Women, Bike Riding, and Safety

I often talk about the average anti gun person. Not the ones that work for the Brady Campaign or run Chicago or New York, but the neighbor down the street. The one that isn’t actually a complete idiot or looking to control the world, but the one who has been completely conditioned to believe guns are bad and people aren’t.

Yesterday a lady who reads the blog sent me a link to a bike riding forum she is on. The subject was safety while riding alone. At the time I read through it, it was a 4 page thread with only 2 women thinking a gun was a viable option. All of the other women not only said they would not carry a gun, but that doing so was paranoid and unnecessary. Worse than their aversion to guns were the comments they made about what they believed would keep them safe. A total false sense of security is all most of them have

The tendency for some will be to read the comments left by these women and then say they are stupid or they deserve to get mugged, raped, killed because they are sheep. I don’t think anyone, no matter how clueless, naive, or thickheaded deserves any of those things. My main goal, now, in writing this blog is to find ways to relate to those people and help them understand the flaws in their thinking. My hope is to get them to take greater responsibility for their lives and do something that will actual benefit them should they ever need to fight for it. I think my blog reader did a good job of stating her points and advocating for just that.

The discussion can be found here.

37 thoughts on “Women, Bike Riding, and Safety

  1. ZOMG

    I was over there reading the thread, and got through two pages waiting for a guy to chime in, when I realized the name of the forum was “Team Estrogen”.
    I’m going out the backyard to split some firewood now.

    Seriously, that was a great discussion.
    Interesting how someone chimed in on the very first page to ask people to tone down the “political rhetoric”.
    I disagree.
    Those women were talking about keeping themselves safe in a given environment.
    It’s very telling that they had to ask the questions about what they could be “allowed” to carry to defend themselves, depending on where in this great country they chose to live. Any question about personal safety is going to turn into a political discussion.
    Ipso facto, and all that.

    Now don’t tell anyone I was reading the Team Estrogen forum…

    • Yes, they were asking for permission to defend themselves and many felt uncomfortable even thinking about it. Some could not even “say” the words. Obviously, I can to relate to that kind of thinking. It worries me that so many people do not think they have every right to not be violated!

      My lips are sealed on the whole Team Estrogen thing, but if I start seeing pics of your breast pop up on your blog, we are gonna talk.

  2. I’m a bad debater. Given a couple of hours I can present an essay, but on the fly? Nope, I’m horrible. That said when I’m in the position where I need to defend my choice to carry a defensive weapon I do remind people that people are accosted, raped, and beaten every day. While it is statistically unlikely that the average person will need to use their defensive weapon, it is not rare for someone local to us to have a violent crime committed against them and the reason we don’t hear about it is because not all of them are reported and the media chooses to only highlight certain cases that are reported. The lady in SC who was raped in broad daylight in a park while walking her dog only received attention from the media because the sheriff of that county held a press conference and recommended that women arm themselves. Defensive weapons are merely a tool, and carrying them is no more paranoid than using antivirus and malware detection programs. You can be diligent about where you surf the net, cautious about what you download, and strictly regiment the portable media used on an unprotected computer, but all it takes is one bad script and it’s all gone.

    • Exactly! It seems so obvious, but it isn’t. People think protecting themselves with a seatbelt or virus detector only effects them. The idea of harming another in defense of their own lives is too much to process, so they don’t.

  3. Keep in mind that in a lot of places it is perfectly legal to carry a fixed blade knife, say, on a breakaway lanyard around your neck. Might be an option for those that either cant, or wont carry a gun.

    • Absolutely! Pepper spray, knife, etc are all good options. The specific tool isn’t my issue. Mine concern is more the mind and that so many are so afraid to even think something bad could happen to them, they leave themselves totally unprepared . Their mindset has become their biggest obstacle to self defense.

  4. Tow a howitzer behind the bike. Good resistance training AND defensive.

    I mean, who would attack anybody pulling a howitzer? 🙂

    I have several cycling friends. Each of them carry when riding. A 20-100 mile bike ride is not out of the question for any of them. On their ride they carry:
    – pistols (usually Keltec’s, but there is some variety)
    – RoadID Bracelet – just in case something happens
    – Legal ID – just in case something happens
    – Some $$ and a credit card – just in case something happens
    – Water – Cuz they gotta drink.

