Does A Woman On A Bike Need A Weapon?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Lizel, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. Lizel

    Lizel Active Member

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    Self-defense that makes sense?
    First off, there are certainly differences to biking say, on the streets of San Francisco, the bike lanes of Gothenburg or Copenhagen, and the leaf-lined paths of suburban Virginia. TreeHugger Matthew says neither he nor anyone he knows has considered needing protection while biking in NYC (though he as a kid he carried a big stick to fend off bike-attacking dogs).

    If you are a regular biker whose morning or nighttime commute will be done in the dark, or if you ride solo where for long stretches there's nothing but you, your bike, and the road, self-defense is at least worth thinking about. Erin Weed, CEO and founder of Girls Fight Back! says 'stranger danger' is pretty overblown, and women are more likely to be subjected to violence from someone they know rather than an unknown assailant.
    But Weed has a list of safety tips for women runners that can be relevant to women bikers, too. Among them are to have other people in the know about your route, make sure you can be seen, carry your cellphone, use your senses to stay alert to danger, and don't be afraid to be heard - in other words, yell your head off if you do get accosted.
    Weapons can work against you
    The big problem with carrying a weapon is that it may be used against you. Two small, unobtrustive items can be considered if a woman (or anyone else for that matter) is planning to be a bicycle commuter and wants some extra peace of mind. After making sure your bike is well-equipped with lights, the other options could be an attack alarm or a whistle, and a can of pepper spray.

    A little can of pepper spray can be mounted on your bike if you get a mounting set from someplace like DefenseDevices (though note that it's not legal in every state to use pepper spray). TreeHugger John suggests two separate cans of pepper spray if you are going for maximum safety - one strapped to a wrist and another strapped to an ankle. Pepper spray, unfortunately, has a pretty heavy footprint. Let's hope you never have to use it.
    Lastly, if you ever are threatened while on your bike, self-defense experts agree on one thing - your first and foremost strategy is to try to get away from your assailant. After that, a u-lock, if you have one, might be one weapon of self-defense you have handy. Safe riding!
    Source: http://www.treehugger.com/cars/does-a-woman-on-a-bike-need-a-weapon.html
     
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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Pardon me but I really got a laugh with the thread title, hahahaaa. If we would need a weapon when we go biking, not only for women but any rider for that matter, I guess it's much better not to ride anymore. I mean, if the place is that much risky then why risk yourself on a bike? Over here, it is quite risky to bike alone even inside our village that's why I still couldn't buy my a new bike because my husband is afraid that something bad may happen when I bike alone. His condition is for me to find biking companions in our village.
     
  3. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    A weapon means absolutely nothing if you're not willing to use one, and that applies to men and women alike. If you'd hesitate to defend yourself, then don't bring a weapon because it's going to cause you more harm than not. Everyone thinks that they can protect themselves by carrying some sort of weapon and that's just not the case. Many people find that they're not willing to actually use the weapon, so then they put themselves in danger and look foolish for not using the weapon for self-defense.
     
  4. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Yes they do. Knives. Big f@ck off shiny ones. :D

    And maybe a revolver in a trench coat.

    A heavy Russian accent is a plus! :D
     
  5. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

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    :ph34r: I don't know about that.
     
  6. PennyS

    PennyS Member

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    If I feel like I need a weapon to go somewhere, I will not go there. There is nothing I really need to do (work, shopping, etc) that cannot be done safely and in daylight hours when normal people are just out doing their thing.

    I suspect this is really not any different for a man. Yes woman have a greater risk of sexual assault, but men have a great risk of macho attacks from something like road rage where a guy is far less likely to hit a female.

    In both cases if a place predictably going to require you to fight for your life and risk harm, death or imprisonment (fights are general a hearsay scenario when anyone can say anything). Option number one is to just not go there.

    Option number two when a dangerous situation is unavoidable or occurs unexpectedly is to knowing you have a solid club lock that could be used as the name implies.
     
  7. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    It's always the quiet guy in the last isle. :D
     
  8. PennyS

    PennyS Member

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    There is that irreducable risk of shit happening.

    But I have lived in major cites in the UK and US for decades and currently live n Chicago, I am out all times fo the day ot night, not always totally sober... and I have never been hit or blocked from leaving a place in my life. Partly luck. To be fair rather a lot of luck. Partly not going to dives, or areas known for drugs, or dark areas at night. Not drinking unless I am with responsible friends helps too.

