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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    I always ride alone, and while I'm in an urban area, I'm often in areas that are not very populated. Most of the important points have been covered -- letting someone know your route, being aware, etc. I do have pepper spray at times, and I'm honestly not sure if it would ever be useful.

    I think trusting your instincts is important. If it doesn't feel right, I'm out of there.

    Regarding guns, if you haven't lived in an area where guns are common, you might not realize that for some people, carrying a gun is a routine thing and not necessarily a sign of excessive fear.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    139
    I also do most of my riding solo and in rural areas. I let my DH know my route and will send an update if I decide to ride longer than planned. I stay alert and dress conservatively. I have had guys yell at me from motorcycles or vehicles, but I'm used to that from my many years of running and just ignore it. It startles me more than anything. I have done some S24 tours (camping) solo as well and haven't had any issues. I'm planning one for Labor Day weekend.
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    where ARE we?
    Posts
    429
    Every cop friend I have has encouraged me to get a concealed carry.
    I've been a martial artist off and on for 20 years. I do carry a knife while out riding.

    Nobody ever expects to be a victim. You just have to be aware, all the time. I know a lot of people don't like to think that way - to pay attention to what car is behind them, or scan the parking lot the moment they step out of the grocery. Glance under your car as you approach it - not just the back seat. Hold your head up, make sure the guy in the parking lot knows you saw him - and well enough to possibly identify him.

    As for where to put the gun on the bike, the 2 former cops I ride with both have them in a small bag up by the handlebar. Easy to reach.

    I read the story on Mickey. So sad. She fought really well - if she had a gun, she might be alive yet today. Or the guy could have taken it and she'd still be dead. Hard to say.

    Be careful, loves.
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  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    170
    Much of my riding is done solo, both mtb & road and I can't think of a time that I felt threatened - opps, take that back - years ago I was mtb riding in the woods about 2 miles from my house and as I rode into a clearing there was a young guy firing a big hand gun into pile of logs. I stopped, he stopped, lowered the gun, and I continued on. That made be a bit uneasy.

    A number of women I have talked to about riding over the years have worried about their safety and are surprised that I don't mind riding alone. I've sometimes thought that maybe it has something to do with physical size. At
    5' 8" and 160, I'm no little bitty thing. I might think differently if I was 5' & 95lbs. But then again, my friend who rode much of the Continental Divide solo is only 5' 3" and about 125lbs.

    Maybe what it gets down to is the illusion of control, and proper risk assessment. The more in control you feel, the more safe you feel. The most common example used is probably flying in an airplane vs. driving your car. Driving your car is one of the most dangerous things you can do, but you are in complete control vs. flying, which is one of the most safe means of transportation, but so many people are terrified of flying, probably because it is completely out of their control.
    And, risk assessment - maybe assault is a major problem in the area where you live, and then taking sensible precautions is good. But, so often we are frightened by the relentless pounding in the media of how we live in "dangerous times" (like life for humans has not always been dangerous ) and that clouds our thinking.
    If we really stopped and thought about all that could go wrong with anything we do, we would never get out of bed!


    .
    Last edited by missjean; 08-19-2012 at 06:36 AM.
    Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E.Starrs


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  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by LovelyGirl View Post
    Lots of thought-provoking responses to the OP on this thread! In turn, it has made me think more about the subject as I read the responses. The more I turn it over in my mind, the simple fact is: victims of violent crime didn't expect to BE victims of violent crime. Otherwise, they would not have been at that place or doing that activity or trusting that person. So, what happens if you can't just simply avoid an evil person?

    I know people who have been attacked in broad daylight in grocery store parking lots in "nice" parts of town, and maybe you do, too. The undertone of some of the posts is that it is overkill or paranoid of a woman to be legally carrying a gun. Well, I don't know, is that really a fair statement? I know that it is highly unlikely that my house will burn down, but I have smoke detectors. I know that odds are I will complete my errands without being in a car accident, but I still wear a seat belt every time I go. I don't think that makes me paranoid. I think it makes me prepared.

    Fear of firearms is also expressed - I might shoot myself, etc. I have big, huge kitchen knives that assist me to whip up a mean dinner for DH when he walks in the door. Do I worry that they are potentially lethal weapons and that I might hurt myself using them? No. Because I'm careful, responsible, and I know how to use the knives. And I feel the same way about my own gun. I'm careful, responsible and I know exactly how to use it.

    The OP's original statement was this:" But I would want to do everything in my power to ensure my safety." We owe her an honest response. However we personally feel about guns, they are the great equalizer. A gun in the hands of a 75 year old woman makes her more powerful than a 20 year old violent man. Just like any other potentially dangerous tool we use (cars, knives, chemicals, etc), we need to know how to use them properly and safely and obey the laws that govern them.

