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Old October 24, 2011, 03:09 AM   #1
briandg
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bicycling?

I sometimes used to carry when I was going out on my bicycle. Mostly concerned about the dogs that just love chewing on bikers. I wasn't terribly happy about the attacks on cyclists by car drivers. I've had things thrown at me, and been hit with things by the various morons who drive the country roads around here. I saw a guy knocked off of his bike into traffic by a pinhead in a pickup.

Frankly, I came to realize that the pistol was of no doggoned use at all. You can't shoot a driver for attacking you. You can't cap a dog on the run. there just aren't any real situations that a pistol can help you out, except for really, seriously crazy stuff that have million to one odds. So, I leave the shoulder holster and .357 at home now if biking.

Correct?

foolish?

I'd switch off to a pocket pistol in a belly pouch, maybe, if I still cycled.
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Old October 24, 2011, 03:42 AM   #2
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You have my sincere sympathies. I love a good, relaxing, bike ride out in the boonies. To hedge my bets as best I can, I take these lengthy [usually about 40 miles] bike excursions only on weekdays. My own work schedule is pretty odd and thus allows for it. This translates to far less cars on the road with me because everyone's at work. I start around 9:30 AM or so, by then all of the morning rush hour folks are gone, and I stick to the back roads as much as possible. However, not only do I carry OC spray to discourage pursuing dogs [and have used it to successfully end more than one such canine pursuit], I still back it up with a firearm. It's not a hindrance to me, but I'll not call you correct nor foolish for doing what you're doing. If that's what makes you comfortable, to each his own.
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Old October 24, 2011, 06:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briandg
I wasn't terribly happy about the attacks on cyclists by car drivers. I've had things thrown at me, and been hit with things by the various morons who drive the country roads around here. I saw a guy knocked off of his bike into traffic by a pinhead in a pickup.
Wow! Where do you ride? I've heard of the odd attack here and there, but never anything so frequent for a single rider. For the record, I've been an avid cyclist for nearly 30 years (meaning more than just riding to a friend's house) and have never had anything thrown at me or a driver trying to harm me. I've had a couple yell at me here and there but without taking any overt action. I've ridden all over the place; Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia (SW VA, Richmond area, and Northern VA).

As for the guns, I rarely bother. On a road bike, I can easily out run any dog and most human encounters don't require that level of force. Offroad, I may carry one if I'm riding alone and will be out in the wilderness, but in groups or at local parks, I don't bother. There aren't many ways to carry that keep guns secure, yet accessible. If I'm wearing baggy bike shorts with pockets, I might pocket carry a j-frame. I've also put one in the upper pocket of my camelback, but I've only had one that allowed rapid access to a gun, yet was secure enough to keep it from falling out (deep with elastic top).

Chris
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Old October 24, 2011, 08:11 AM   #4
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Ummm... I carry when I'm walking... I carry when I'm biking... Vulnerability level seems about equal to me. In my neighborhood, bikes are popular steal items.
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Old October 24, 2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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I'm a casual rather than serious biker (my wife and I often ride a tandem) but I usually carry when I do ride. My assumption is that by the time I would need a gun (if ever), I would likely be off the bike already.

I agree - your area sounds like a tough biking neighborhood.
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Old October 24, 2011, 08:34 AM   #6
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Unfortunately, it seems that many vehicle drivers don't consider that bicycles or motorcycles or even pedestrians have as much right to use the roadway as they do. It's "I'm bigger so I got the right of way" to them. Or maybe they just don't look for anything smaller than what they are driving. I have seen many that I would not be terribly suprised to hear of being shot for their bad driving and manners, but that is not a justification. If as many gun owners were as irresponsible as these drivers we would not be allowed to own firearms aqnd firearms are generally far less deadly. I would say,as to your carry issue, do what you feel is right, but be responsible about it.
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Old October 24, 2011, 08:53 AM   #7
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Frankly, I came to realize that the pistol was of no doggoned use at all. You can't shoot a driver for attacking you. You can't cap a dog on the run. there just aren't any real situations that a pistol can help you out, except for really, seriously crazy stuff that have million to one odds. So, I leave the shoulder holster and .357 at home now if biking.

Correct?
Correct, IMHO.

I'm a long-time road rider, and see no practical use in carrying while riding for the same reasons you point out. If I were mountain biking in a remote area, I'd consider it. On the road, though? Nope, though I do carry pepper spray. Otherwise, I ignore dogs (they're mostly interested in the chase) and idiots behind the wheel (anything more is to just invite a confrontation).

