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Did the "sniper" change cycling in D.C., VA, and MD?

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Did the "sniper" change cycling in D.C., VA, and MD?

Old 10-10-02, 12:14 PM
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Alexey
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Did the "sniper" change cycling in D.C., VA, and MD?

I have been cycling this June from D.C. to Pittsburgh, PA, and back. Altogeter 1500 km.

I was in the area where this "sniper" is active now. There are very nice trails in there. Like W&OD trail, C&O Tow Path, Curtis trail in D.C.

I cycled on all these nice trails. There were very many cyclists on these trails.

I wonder if these trails are empty now or cyclists keep riding. I am trying to imagine what I would do in such circumstances.

I am not sure if I would cycle until he or she is caught.
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Old 10-10-02, 12:23 PM
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huh?
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Old 10-10-02, 12:26 PM
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I haven't noticed any changes in bicycle traffic, either on trails or on roads, since the sniper appeared.

The sniper appears to be attacking at gas stations, schools, and stores, rather than along roads and trails, so ithere is no reason to believe cyclists are particularly at risk.

The main change is that schoolchildren are not allowed outside during recess.

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Old 10-10-02, 12:36 PM
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I work less then a mile from the WOD and I have noticed less cyclists on the trail and on the roads, there may be other reasons for this change. I'm not counting today since it is raining.

In the last week I have been questioned more by my family and
co-workers about my rides at lunch. I have to carry every communications device I own just to get out the door.
I would say everyone is on edge, maybe less so in the counties of Arlington and Fairfax, just because no one has been shot in those jurisdictions.

My Mom and brother work in Montgomery County, and both of their offices have increased security and initiated building lock downs, so it's not just the kids who are locked in.

Just my random thoughts.
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Old 10-10-02, 01:00 PM
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I haven't changed my biking habits one bit. In fact, I feel safer on the trails because it's hard for cars and trucks to even get near the trails. All of the people shot were at gas stations or parking lots or malls mostly (one guys was mowing his yard I think). I will probably try to ride more often now because of this. I commute to work as much as possible and take the W&OD trail into work.

Luckily, I'm heading out of town this weekend to go ride in the Seagull Century, so no worries about this sniper this weekend.

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Old 10-10-02, 01:02 PM
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I cycled on W&O trail from International Airport Dulles to D.C. and on the way back from Leesburg to D.C.

Cyclochica, I have unrelated question to you. I was on the W&OD trail on 1JUN'02. There was a strong pleasant fragrance in the air at that time. It seemed it came from some small white flowers. Was it honeysuckle?
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Old 10-10-02, 01:12 PM
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Cyclochica, I have unrelated question to you. I was on the W&OD trail on 1JUN'02. There was a strong pleasant fragrance in the air at that time. It seemed it came from some small white flowers. Was it honeysuckle?
Alexey,

It could have been. Were they kind of bell shaped? I noticed Honeysuckle sporadically from mile markers 6 to about 19. I haven't been much further out than mile 21. I am not much of a plant person, but I would guess it was Honey Suckle, maybe one of the other DC area residents knows definitively.
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Old 10-10-02, 01:34 PM
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The probability of you being the target is too small to worry about. Bikes are quit so you are likely to see him first. There is a reward for catching him you know. And since I consider him a terrioist (foriegn or domestic) not changing my habits thawarts his purpose.
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Old 10-10-02, 01:43 PM
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I agree with not letting this person keep us from living our lives or enjoying ourselves. But I can understand why people are truly scared, he or she has been taking pot shots at people from a significant distance and as far as we know no one has seen this person.

Regardless, once the weather clears up I'm getting back on the trail.
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Old 10-10-02, 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by cyclochica
I agree with not letting this person keep us from living our lives or enjoying ourselves. But I can understand why people are truly scared, he or she has been taking pot shots at people from a significant distance and as far as we know no one has seen this person.

Regardless, once the weather clears up I'm getting back on the trail.
Good for you!
Just keep your eyes open, there has to be some clue - a truck or car out of place. tinted windows some one with a rifle is hard to hide and the rumor is is that it's a rifle not a pistol chambered for a rifle cartridge.

