Author Topic: carrying a firearm on a tour  (Read 3343 times)

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Offline jamawani

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2021, 10:02:20 am »
Back in 1988 when I was touring cross country, I was riding on a gravel road in the Black Hills.
A pick-up was coming towards me real fast - I did the palms down motion to get him to slow down.
He didn't. He flew by me - kicking up gravel -  and nicked my leg pretty hard.
I gave him the universal hand gesture of greeting. (Probably not so smart)

He screeched to a stop and I spun my bike around facing him.
As he jumped out I said to him in my most diplomatic voice,
"My, my, my. You were in such a hurry a minute ago - - and now you have time to stop."
I stuck my right hand into my handlebar pack.
His buddy in the passenger seat screamed, "He's got a gun! He's got a gun!!"

It was a banana.

Offline DaveB

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2021, 10:04:33 am »
I've heard from one of the crime noir authors I know, that a sure way to draw critiicism to your work is to make a mistake about guns or gun fights.

If you've been writing for a while, you probably have some expert consultants you can use. If not,  you might hit up a trainer in your region and perhaps a well-trained cyclist who carries a weapon.  Most of these folks will usually consult for the cost of a dinner and proof your fight scenes for you.
+100.  So many authors that try to include firearms use or descriptions make egregious technical errors and get pounced on by knowledgeable readers.  Those errors do a lot of damage to the credibility of everything else you have written so be sure to get really expert help if you go this way. 

Offline TCS

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2021, 12:40:59 pm »
Currently, I have it packed in a pannier, but now I'm considering stowing the gun in a belt bag.

Can be kind of a tight area pedaling a recumbent.

"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline TCS

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2021, 12:54:20 pm »
Traveling alone on a recumbent, my character leaves town in a depressed state of mind.

The open road, fresh air and physical activity will do your character a world of good!

You meet the occasional blow-hard or whack job (wow!  a little judgemental there, tcs!) when cycletouring, but the overwhelming story of bike travelers is one of meeting total strangers who are almost desperate to do them some kindness.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline TCS

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2021, 01:07:28 pm »
He sees himself as a law-abiding citizen and respectful of other people, but that will be hard to maintain as he crosses state lines and ventures onto people's property.

Hey, now there's a topic worthy of its own thread - stealth camping!

Established campgrounds can be inconveniently located for bike travelers and sometimes charge usurous rates out of proportion to amenities.  If you tour long enough, there will probably come a situation where...well...

Perhaps surprisingly, the '9 Principles for Bikepackers' seems to come down on the 'don't stealth camp' side. 

https://bikepacking.com/plog/seven-principles-for-bikepackers/
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2021, 02:16:01 pm »
Mr. Nettles, as usual, offers valuable insights. 
Two problems people who like guns have with carrying one on a bike, aside from legalities, are accessibility/control and corrosion.  If personal protection is part of the rationale, being separated from the weapon sort of negates that.  Kind of like having lights for visibility, and not turning them on.  Responsible, ethical ownership also requires continuous control of the firearm, that means on your person, not in the pannier, unless you get it out when you get off the bike. 
Bike riders are also, I hear from reliable sources, sweaty.  That sweat is full of water, salt, and other stuff that love to corrode metals.

Offline ray b

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2021, 09:34:49 pm »
...and you alreadi know the game. Be specific about brands and get the placement fees in the contract.... Oh, and gun guys love the rare stuff. Maybe its a piece left by his dead father who was a collector. I temember a story from a colleague that involved looking up the process for unloading a unusual gun the nursing home personel found under his father's pillow when he died.

Have fun. One meets some interestng people along the path of background research for a novel..., kinda like bike touring.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline hikerjer

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2021, 11:55:19 am »
" the overwhelming story of bike travelers is one of meeting total strangers who are almost desperate to do them some kindness.


That's certainly been my experience.  It's one of the great things about bicycle touring.  To me the  idea of  packing a gun on  a tour is absurb.  The very epitome of "overkill".

Offline ray b

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2021, 12:31:50 pm »
Traveling alone on a recumbent, my character leaves town in a depressed state of mind.

The open road, fresh air and physical activity will do your character a world of good!...
Well put. It will be tough to keep the protagonist in a depressed state on the road. A lot of data out there to show that exercise is our best antidepressant, even when compared with electroconvulsive therapy and modern pharmacology .

From a practical perspective I like to point out that breathing is important, and when we are fighting for every breath up a hill at altitude, not much else seems important. Problems of daily life become minuscule.

I just came across an article from Matias Corea in the December BMW Motorcycle Owners News. On returning from a 6-month trip from Brooklyn to Ushuaia along many back roads, he noted the following on returning to Red Hook:

Around me I see everyone preoccupied with the small routines that bind their lives. Going to the grocery store, being late for work, plans for Saturday night… just the old regular life I'd lived for so long. None of this seems important now. I still carry the reflex of the simpler road life.

Does this mean that the popular sequel, your hero realizes his life is simpler, more meaningful and happier on the road, meeting people and just helping out where he can? James Grant (Lee Child) is in semi- retirement. Once your character finds what makes him happy, maybe your he/she can be the modern Jack Reacher. Think about the film rights. Brad Cooper? Denzel Washington? (Always good to have someone in mind.)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 03:40:04 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline jkbrooks

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2021, 03:17:53 pm »
I had a friend of a friend who commuted & raced in the late 80s & early 90s. He carried with a holster visible at about his right jersey pocket (on his back.) Not a revolver.

He carried because he'd had issues with redneck motorists in rural areas. He wanted it visible when he was on the road as a deterrent.

I looked into it at one point (more out of curiosity than out of intention.) I believe a holster that has some stretch and hugs the body is a possibility.

I get this is a plot point and you've likely moved on at this point. I wouldn't carry on a bike. I generally find I'm "overserved" with crap to worry about while I'm on the bike as it is and adding a radical variable like firearms to the list would probably leave me sitting on the couch rocking fore & aft to comfort myself. Possibility of dropping it, losing it, leaving it unattended, unwittingly violating some local, federal or state law would leave me catatonic. And, I've got minimal confidence that I'd be in a position on the bike where it would be the right answer . . . although a mountain biker got killed about 10 miles from me by a cougar a couple years ago . . . Still, odds are pretty low I'm next up on that list.

Offline BikePacker

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2021, 07:23:13 am »
I had a friend of a friend ..... He carried with a holster visible ... Not a revolver ... because he'd had issues with ....
My m.o., as described in a much earlier post,
the very reason I would selectively / per my best situational awareness guess would guide me,
carry a canister of bear fogger on my hip,
yet, never a firearm.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2021, 09:56:28 am »
I never carried a firearm. If there was ever a situation where I needed one, I cannot remember it. Two one-liners about firearms come to mind. It is better to have one and not need it than it is to need it and not have it. I would rather be judged by twelve than be carried by six. That would apply to most any case of self defense.

Offline bikersbishop

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2021, 10:15:21 pm »
Thank you all for the stellar feedback. I've made some modifications to my story as a result.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2021, 10:00:26 pm »
This cyclist is very depressed. He sets out on a long distance tour along coastal California. He has a gun. I think you have created a hook.  It is a plot. How about the rest of the story. Is he a pro or an ant? What does this cyclist end up doing?

Offline jwrushman

Re: carrying a firearm on a tour
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2021, 06:41:23 am »
Please, no spoilers...  I'm waiting for the book!