BTW, in 30+ years of riding, I've noted a correlation between being very concerned about crashing, dogs & idiots on the road, and actually having those incidents. Riders seem to attract what they fear.
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Old October 24, 2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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I have been hit by flying objects thrown from vehicles. Soft drinks and milkshakes mostly. The people who do that are criminals, and I wish the police would do more about it. It's not like some hollywood comic scene where someone get a pie in the face. When you get hit by anything traveling 50 or 60 mph it's deadly, not even counting being knocked off the bike / taking a spill. But a gun isn't going to help in that situation - I agree.

I am hoping that Illinois gets a carry law soon. I guess anectdotaly - because I haven't been seriously injured I can say I haven't needed a firearm, but I've had some close calls with some very powerful dogs. In one case an older man was walking his a pit-bull type dog on one of those retracting reel type leases. And he didn't have the right kind of collar on the dog. This was on a trail - not the road but anyway the dog went after me and the lease kept reeling out and reeling out. I had to petal like mad dodge the dog, go off the bike path and then outrun the dog while the lead keep reeling out and reeling out. The dog was not having a fun chase - the dog wanted to attack me. I'm not saying that I wish I'd been able to shoot the dog. But I look back on that incident, I had to go off the path. I was in tall grass and had no idea if there was a hole, a large rock or branch - if I would have hit any of those, I would have been off my bike and the dog would have been on me.


Just my past experience with dogs has convinced me that I am going to go armed if I have the choice.
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Old October 24, 2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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In my state you can shoot to stop a felony

I wonder if I could shoot someone stealing my bike that's worth more then 500$.
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Old October 24, 2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Out in my area we have a rather lengthy bike/walking trail. It's rather nice, one of my coworkers actually rides it a few times a week. However, not long back there were a few individuals "living" along the trail. If you were out alone, or even as a group but without sufficient protection, you were fair game.

At one point, one such individual had broken into an old woman's house who lived along this trail and was actually living in her basement (without her knowledge, of course) coming up into the house when she slept for food and to raid her liquor cabinet. The one night she couldn't sleep, she caught him in the act and he darn near beat her to death. When the cops were called, they found his "apartment" complete with all the things he had taken from the upper house, including her shotgun. He was apprehended by armed citizens - link to Buckeye Firearms digest. Link to local paper article.

I trail off, but it doesn't take much to, in the case of a cyclist, hide by the side of a trail and toss a stick between the spokes. But that's a bit nuts that drivers actually harass you to that extent - I've gotten a little upset when I couldn't pass one and was stuck at 15 MPH for a few miles, but never even considered harming them.
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Old October 24, 2011, 11:43 AM   #11
doofus47
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Correct. As a long time roadie, I can tell you that you will never be able to use it before you're down. You just have to accept the disparity of power.

There are no high noon style confrontations; the people who would use a car or truck to harass a cyclist are the same types that will light the tail of a puppy on fire--they do it b/c they can get away with it. They aren't interested in letting you have a chance.

Dogs? If you're harassed by a dog (more accurately, by a poor dog-owner), and you know whose house owns the dog, call the sheriff. Do that repeatedly and the issue should take care of itself. I had problems with a dog owner who would stand and watch as his dogs repeatedly took off after me and my wife as we toodled by. I told him one day that if his dogs bit us on a public road that I would own his house. That ended that.

Backwoods is different. I have a friend who takes a light .357 ("made to be carried much and fired little") when he goes overnight camping using his mtn bike.
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Old October 24, 2011, 04:44 PM   #12
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One good example, is that at 35 or so, I started taking day classes at the college here. it was a 2-3 mile drive, and I decided to start biking to classes. I had about a 3 block run on a 2 lane street, 35 mph, but busy. I rode with traffic there. I was amazed at how many people honked, yelled, and brushed me while passing. I was ALWAYS riding in the gutter, just off of the curb, and heck, all they had to do was drive by.

After a right turn, it was a long 4 block, very steep downhill run, on a 4 lane business route 45 mph highway. Nice shoulder. I rode the shoulder against traffic. One day, I was ripping down that downhill run, maybe even 40 mph, and a driver of an 18 wheeler, staring me right in the eye, pulled off onto the shoulder, and forced me off into the brushy drainage area. I almost went down.

I've taken my share of hits with garbage and drinks over my life. One time I was hit by a chunk of wood by a bunch of guys in a pickup. Once, I was riding main street, about the same period of the truck, on the sidewalk. a car made a right turn into a parking lot, I had to brake hard to avoid hitting him. Funny, it was a neighbor who constantly caused me trouble. seemed deliberate. I seriously thought about confronting him, but didn't.

