to go. My viewpoint is further reinforced by the fact that crime is much lower around here than it used to be. I'm sorry to hear it's gone up in other places.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:25 PM
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In all fairness and frankly I don't see anything in the OP warranting the speculations in #13 . If he's that sophisticated a poster he wouldn't have mentioned going from his "mother's" place as you quoted. What's strange about sketchy neighborhood and gun-carrying appearing in the same post? Also there is a thread about carrying protection on this commuting forum.

(Edit: #13 referenced was deleted by mod; not the present #13)

Last edited by vol; 01-21-14 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 01-21-14, 03:37 PM
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What motivation do you guys think the OP has for trolling? He's been a member here for nearly 7 years and seems to post every once in a while.

For a little perspective, you can always click on the poster's name and choose "view forum posts".

Part of what we deal with as cyclists, commuting or otherwise, is safety. If a dog chases after me in my car, it's much different than on my bike. Riding out in the open is inherently more of a risk than driving in a car. There are people who would probably prefer to prey on those of us that are more "exposed".
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Old 01-21-14, 03:42 PM
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Riding a bike is safer than being in a car, even though our intuition tells us otherwise. Still, safety is certainly a concern.
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Old 01-21-14, 04:15 PM
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it's perfectly legal for a black suv driven by an african american with dreadlocks to follow a cyclist around. maybe the dude was worried about the OP and wanted to make sure that he stayed safe in what was apparently a rough neighborhood.

i also have no idea why we are discussing guns or violence in the context of this potential good samaritan narrative.
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Old 01-21-14, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
I'm kind of wondering what this has to do with bike commuting.
It's a concern that he has because there's a guy going around targeting cyclists.

This thread has been cleaned up of the posts regarding differences of opinions about guns or gun carrying. I think the main topic of this thread was how OP felt in the presence of this person. Let's keep it on topic, stop the politics of gun talk and the challenging of other members here.

Leisesturm please leave this thread.
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Old 01-21-14, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
an african american with dreadlocks
OP didn't say anything about the race,or even general description,about the occupants of the car. I'd expect it if it was a troll.

Maybe if the OP said where he lived? I can't see someone who's been here this long and mostly lurks just dropping a troll for no reason.
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Old 01-21-14, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
OP didn't say anything about the race,or even general description,about the occupants of the car.
Actually, he did.
Originally Posted by recumbenttoad View Post
As I was riding home I was trying to figure out why the Spidey senses were tingling and it came to me rather quickly. Last July there was a cyclist shot in the leg late at night as he was riding home. The police investigated and decided that it was a random act of violence and the guys were never caught. I kind of remembered the description of the car and shooter that the cyclist gave the police and after checking the news article I was correct. The description the cyclist gave was of a late model black four-door vehicle. The shooter was a heavyset black male with a round face and long dreadlocks. This is the exact same description of the car and passenger I saw last night.

Was it the same people? I don't know. Did it scare me. Yes, it did. The city I live in just made the list of the 100 most dangerous place to live in the US. We came in at number 95 , but I still had no idea that this town of 160,000 had become that bad.

I really want to get back to commuting most of the time, but I just don't know how safe I feel on a bike at night here anymore.
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Old 01-21-14, 06:08 PM
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Good on you for not escalating the situation, even if you had the means to do so. Stay safe, and definitely inform the police.
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Old 01-21-14, 06:10 PM
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Oops. Long day.
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Old 01-21-14, 06:16 PM
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Please come back to inform us if there is new development about either the previously reported case or your own case.
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Old 01-21-14, 06:51 PM
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Please contact the detectives assigned to the prior shooting and make a direct report to them. With the date, time and location of the two stores, the detectives may get some video showing the plate # and solve the shooting.
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