    The goal of my response is to provoke further thought and not emotional responses. 2012 was the year I had to confront my thoughts about firearms (never having had one or wanted one or needed one before). I realize a gun isn't the answer for everyone, but let's do try to consider all of our options to keep ourselves safe.
    Great response.
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  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Discussion among cyclists elsewhere ....many are men on whether or not they own a gun(s):

    http://forums.bicycling.com/eve/foru...7/m/5121080767

    I don't see myself as naive...I have lived in neighbourhoods where there were shooting or 2 just down the street or several blocks away. Did I move away from neighbourhood for that reason?

    No. The reality is that crime does happen in the nice-looking/peaceful-looking neighbourhoods too.

    For certain I'd rather live in areas where there are neighbours nearby, not in the middle of nowhere. But then, that's me, a city person all my life. (I was raised in an Ontario town of 2,000 people during lst 3 yrs. in life.)
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
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  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    Quote Originally Posted by kamikazejane View Post
    geeez, I hardly said anything at all. My apologies.
    It may have been a short sentence, but it spoke volumes.........
    Last edited by Eden; 08-20-2012 at 11:24 AM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Discussion among cyclists elsewhere ....many are men on whether or not they own a gun(s):

    http://forums.bicycling.com/eve/foru...7/m/5121080767

    I don't see myself as naive...I have lived in neighbourhoods where there were shooting or 2 just down the street or several blocks away. Did I move away from neighbourhood for that reason?

    No. The reality is that crime does happen in the nice-looking/peaceful-looking neighbourhoods too.

    For certain I'd rather live in areas where there are neighbours nearby, not in the middle of nowhere. But then, that's me, a city person all my life. (I was raised in an Ontario town of 2,000 people during lst 3 yrs. in life.)
    Yep, I lived in the peaceful country and worked fire/emt there. The same stuff that happens in the city happens in the country. It just doesn't usually make the news.
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  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    MI
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    63
    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    It may have been a short sentence, but it spoke volumes.........
    It's called subtle sarcasm. I am pretty proficient at it.
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  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    I do not carry pepper spray or a firearm, but I did take self-defense classes after learning about Sherry Arnold, the runner in Montana. In SD class, our teacher was extremely adamant about only using self-defense when cornered. The key, he said, is to get away from the situation. If you are intentionally brought down off of your bike, run and make a lot of noise. This doesn't really help in a rural situation (because who would hear you) but we could be better about putting our phones in our jersey instead of our backpacks or seatpost bags if we ride rurally. That way, if we get brought down off our bikes, our phones are on our persons and we can dial 911 while running.

    I read a study somewhere that said that criminals usually don't use their guns right away - they try to lure first. And when / if they do use their guns, it's to threaten. If they fire, you have a chance they won't hit you if you are running away. If they grab you, that's where self-defense comes in to play. They only have two arms.

    That's how I play it in my mind. Also awareness is key.
    I can do five more miles.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    1
    Lots of good reading. I am new here. Went for my first solo ride today. I was so proud of myself for getting the rack on the car by myself lol...I am sort of new to riding and so far only ride the trails. We have a great trail system here in Ohio but today I did turn around because I just got a little spooked by myself. It felt like I was in the woods all by myself. I'm 53 and don't go all that fast when riding and felt like if someone chased me, I wouldn't have enough energy to get away if I rode too far out.

    I've been thinking of taking firearm classes and after today and reading this forum it is sounding like a better idea all the time.

    I look forward to participating in this forum and learning all I can about solo riding. My husband rides with me on the weekends and we really enjoy it, but during the week I want to get out more.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    I do almost all of my riding on my own. I carry ID and a charged cell phone, and stay vigilant. The trails are fairly well-traveled, but in the evening I can ride ten miles and not see anyone. If I get caught after dark, then I make my way back to the car as fast as I can.

    Trailrider, I see you're in OH. PM me your location, if you feel comfortable.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  13. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
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    4,364
    Quote Originally Posted by kamikazejane View Post
    It's called subtle sarcasm. I am pretty proficient at it.
    Just so's there's no misunderstanding... I didn't find your remark to be subtle in the least, nor do I agree with it...
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  14. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    37
    I think this is a really interesting conversation. I feel much less vulnerable riding alone than I do running - even though I am farther from home while riding. There is a big cycling community around so I usually see other riders and I ride much faster than I can run.

    It does make me uncomfortable to see the tone that somehow some one who is attacked might be responsible for that happening to them. Honestly, we only have an illusion of control. How you dress or whatever won't stop some one who wants to hurt some one.

    I consider myself careful and I like the idea of having my route pre-marked so a friend can monitor me. But mostly I just know that I can't control the behavior of sociopaths who want to attack people.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    +1, Eden.
    I usually stay out of these discussions, but other than taking the usual precautions, I don't think about it. Bad sh*t happens and if I spent my life worrying about it, I wouldn't go out of my house.
    I'm not totally opposed to guns, as having a child in the military has forced me to learn about them. But, I still don't like the whole "thing" about this issue. I also did not think there was any subtleness in some of the comments. Of course, everyone has opinions, but these are mine, and I am sure people won't like them.
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