    Most cities offer lots of wonderful things to do with a mixed-demographic law-abiding crowd of folks who are following a law. And if some random carzy targets me (that has happened twice) I get the hell out of Dodge.

    But getting out of bed in the morning comes with risks, you control what you can and then see what the universe brings. I personally would not add a lethal weapon to the mix.
     
  9. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Can you quote "Goodbye Mr Bond" with a heavy Russian accent? :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFq82MHvtfo
     
  10. AtlantaSports

    AtlantaSports New Member

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    I say yes. Women nowadays need weapons at all time. I hate that this is the world that we live in, but there are creepy people who are coming after innocent people constantly and that sucks.
     
  11. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Member

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    Yes woman do need a weapon of some kind, I'm not a big favorite in guns, but at least have some pepper spray armed.
     
  12. welshdude3

    welshdude3 Member

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    My SO carries a kel-tec P32 .32 acp everywhere. Off the bike. On the bike. In the grocery store, etc. She's got a HGP and can carry open or concealed, but prefers concealed. It's got a double action trigger so it can be carried safely with a round chambered. 7 round magazine. So, it's referred to as a 7+1.

    She's ex-military and earned expert in both side arms and rifle training. She NEVER carries in a bag or purse. ALWAYS on her person. Offer any opinions to the contrary, but she's confident, assured, trained and fearless when it comes to her own safety. The military taught her situational awareness and anticipated strategies. 5'4" - 115 lbs. Pity the fool's perception of her as an easy mark.

    If good things come in small packaged, so can HUGE surprises.
     
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  13. Bonzer

    Bonzer New Member

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    Pepper spray as some suggested is a good means of protection. It deters eve-teasers and stalkers. However, if a burglar gang is behind you and if the criminal is a professional, I'm afraid, even a gun can't help. As some suggested a weapon can go against you. It all depends on your local conditions and your threat perception.

    If a route is too risky, you may better avoid it. If it's as simple as a pepper spray, then you are all fine.
     
  14. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    Asking that question on this forum?
    I can already tell you prevailing opinion will to always carry a large caliber pistol, you never know when the British might pop up.

    But seriously self-protection is a good idea, even just for the peice of mind. If you don't like the idea of a weapon then you can try self-defense classes, turn yourself into a weapon.
     
  15. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I agree with that. The reason why we don't have a gun because my husband said that he couldn't shoot a person even if that person is an intruder in our house. There is a big difference in owning a gun to be used and owning a gun for display only. In my case, I always carry my pouch bag when I do on riding. Aside from money, my small pouch bag also contains a small flashlight and a swiss knife that I could use in emergency cases. It may not be a deadly weapon but it gives me confidence.
     
  16. welshdude3

    welshdude3 Member

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    A large caliber handgun on a bike is a fool's errand. The aforementioned Kel-tec P32 weighs 10 Oz w/a full mag and a round chambered. Surprise, competence, confidence, commitment and concealment.

    Regardless of your choice to carry any sort of weaponry situational awareness and strong wattage are one's best defense.
     
  17. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    If a woman can carry a 44 magnum and climb an 18% grade she don't need no gun.
     
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  18. niightwind

    niightwind Member

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    I have to agree with what some others on this thread have said; if I need a weapon to go somewhere, I really shouldn't be going there in the first place. I don't want to put myself in harms way. I suppose if someone were to bike on deserted roads or in a sketchy area, some sort of self-defense tool would be good, but I believe that goes for both men and women. For myself though, I do my riding in town and never later at night or in areas that I'm unfamiliar with. I don't need a weapon to bike ride anymore than I'd need a weapon to go to the grocery store.

    Besides, I'm far too clumsy. If I took a weapon along with me I'd be bound to just hurt myself with it. Plus, I'm pretty sure carrying any sort of weapon with you is illegal in the town where I live. I'm not saying it is a completely safe place, but for myself... I don't need one.
     
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  19. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    I think everyone should carry pepper spray. Just stick it in your pocket or some convenient place. That isn't for cyclist only. That should be something everyone should carry.
     
  20. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    I have no interest in carrying a weapon. I don't ride in isolated places though, just in town. I think the advice given to children applies to adult women as well. If someone is attacking you, wrap your legs around your bike and hang on with your hands as hard as you can. It is REALLY hard to get someone off a bike and into a car when they are hanging onto the bike for dear life with all four limbs. While you are hanging on, scream for help.
     
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