Author Topic: Solo touring and protection  (Read 7844 times)

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Offline psychling

Solo touring and protection
« on: December 23, 2007, 11:52:10 am »
The only time I feared getting attacked was when I was 4 miles from home and a guy in a pickup just didn't like the fact that I was in the way of his right turn.  

My plans are to ride multiday solo trips through the southwest.  `Solo' is the operative term.  Having a weapon seems sort of pointless because, if someone is going to hammer me it will be `at speed' and I won't be able to respond anyway.  But, ...

"sleep is a crutch!"
"sleep is a crutch!"

Offline whittierider

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 06:36:18 pm »
People in this part of the country (the southwest) are not openly hostile toward cyclists like I understand the rednecks in Texas and on east are, but of course they are ignorant of bikes' capabilities and limitations and of what the real dangers are versus the perceived dangers, and they unwittingly add to the real ones.  Using mirrors however, we have no trouble.  You can tell when a driver behind is headed for things like passing you and immediately turning right, and you can avoid it by the way you position yourself in the lane, motion for room, etc..  It's amazing how much control the cyclist has of traffic behind when he can see it at a glance without turning around, and how drivers respect and appreciate the fact that you are aware and ready to accommodate everyone's safety and convenience, not just your own-- and a little goodwill always comes back to you.


Offline litespeed

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2007, 11:50:22 am »
In my opinion most problems with motorists occur when you are on a heavily traveled two lane road with no shoulders. Then you are getting in their way. I try to avoid major cities and I don't hesitate to ride on a sidewalk where feasible to get out of heavy traffic. The trick is to be courteous, alert and avoid inconveniencing motorists. I have hardly ever been yelled at by motorists.


Offline psychling

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2007, 04:52:43 pm »
The last time I was riding through Sierra Vista I was on the PAC Tour Mountain week.  Got lots of honks and waves from folks in beat up pickup trucks.  Might could have been because I was wearing jersey with the Mexican flag on it.  Sort of stirred up the Border Patrol, though.  A few trucks roolllllled by me might sloooowwww.

"sleep is a crutch!"
"sleep is a crutch!"

Offline TomRaven

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2007, 02:07:03 pm »
you were, as they say, asking for trouble.  The "shirt" that is.


Offline WesternFlyer

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2008, 02:15:17 am »
Might could have been because I was wearing jersey with the Mexican flag on it.

It really bothers me that Psychling got the long-slow-eye for wearing a Mexican flag jersey.

I meet a young woman, Michelle, riding solo down the Pacific coast last summer from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco, CA where she was going to meet her fiancé.  She was having a grand time on her first big two-wheel adventure.  She happened to be Mexican-Canadian.  I met her at several hike and bike campgrounds on the Oregon coast as our routes and itineraries crossed.  She had been riding, like me, mostly in overcast skies and/or rain since the start of her trip.  When the sun finally came out in force it was easy to see her Latina heritage as her complexion started to darken.  She was not only proud of her transformation, but seemed somewhat surprised.  She refused my SPF 45 I was applying to help keep my pale Northwest face from burning.  I was very happy she was not riding south of San Francisco or to Sierra Vista.

Michelle is someone who doesnt have the choice of changing to a shirt without a Mexican flag on it even thought she is a Canadian citizen.  My God, it is unacceptable to be harassed for wearing a shirt with a Mexican flag on it in the 21st century in America!  

The ACA has opened the Underground Railroad Route.  Riding the southern part of that route would have been unthinkable four decades ago for African-Americans or even for European-Americans wearing shirts displaying solidarity with the history and struggle against slavery.  We seem to be moving in the right direction.

I believe that in the United States of America anyone should be able to ride a bicycle wearing a jersey with a Canadian, Mexican or an Iraqi flag on it without harassment.  Peoples differences should be not only tolerated, but openly celebrated.  Perhaps sometime in the future there will be an official ACA off-road route that crosses the Southwest desert in the scorching summer sun to celebrate the perilous journey of Mexican workers who come into our country to work and produce inexpensive food for our dinning room tables.  How about the Rio Grande to Salinas Valley Pathway, RSVP?   ACA could sell jerseys with Mexican flags.


Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline leo

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008, 02:44:50 pm »
Oh, Western Flyer... such sense! Thank you.

happy days

léo


Offline DaveB

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 04:21:17 pm »
I believe that in the United States of America anyone should be able to ride a bicycle wearing a jersey with a Canadian, Mexican or an Iraqi flag on it without harassment.  Peoples differences should be not only tolerated, but openly celebrated.

Very noble thoughts and it certainly would be nice if the world would only listen to them and act accordingly.  Unfortunately a significant portion of it doesn't and to assume it will is naive at best and dangerous at worst.  Hope for the best, plan for the worst.  


Offline TomRaven

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 07:54:13 pm »
Well said, Dave.


Offline WesternFlyer

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2008, 02:17:11 am »
Guilty, guilty, guilty, I am an idealist.  I, myself, would find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, let alone hop on a bicycle and head into the unknown, if I did not believe deeply that people can be nurtured to a more respectful and caring coexistence.  

I could Google quotes from the Buddha, Socrates, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa for back up of my beliefs, but I have to go no further than this website.  

Willie Weir describing travel to a black township in South Africa:  
Ive learned if enough people tell you to be afraid, fear begins to creep into your very soul. I went from being excited, to being nervous, to not being able to sleep at night . . . All of these kids came pouring out of a tiny school. They jumped up and down and cheered for the traveling cyclist.  My fears melted away in their smiles.

And Rob Cassibo, as he appears on the ACA home page this month:
Describing how a Pakistani father and son near Kashmir [a war zone] helped him fix one of his rims, he says, [the father] spent two hours carefully tapping away at my rim until he got it round. I thought he was a miracle worker. When I asked what I owed him, his response was, 'It is human duty to help a stranger.'"

I and everyone I know have fears and trepidations of the other, the unknown. We build up walls both real and imaginary, and both can be very hard to breach.  What can we do but try, both as individuals and organizations?


Western Flyer

When the creatures went,
the wheels went;
when the creatures stopped,
the wheels stopped;
when the creatures lifted off,
the wheels lifted off,
because the spirit
of the living creatures
was in the wheels.
   Ezekiel 1: 20,
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline chrisx

Solo touring and protection
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2008, 06:45:38 pm »
read the forrest service advise about rough camping.  always camp more than 200 feet of the trail.  no food in the tent. I've seen bears many times near my camp.  build a small or tiny fire.=, animals will stay away from fire