    ALL of that, except for the RoadID, fits in their camelback water setup. With NO issues. Those long rides CAN be dangerous and go a lot of areas you wouldn’t normally go. They tend to stick to populated areas and avoid the really remote rides, but this is the South…

  5. Seems to me those people who do not seem to “get it” are plain and simply is what is called denial. Now this may appear to be a controversial comment but know what? I don’t care. I have a sister that is that way, I have tried and tried to get her “on board”. Not only with firearms. But with the whole concept of prepping. Not gonna happen. So, I have given up. Frankly, if things happen to them so be it. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. What really gets me is her reasoning. She figures when the balloon goes up she will simply sit and pray. Religion has its place and all that…..but geeze….talk about stupid!!! One cannot “save” everyone. So I no longer bother with those type. Sorry….

    • Nope. Can’t save them all and I don’t try. People should have the freedom to choose to be clueless. I just stop short of saying in doing so they deserve to be victimized.

      I have said it before there are a lot more people(not just women) like the old me than the new me. I know far more people who claim they would never touch a gun or hit someone period and even of those I know believe in self defense…most do not carry daily or even most of the time. Many, many, many of the people I know and get emails from have wives that not only don’t carry they don’t do anything to protect themselves. Of the ones I know personally, they are not idiots.

  6. How many citiznes watch silly TV shows like “Survivor” but haven’t a clue to how to actually survive in the real world? When I rode a police bike, I had nylon gear belt, holster Beretta 92- 9mm (just like the M9 I carried in Bosnia and Iraq) and a “vest” to stop bullets.
    Even a small pistol is better than nothing for those who ride light.
    Somebody asked me the other day when they heard I always carry: “Dan, what are you afraid of?”
    Me: “nothing, what about you?”

    • Far to many.

      I am not afraid either. I am not afraid without my though anymore. I prefer. I like to have options, but I still feel capable to defend my life regardless.

  7. We live at the end of a sunny dirt road deep in bear country… Well ok maybe I’ve read one to many Bearinstain Bears books lately. I do live at the end of a one lane cow path. It is paved, kinda, and not very traveled. But I still carry a knife and my pistol when I am out walking. I also carry my phone and a walkie- talkie with the recieving walkie-talkie with my husband.
    Since I am not walking out of the range of the walkie-talkie (about 3 miles). IF something were to happen it is easier to press “Talk” on the walkie talkie rather than try and unlock the phone pull up speed dial and press call.

  8. They don’t deserve to be victims. But when they display an astounding lack of common sense and situational awareness and end up as victims they are constantly surprised at how it happened.

    That is the mindset you have to change. (along with convincing some people that yes, you can walk down the alley at 2 AM slinging your panties around on a finger, but is it a good idea?)

    People want to be convinced that the world is full of bright flowers and fuzzy bunnies and they don’t want to acknowledge that there are coyotes out there who eat the fuzzy bunnies.

    Good luck with your quest!

    • Lol it’s not really a quest. I am not trying to save the world or change everyone’s mind, but if I can find positive ways to help a few people see the flaws in their thinking then I hope to. I know some people will never get it and that’s fine. I am not going to nag them or make it my mission to wake them up, but I do want to at least try to find ways to get through to at least some people. kind of like the blog reader did. She gave a thoughtful reason why carrying was a viable option and then she moved on and left them to make up their own minds.

        • It tends to interfere with the draw. 😀

          Of course, it could serve as a distraction and give you a bit more time…especially if you had some rocks and used them as a sling…

  9. Wow. That was a somewhat…disturbing…read. I mean, it’s one thing to live your life in Condition White and then to be caught off guard when something bad happens. But to recognize that there IS a danger, and then to voluntarily choose to return to the “oh, well, it can’t happen to me” mindset? Boggling.

    I think someone in the thread did point out that every single victim of violence – myself included – didn’t expect that it would happen to them. Criminals, after all, rarely attack people who are expecting it. So, the whole “it can’t happen to me because I believe it can’t happen to me” meme is a bit silly, when one stops and thinks about it.

    And here’s something to consider – the last time I looked at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, the per capita risk of being a victim of violent crime was about the same as, or perhaps very slightly less than, the per capita risk of being in a house fire. So why don’t we tell people they’re paranoid for buying smoke alarms and fire extinguishers? Why isn’t it alarmist to have a fire drill?