Just a few years ago, I was driving down a 4 lane street, behind 2 guys in a truck. There was what appeared to be a 20+ year old guy on a beat up old bike riding along in the gutter; the passenger of the truck leaned out, and smacked him hard with a heavy jacket. He went down, I'm pretty sure, right behind me. He nearly ran into my car as he tried to stay on the bike. I saw his bike on the road, and he was on the grass (no sidewalk there) when I could see him in my rearview.

You guys have sign wavers in your cities? Little caesers used to have a guy waving signs in front of their place. They hired some ridiculous little goober, looked an awful lot like carrot top. He'd get out their, crank up his MP3 player, and dance like the village idiot. It was hysterical. Eventually, they had a sign made that was shaped like a guitar, and he'd stand out there all day, blowing his brains out with his mp3 player, and playing air guitar.

It was funny. they guy became a local institution. One day in the news, they did an interview; a car full of punks had driven past, and pelted him with a handful of D cells. Car going 45 mph, add the velocity of a good hard throw, Can you imagine what those bruises looked like? very lucky that he saw it coming and held the sign to shield his face.

I live in an area that has a large population of low class rednecks that love this stuff. I quit biking on the road after the truck forced me off of the road. At that point I decided it wasn't worth it to commute by bike where people actually wanted to hurt me or kill me. Some of them just think it's funny, some of them really hate people and bikes are an easy target.

I'm lucky that I never lived in an even worse place. It's fortunate that we bought a new home not long after the truck incident in a very old part of town, and I could negotiate most of the city from there on only residential low traffic streets.
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Old October 25, 2011, 12:51 AM   #13
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It's "I'm bigger so I got the right of way" to them.
Sounds like most SUV drivers on a cell phone. I'm going to make a T-shirt that says "Take that cell phone and shove it up your SUV @$$"

Not really, just a thought. Hate'em!
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Old October 25, 2011, 01:13 AM   #14
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After a right turn, it was a long 4 block, very steep downhill run, on a 4 lane business route 45 mph highway. Nice shoulder. I rode the shoulder against traffic. One day, I was ripping down that downhill run, maybe even 40 mph, and a driver of an 18 wheeler, staring me right in the eye, pulled off onto the shoulder, and forced me off into the brushy drainage area. I almost went down.
That's one where if I had a gun I'd be tempted to pull it. (but you should have been on the other side of the road)

I've had a pickup truck driven by a clean-cut guy in a business suit (not your stereotypical tweeker) run a red light -- had been fully red for at least 15 seconds -- and without signalling and barely slowing down turned left into me while I was in the intersection. I had to lay the bike down to keep from getting run over. I called the cops because they have cameras on that intersection and they told me to fill out an online report. I never heard back from them. (I'm pretty sure online reports are never even looked at. I've had the same thing with vandalism reports.)

I've thought about getting a little bucket of 1" ball bearings for my bike. I think that'll break a window...
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Old October 25, 2011, 01:37 AM   #15
briandg
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That's one where if I had a gun I'd be tempted to pull it. (but you should have been on the other side of the road)

No, that's not the answer. it was a 45 mph zone, and on the side of the road, we have an 8 feet wide gravel shoulder/breakdown lane. It is far safer for both if a cyclist is on that shoulder out of traffic, and this way, I avoided crossing at highway intersections.

This sucker pulled off onto the shoulder, and both wheels went off the road. I could see him looking at me as he did it. I wound up pulling off the shoulder and was scrambling through weeds and brush on the slope of a drainage ditch off the shoulder.

He wasn't trying to kill me, he was just being antisocial. I think he wanted to run me into the ditch and hurt me, or he wouldn't have gone completely off onto the shoulder.

There really is some sort of hatred for people on bikes, I hear stories like this all the time.

Yes, for the love of god, I wish I'd had a load of buckshot for him. He probably beats his wife and rapes farm animals.
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Old October 25, 2011, 01:39 AM   #16
briandg
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Sounds like most SUV drivers on a cell phone. I'm going to make a T-shirt that says "Take that cell phone and shove it up your SUV @$$"

It used to be vans. Seems that every moron who used to drive a van went with SUVs.

God forbid, I'd rather be on the road with a million 50 year old men in camaros in a full blown mid life crisis, than share it with even a single yuppie blond soccer mom in an escalade.
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Old October 25, 2011, 06:09 AM   #17
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This thread's veering off topic.

I'm not trying to be unsympathetic. No doubt you've had incidents. As all riders have. I understood that from your initial post. But your thread's turning into an unhelpful rant that simply invites others to rant as well.
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Old October 27, 2011, 10:02 AM   #18
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I used to bicycle to work from Corning, Iowa to Creston, Iowa a distance of 24 miles and 48 miles round trip but only in the spring and summer and fall, winters are cold in Iowa.