Good luck

Joe
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Old 10-10-02, 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by joeprim
The probability of you being the target is too small to worry about. Bikes are quit so you are likely to see him first. There is a reward for catching him you know. And since I consider him a terrioist (foriegn or domestic) not changing my habits thawarts his purpose.
Joe
Just a little side note, hitting a moving target is hard, as the speed of the target increases the difficulty also increases, so I guess keep riding and ride fast.
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Old 10-10-02, 07:46 PM
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Well here in Annapolis riding has changed. From working in a shop alot of people(roadies esp.) have increased their buying of trainers. Three in 2 days, when they can sit there for months. Two of the people said they were getting htem for winter and these shootings jsut brought it a need to buy now type of thing. Another person (from bowie) just felt unsafe on the road anymore
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Old 10-10-02, 09:20 PM
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I do not tink the media's title of this person as a "sniper" is accurate. A sniper is a cold and calculated craft. A sniper knows the target studies movement, habits, etc. looks waits for the best shot. Also field tactics is the most important. Although unconfirmed a white vehicle of multiple types has been witnessed in the event in question. However a skilled sniper would not leave anything for recognition. they collect their brass for one. They leave no calling cards no evidence, nothing but a corpse. Also a skilled and schooled usually selects a superior round to a .223. Just some observations based on knowledge of the craft.
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Old 10-10-02, 09:27 PM
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This person needs to be caught quickly. Anyone who wants attention that badly should get it, right away.
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Old 10-11-02, 05:15 AM
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Originally posted by Precision Pedal
I do not tink the media's title of this person as a "sniper" is accurate. A sniper is a cold and calculated craft. A sniper knows the target studies movement, habits, etc. looks waits for the best shot. Also field tactics is the most important. Although unconfirmed a white vehicle of multiple types has been witnessed in the event in question. However a skilled sniper would not leave anything for recognition. they collect their brass for one. They leave no calling cards no evidence, nothing but a corpse. Also a skilled and schooled usually selects a superior round to a .223. Just some observations based on knowledge of the craft.
Good points. I call him a terrorist.

Some obeservations:
Don't linger under lights get gas during the day.
Keep moving if possible.
He currently seems to operate near interstate Hwys

Joe
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Old 10-11-02, 06:08 AM
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Not being from the area, I might be somewhat desensitized to the effects these episodes are playing out in people's pysche, but it seems to me you have a better chance of being bitten by a mosquito that is carrying West Nile Virus then being shot by the sniper.

So lather up with Deet and don your kevlar body armour if it makes you feel safer, but get out and ride. If you disrupt your lifestyle because of this sicko, he / she wins.

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Old 10-11-02, 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by joeprim

Keep moving if possible.
Yes, I would agree. The moving target is much more difficult to hit. A modern fighter jet can be downed by a bullet, but the problem is to not miss it.

I would also suggest to rest on a trail not by sitting on a bench, but just sitting on the grass. Because it is closer to the ground. One can take some piece of clothing from home for this.

And certainly a pepper spray. You never know. It just seems that this "sniper" is invincible. He/she is also very vulnerable. A "sniper", however "professional", needs to lift a long rifle, which produces loud sound and even some smoke. He/she spends a lot of time searching for a suitable spot and a potential victim, etc.
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Old 10-11-02, 07:58 AM
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Alexey,
I don't want to come off wrong here but a sniper can use a silenced rifle smokeless loads and with the proper camo be virtually invisible.
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Old 10-11-02, 08:37 AM
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I live about 1/4 mile from the WO&D trial and I also bike on the roads. There has been a decline on the number of people I see out biking, running, walking, blading, etc. However, I think it's due to the temperature dropping in this area than the sniper threat. I don't think about it when I'm out there riding or running. I won't let this threat control my life.
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Old 10-11-02, 08:37 AM
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Another person was shot this morning at a gas station. This is getting scarier because this one is not far from where I live. There is a better description of a potential get-away vehicle. Hopefully this will all be over soon.
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Old 10-11-02, 09:05 AM
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Having lived in the DC area, and frequented the
W&OD trails all I have to say is be very careful. There are
alot of open areas, and alot of cover around the trails.
I believe that as the sniper's area of choice (gas stations?)
lessens he/she will begin to deviate in pattern and look
for targets in lesser areas of oppertunity.
The thing is, this person is hunting, its random, it is in
no way personal.
Very different than the archtypical serial killer, they were
for the most part up close and personal, used handguns
at close range and there was usually some thread of
commonality in the victims. Not so here. I would expect
the Va shootings will calm down but look for more incidents
in an ever widening circle around D.C. (Fredrick county,
PG county, he/she's already hit Spotslvania co.).
Please, be careful out there, this is one very calculated
and very very sick puppy.

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Old 10-11-02, 09:34 AM
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I live in a high-crime city. There is always some psycho taking potshots at someone here. You can't let the crazies rule your life.
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Old 10-11-02, 09:58 AM
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Pepper spray? Against a rifle? Get real. If you want to carry something for defense besides a cell phone it needs to be something you would use in long range target shooting. Could be a speciallized handgun. There are some accurate enough for 200 meter shots at simulated animals.

Joe
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Old 10-11-02, 10:08 AM
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If one notices this shooter from 200 meters all one has to do is to call the police. The army of investigators will arrive in minutes.

But in case if one bumps into this sniper, the spray may be effective.
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Old 10-11-02, 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by Paco
I live in a high-crime city. There is always some psycho taking potshots at someone here. You can't let the crazies rule your life.
Paco,
While its true there are crazies all over, with someone
taking potshots at someone daily, its very rare that someone
actually hunts victims. Usually murders are commited secondary
to another crime (i.e. shooting clerk at store being robbed), or
are directed at someone who the shooter knows (revenge,
heated argument etc.).
This is different. I'm not saying crawl into a hole and stop
living, I just think folks need to be aware of their actions,
and where they are riding/stopping.
Quiet, secluded bike trails are optimum target areas,
just by being secluded, wooded etc.
Marty
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