Author Topic: anyone carry'n heat?  (Read 20366 times)

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Offline stockdoct

anyone carry'n heat?
« on: March 28, 2005, 12:35:15 am »
I'm new to Adventure Cycling, but not to bicycle touring.    I have a
controversial question ....   does anyone carry "protection" while
touring unfamiliar locales in the US?    Pepper spray?   I'm thinking
about a taser "stun gun" for when I'm camping in remote areas, or
when me and my kids are cornered by a farm dog.  Its illegal in some
areas, but not in most others.

Lately I've seen pit bulls running loose in towns, and had a doberman
attack my CAR, snarling and chewing on the front bumper as I slowed
down not to hit the beast on a country farm road (I wondered what I'd
ever have done if I'd been on my bike right then)  The world is getting
more dangerous.  Is everyone riding vulnerable?

Offline scott.laughlin

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2005, 05:04:03 pm »

I totally understand your situation, but carrying a weapon could bet you in more trouble than you would be without it.  Once you use it the reasons are going to have to be explained.  The results could be someting beyond your worst nightmare.

If you fear dogs you might consider carrying a few small cans of pepper, table pepper.  I've broken up a dog fight with a pepper shaker.

As for remotness, being out of sight might be your best friend.  Harm is unlikely to come to someone who is invisible.

But those are only my ideas, and I'm sure they won't work for many.

Offline RussellSeaton

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2005, 10:21:07 pm »
Why worry about dogs which are immaterial in my experience when you ignore the far more probable and likely harm of touring/riding?  And that is the person who means to do you harm by just running you over with his/her car.  And then claiming he/she did not see you.  I don't think any pepper spray or firearm is going to help in this not rare event.

If you choose to ride your bicycle, you are vulnerable because you forego having 3,000 pounds of metal around you when the rest of the people on the road do have 3,000 pounds of metal around them.  And possibly a psychological problem.

I'd advise not worrying about carrying firearms, pepper spray, mace, etc. on the bike.  But using a rear view mirror and paying attention to what is coming up behind you.  And when approaching any intersection or driveway, looking for any cars and anticipating their movements.  Be alert.  This might save you or give you a chance, maybe.  It might also make no difference if someone is intent on doing you harm then they will not give their car actions away until the last second when it would be too late no matter what.

Offline happyare

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2005, 03:01:10 pm »
Look, there's danger everywhere. Sometimes people get hurt, and that's life. My parents know someone who got attacked by a drunk motorist. I doubt any pepperspray is going to protect you from that. I say use the pepper spray for dogs, but that's about all you can do. Try outrunning your attackers before resorting to pepper spray if you can, but do use it if you need it.

that crazy teenager,
Hapward Weird Annoying Dandelion I. Are
that crazy teenager,
Hapward Weird Annoying Dandelion I. Are

Offline dano

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2005, 11:03:01 pm »
As a gun owner I cant even think of a good reason to carry any type of firearm on a bike.Besides all the legal issues where would use it? in a public campground,on the road?Tasers are probably another bad idea.Just carry some HALT or a big stick for the dogs.As for people problems(never had any myself)again with the spray or improvise with with a tool if you cant just get away.Not much to do about cars except be aware.

Offline sunfisher

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2005, 12:03:15 am »
I was thinking about this the other day on my ride in to work.  There's
a reason that photo-recon aircraft are unarmed.  Avoiding trouble in
the first place is a great way to stay out of it.

That said, if I was female and 22 and had some training, would I maybe
have a different take on this?  

But I'm not so I can't answer.

Offline DaveB

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2005, 12:44:02 am »
There's a reason that photo-recon aircraft are unarmed...

Yes there is but it's not to "avoid trouble".  They are in trouble the instant they cross into hostile territory.  Ask Gary Powers.  

They are unarmed because: 1) they are faster and fly higher without the weight of armament and 2)the photo equipment takes up a lot of space and uses the room armament would require.

Offline biker_james

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2005, 10:36:43 am »
I think if you really believe that "the world is getting more dangerous" that you really need to go home and get back on the couch. The world is safer now than ever, just the non-stop news coverage makes it appear dangerous. How many cyclists were killed by dogs last year? How many were attacked by people as they rode/camped/whatever?
I've never met a dog yet that didn't stop and turn tale if you stop, let it know you are  a person, and tell it to go home. But I'm sure there are millions of "bike killer" dogs roaming around stalking us poor endangered cyclists. ;)

Offline stockdoct

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2005, 03:49:07 pm »
We just another death --- 14 year old girl walking down the street in IL was attacked by a pack of dogs (the street is a popular throughway for bicyclists)  and died of hypothermia.   Our Governor is working --unsuccessfully, to try to prevent this kind of society tragedy again.   I wonder what I would have done if I was that girl ....