    All of which reminds me of a shirt I saw recently that I need to buy. It says, “Gun control: The notion that a woman found in an alley raped and strangled to death with her own pantyhose is somehow morally superior to the woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.”

    • I forgot to say, I am bewildered at all the people in that thread who are talking about using GPS, Google Latitude, etc. so people know where they are. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you run across a two-legged predator with no viable means to defend yourself, how does a GPS or whatever do anything more than make it easier for the police to find your body>

      • Oh I know. The only thing it might do is helping them find your body. When bad guys will rob, beat, shoot you in front of people, then you can be sure your odds do not get better in seclusion.

        • …and then they will TAKE your GPS device, press the “Home” button, and follow the directions back to your residence where they have access to lots and lots of free stuff….

  10. Meh, seems like they are basically in ‘denial’ that THEY will ever need to actually defend themselves… They obviously don’t live in areas where the possibility is a reality, and I believe they ‘assume’ they will always be safe.

    • That aaumption might cost them dearly one day. I pray, sincerely, they never have to learn how wrong they are.

  11. Just read the whole thread over at Team Estrogen (It was on page 6 when I read it).
    A) They really were pretty civil with one another. Even as to admitting that there are topics out there that will always be contentious, with a pretty good explanation as to why those kinds of topics are often contentious. Still, that’s a aside from the purpose of this discussion.

    B) The original poster stated “I ride 90% on rural roads. While traffic is a concern, being isolated is actually potentially more worrisome. I have my routes mapped out on ride with gps and let dh know which route I’m riding and estimated duration. I email him when I’m leaving and email him when I get home if he’s at work and not at home. I carry a cell phone. I have a better world club membership. I have a road id. I never ride listening to music and I stay very aware of my surroundings. I’m equipped to handle minor repairs on the road.” then asked the question ” What else could one do?”

    She got lots of responses, but didn’t actually chime back in herself till page 5, and then it was with “As the OP of this thread, I want to say sorry for even asking the question. The thought that this discussion would turn to a debate on firearms did not even cross my mind. The thought of *arming* oneself didn’t even cross my mind as an option. I was thinking along the lines of the suggestion given about your SO being able to track you on GPS. Had I known that we’d even be talking about carrying a gun on a ride, I would never have started it. Political biases aside, I was hoping that this would be constructive. Although I had no way of knowing that it would devolve to this, I will say that some of the *reasonable* (and no, I don’t consider carrying a GUN to be *reasonable*) suggestions were helpful and I thank those people.”

    While she appears to be in the camp of the “all guns are bad and will always be bad and I can’t even bear the thought of thinking about guns or considering that they aren’t all evil”, I found the whole discussion interesting. She posted a question, and though she didn’t like all the answers, guns were usually, when not outright dissed on, viewed as simply another tool.

    Some of the posters appear to be more realistic in their world view, “bad guys are out there and I might be a target” while more appear to be of the mind that “bad guys might be out there but they’re “out there, somewhere else”, not here where I am.” Wishful thinking.

    Unfortunately, it appears that many of those women really may feel that a woman found in an alley raped and strangled to death with her own pantyhose is somehow morally superior to the woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound.

    Sorry for the long response.

    • Steve, I agree with you 100%. I really thought the discussion was respectful and mature. What I thought was interesting was that the moderaters were consider closing down the discussion not based on an actual problem but in anticipation there might be one even though these adult women showed toning to warrant such concern. Sometime a preemptive measure is needed, but probably not on a harmless discuss forum where th worst thing that could happen is some over sensitive person got there feelings hurt. Remind me of gun control. Let’s disarm the innocent in favor of the criminal because what if…

      The other main thing I found interesting was the whole blame the victim thing. These anti gun women basically had the argument of if you get mugged, raped, killed its because you were in the wrong place and did the wrong thing. it not the bad guys fault it’s yours. If you ride on a bike pat and you think you need a gun there then you shouldn’t be. Well, guess what sometime the bad guy comes to the nice neighborhood and kills you all the same. It doesn’t much care that you are nice and in denial. I don’t think any of these wome should be or deserve to be victims of a crime, but their thinking is dangerous for them.

      Love the long response. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Really enjoyed reading them.

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