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How Do You Feel About Riding Through Bad Neighborhoods?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How Do You Feel About Riding Through Bad Neighborhoods?

Old 05-29-11, 01:25 PM
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How Do You Feel About Riding Through Bad Neighborhoods?

Perhaps this an irrational fear, but I'm a little concerned about it. It's not the riding part, because nobody is going to steal my bike while riding 20mph, but there are stop lights, etc. On the ride, I will pass by a park known for a high number of stabbings, shootings, and assaults. I'll also pass through a neighborhood known for its high amount of illegal immigrant drophouses, and is the center of gang activity in the Phoenix area. My ride there will be at about 3:30pm, but the way back would be about 9pm, and that has me more concerned, because I'm on a pretty flashy bike that someone could unload quickly.

I am going to my parents house tomorrow in Maryvale, and I would have to ride through West Phoenix to get there from Downtown. There are some pretty sketch areas and some very poverty stricken areas as well. I'm worried about drivers in that area especially uninsured ones. When I drive in the area, I notice that drivers seem to be of lesser skill and attention, and I'd be worried about a higher rate of intoxicated driving, especially on Memorial Day.

Is this irrational? Am I worried over nothing? Or should I just drive there?

Anyone with first hand experience at regularly riding through ghettos, what was your first ride like through a bad area?
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Old 05-29-11, 01:32 PM
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Sometimes it makes more sense to drive. We can't decide that for you.
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Old 05-29-11, 01:33 PM
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would you drive through there? if not. no.
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Old 05-29-11, 01:37 PM
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Take a motorcycle. You'll still be on two wheels and they'll have a harder time catching up with you!
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Old 05-29-11, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
would you drive through there? if not. no.
yes, and I do drive through there quite often.
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Old 05-29-11, 01:48 PM
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You sound like a little girl...
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Old 05-29-11, 01:51 PM
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Personally I wouldn't do it...
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Old 05-29-11, 01:53 PM
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I am very particular where I ride. If you wouldn't take a car there, I wouldn't pedal through there either.
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Old 05-29-11, 01:58 PM
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perhaps you can get more exercise by taking an alternate route? btw what crossroads?
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Old 05-29-11, 02:10 PM
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One time I got lost in the bad neighborhood for like 2 hours. It was fun. I asked for directions 3 times and never got shot once. It's not really a bad neighborhood. Just a place where people don't have a lot of dough. They are a bit rough around the edges, but there is no reason to be scared. Not being scared helps your odds.

Last edited by spock; 05-29-11 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:11 PM
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Drive to a shopping center or park in a "good" neighborhood, and ride from there. Then, drive back home. Otherwise, HTFU.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:16 PM
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I find that riding throught dangerous neighborhoods improves my average speed.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:22 PM
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Pack heat.

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Old 05-29-11, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WCG View Post
I find that riding throught dangerous neighborhoods improves my average speed.
That.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:33 PM
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Lol. Yeah. Great for training. A word of advice. When someone says "Nice bike", they aren't complimenting your good taste in crabon. Don't stop at that light for too long!
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Old 05-29-11, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
Lol. Yeah. Great for training.
On a trainer? I wouldn't recommend that even in a good neighborhood.
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Old 05-29-11, 02:40 PM
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No, as mentioned above, the speeds increase. I've known people who've been robbed, had their bikes stolen, and had bricks and bottles (40 oz) thrown at them. A "nice bike" especially increases my speeds!
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Old 05-29-11, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyBoyAz View Post
perhaps you can get more exercise by taking an alternate route? btw what crossroads?
I have to go from 7th Street and washington (great neighborhood) to 59th and Camelback (mediocre neighborhood) but there is no bike friendly route to get there except to go through the heart of Maryvale (awful neighborhood.)
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Old 05-29-11, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Vicelord View Post
I have to go from 7th Street and washington (great neighborhood) to 59th and Camelback (mediocre neighborhood) but there is no bike friendly route to get there except to go through the heart of Maryvale (awful neighborhood.)
perhaps you should just get some mean looking tats and sag your shorts
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Old 05-29-11, 02:51 PM
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Dont shave, dress like a junkie, act crazier than the homies and pretend you stole the bike. Seriously, Im with the if you dont like driving through the are dont ride through it camp.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyBoyAz View Post
perhaps you should just get some mean looking tats and sag your shorts
Will post pics of me on my BMC wearing ray bans, dickies shorts, and adidas with fat laces.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:04 PM
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I used to ride through bad neighborhoods in NYC all the time back in the late 80s, well before the yuppies started taking over and rarely had any problems. There were a few times people would shout something but nothing major, I was usually rolling pretty fast anyway so no problems. If you feel there's a serious threat to your safety then just find an alternate route.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:06 PM
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Somehow I don't think I'd ride thru Newark, NJ. I'd stay away from the bad neigborhoods. In fact, going around would increase mileage, so there!
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Old 05-29-11, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
No, as mentioned above, the speeds increase.
Ohh OK... I don't know my self why would anyone be on a trainer in a rough neighborhood. Are there outdoor trainers? One time I saw about 20 riders in a full roadie kit taking the lane on a trainer. Not so sure if it was a dream or not, but very strange nonetheless.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:29 PM
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Pssh.. try riding in Atlanta. Even the Freedom/Stone Mountain trail is kind of creepy.

I've found the best thing is not to stop, and if someone looks like they're going to push you off your bike, zoom far enough around them.
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