Author Topic: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.  (Read 2461 times)

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Offline Westinghouse

Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:25:47 pm »
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/09/03/man-stabbed-to-death-biking-to-miami-to-propose-to-girlfriend/

A man cycling from the NE USA to Miami, FL went to stop at a McDonalds in Vero Beach, FL. An apparently paranoid schizophrenic homeless man just walked up and stabbed him to death.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 08:32:52 pm by Westinghouse »

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2014, 01:56:29 pm »
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/09/03/man-stabbed-to-death-biking-to-miami-to-propose-to-girlfriend/

A man cycling from the NE USA to Miami, FL went to stop at a McDonalds in Vero Beach, FL. An apparently paranoid schizophrenic homeless man just walked up and stabbed him to death.

This sounds like random violence by an unstable person. What does this have to do with cycling safety in the USA?

Things happen all over the world, every day.

Jay
ACA Life Member 368

Offline staehpj1

Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 03:31:55 pm »
Yeah a better title would have been "Safe to go in McDonalds? Things do happen". 

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2014, 06:21:26 pm »
Yes, That's the point. Is it safe to cycle the US? Random violence can happen anywhere to anyone. It seems to have greater currency in this country than in many others. In a car one can go 500 miles in a day, be across the country in 6 days, and stop and mingle far fewer times than a person on a bicycle. Bike touring requires many many frequent stops. Consequently, it brings one into contact with many more people.  It ups the odds that one will cross the path of someone like that schizophrenic man in McDonalds in Vero.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 09:50:10 pm »
On the other hand, most people in the US live in towns and cities larger than most of the towns most bicyclists stop in while touring.  In the remaining 50-odd days after the car driver arrives at his/her destination, s/he's much more likely to run into a homicidal psychopath than the cyclist spending nights in Kremmling, Rush Center, or Troutdale.

The dozen or so fatal shootings in my home city this year haven't made national news or been reported outside local TV range (that I know of).  Perhaps the rarity of touring cyclists being murdered is responsible for the wider reporting of this incident -- and that might indicate it's safer to be riding your bike across the country than stopping at gas stations in major cities at night.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Safe to cycle the USA? Things do happen.
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2014, 01:19:38 pm »
Yes, and that is the answer I give here when people ask about the risks of a transcontinental bicycle tour. Generally, it is safe.  Traffic is the biggest potential hazard. The fact is, anything can happen to anyone anywhere, and it does 24 and 7 all 365. I have cycled around Vero quite a bit. That man was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone who turned out later to be a female serial killer threw a can of beer at me from a moving vehicle on highway 19/98 between Perry FL and Wakula Station. Some young guy threw a can of beer at me in Walker, Louisiana. In a western state late at night where I was cycling west on an interstate highway, an eastbound car stopped abreast of me across the median. I heard some light sounds from the car like pfff pff. Pellets slammed into the guard rail next to me. The car sped away. There have been incidents. These were nowhere around big cities. I still advise. Yes it is safe, but things happen to people all the time that are harmful and unexpected. If you want to cycle the USA, by all means do it. You should be just fine This world has always been dangerous and uncertain in various degrees in different places. There are no guarantees.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 04:21:17 pm by Westinghouse »