"Mitchell's proposal comes three weeks after 14-year-old Lydia Chaplin was found dead near her home in rural Erie, close to the Mississippi River. Three pit bulls and a mixed-breed had mauled her late at night, and she died of hypothermia as she lay in a cornfield."

Offline biker_james

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2005, 01:08:29 pm »
Very sad story to happen to anyone, especially someone so young. But it actually makes my point-so far instead of a list of dog killed cyclists, we have one non-adult non-cyclist killed by dogs(actually not I gather). I gather that the dogs were later identified and dealt with.
I still stand by my assessment that dogs are no more real a danger than slipping in the shower, or tripping on the sidewalk. We could all carry guns, and then worry about getting shot by other cyclists.

Offline 1cycleguy

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2005, 11:10:52 pm »
I vote no to any type of heat. In my tours I have felt most threatened by rented RV's, despite having ridden through some rather rough areas of Los Angeles, and San Diego. Encounters with dogs when bike commuting, or touring have only proved that I had a bit more speed and endurance than I thought I had the moment before.

To will is to select a goal, determine a course of action that will bring one to that goal, and then hold to that action till the goal is reached. The key is action.

    Michael Hanson
Michael Hanson
To will is to select a goal, determine a course of action that will bring one to that goal, and then hold to that action till the goal is reached. The key is action.

Offline tgpelz

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2005, 03:26:53 am »
In my experience, dooley's first correlary to the golden rule is what I follow.   "Do unto them before they do unto you"

That being said: In over 15 years of bike touring I have never had to use a personal protection device.  

I camp in public camp grounds, People's front yards, city parks, and have "dived in" - that is disappeared onto the brush.

This summer I am going to Norway with my bike.  We will be camping there.   Interestingly, camping is permitted there almost anywhere - according to the guide book on Norway.   Considering the price of hotels, my family will be doing a lot of camping.

Back to the main topic:  Carrying heat.   I carry a large pepper spray bottle.   In Upper Penn Michigan, bears are not uncommon.   To use a gun on a bear will only irritate it.  When I dive in, I use a device to hoist my panniers into a tree to make it difficult for animals to get to my food.  I got that at a camping store.

I carry a knife - for fishing, and a shovel for digging holes to poop in.  The  fishing knife or the shovel could be also used for protection.  However,  I also have carried a .22 cal auto.  Recall,  as I have said, I have never needed it.  

Remember, the best method to avoid problems is to camp out of sight of the idiots who "just wanting to have a little fun".      

If you do have any weapon, remember, it is usually "illegal" to have one in a state or federal camp ground.  But then you rarely need one there.

On the other hand, the Natchez Trace is a 400 mile long Federal park.  Thus, even police in Mississippi can have problems carrying a gun in their auto in that park.

I hope that this adds to your indicision.     If it really bothers you to camp, for fear of others, then you are better off touring and using motel/hotels.


Offline wuzfuz1

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2005, 07:07:17 pm »
Wow, what a debate.  I too have traveled many miles on a bike doing tours through out the US and Canada.  I want to state up front that I am pro gun and a retired cop.  I know that there are a lot of "bad guys" out there.  I have only once carred a gun and that was when I was touring the CA coast.  I always carry pepper spray.  I carry in on my handlebar ready to use.  I agree with the thought that most of the time you don't need it but there was one time that I was doing the southern tier with my, at the time, 16 year old daughter (and we got chased by lots of dogs on the route) where a pack of dogs no matter what I did would not stop and we could not out run them.  One short shot of the pepper spray on the lead dog and they all turned and left us.  I am a dog lover and know from experence that is the safest most humane way to deal with dogs where the owners do not take care of there animals.  I hope that gives you one more view point and this topic.  What ever you do, don't give up biking and sit on the sofa.  We need as many bikers out there that we can get.

Offline joeprim

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2005, 06:51:45 pm »
I have on occasion carried a Charter Arms .44 special. I guess this was when the DC sniper was active. Also if it's an area where animals might be rabid. The new company so it can't fire accidently in a crash. If I were in bear or Mt. Lion country I'd have a .44 Mag. at least. In over 50 years of guns the only real defensive use was to shoot a squrrel that was chasing my mother in law. So you don't need one often, but when you do nothing else is enough.


Offline DaveB

anyone carry'n heat?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2005, 05:20:39 am »
We could all carry guns, and then worry about getting shot by other cyclists.

This is truly one of the most flawed arguments in existence.  In states where concealed carry permits are readily available, the violent crime rate is significantly lower than where firearm carry is severely restricted.  All those claims of a "wild west" mentality have always proven false.