I always carried a handgun whether bicycling or hiking on roads or bicycle trails in a fanny pack carried in front. Never ever had to use the handgun and have never had to use a handgun in all my years of carrying concealed.

Highway 34 from Corning to Creston has wide shoulders and every time a car or truck came up behind me, I had rear view mirrors and you can hear the tires, especially if it was unsafe to pass, I got over on the shoulder well ahead of time and let them pass me at speed. Most motorists were very respectful and I never had anything thrown at me although I worried a lot about being hit by a high velocity rock chip the ones that crack your windshield.

Did have a problem with dogs chasing me at one house along the road, so I took some dog biscuits along,,,now the dogs were waiting for me every trip and would chase me until they got their treat!!!
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Old October 27, 2011, 03:05 PM   #19
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I carry all the time, including on my bike.
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Old October 30, 2011, 02:05 PM   #20
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Secluded biking

My wife and I often use bike trails and there have been more than one attempted rape on a densely wooded trail we use. We also once ran into car thieves who had driven a car onto the bike trail and into the woods in order to strip it (what they were doing when we approached).

While I've never had trouble with motorists, I prefer to be armed so that I have a fighting chance against the street element. If you watch any of the true crime/forensics shows, there are many instances of couples assaulted, the male savagely mauled or killed and the female raped and sometimes slain.
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Old October 31, 2011, 05:07 AM   #21
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Man after reading some of the aboved im glad when im on two wheels all i have to do is twist the throttle to get away from any cager a$$holes. That said mount a go pro hd camera and look into a keltec p11. You could put it in a little tool kit type bag on the handlebars right in front of you.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:00 AM   #22
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I carry a LCP when I ride. Its light and doesnt bother me in the least. There is some vulnerabilty there on a bicycle so I would rather have it than not. My wife had a scary moment earlier this year on her bike. We live out in the boonies and she had stopped on the side to catch her breath and get some water, an old car drove by very slowly and checkin out my wife. They looked like a couple of thugs in an old car with huge chrome wheels, not exactly the crowd you normally see in my little town, then they stopped about 150yds and just hung out the window and watched my wife. That was all they did but my wife carries now when she rides. She and I both know that if attacked while riding the odds of her getting her firearm in time to defend herself is pretty slim but its still better than no chance at all. I was sick to my stomach just thinking something was that close to harming my bride.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:05 AM   #23
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There are no high noon style confrontations; the people who would use a car or truck to harass a cyclist are the same types that will light the tail of a puppy on fire--they do it b/c they can get away with it. They aren't interested in letting you have a chance.

That's not 100% accurate. One of my co-workers was threatened by two tweekers in a pickup. He tried to ditch them but they chased him down into a parking lot. He got off his bike, got behind a concrete planter and started calling the cops. He also bluffed (rightly or wrongly) like he had a gun. They backed off but not w/o the obligatory "we'll find you and kill you!" remarks.

He bought a .38 the next day and took the course for his permit the same week.
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Old October 31, 2011, 11:17 AM   #24
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If I carried at other times being on a bike wouldn't change that for me, however I cannot carry. (went from NYC to IL to CA wooo!) So personally its a moot point.

I just wish both drivers, bikers, and pedestrians, in general, were more aware of the rules of the road.
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Old October 31, 2011, 11:38 AM   #25
doofus47
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Quote:
That's not 100% accurate.
You're right. So is Hulley when he says:
Quote:
is pretty slim but its still better than no chance at all
.

There was a guy in a town not far from mine in Colorado who was convicted of felony menacing when he stopped 3 60-year old riders to wave a bat at them. In my experience however, people would rather throw their beer bottles/cans big-gulps at me while accelerating past me rather than stop to throw them at me from the front. If they were serious about disabling me, they would most always have the element of surprise.

Involving a woman cyclist to the equation, well, that does bring up reasons for creeps stopping that I haven't had to worry about.

I didn't mean to say "don't carry." I just don't think that someone with the tactical advantage and a 2000lb blunt object shaped like a vehicle can really fail to put me out of commission if they are serious. The only time I did get hit by a car (it was an accident), I was down hard and wouldn't have been able to pull and aim or determine who the BGs were. If a BG with true motivation failed to disabled me on the first drive-by, I believe they would just drive off rather than take the chance of a confrontation with a healthy adult male going against them.

I'm firmly in the "It's better to have it and not need it" camp, but just not in this instance for me personally.

Last edited by doofus47; October 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM. Reason: add inchoerence
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