Just a short rant on safety and bicycling. I plan a few more, but this one is about carrying pepper spray on my commute. Why?
I ride about one mile on lazy residential back roads to the trail. Vehicular traffic is heavy but manageable. Then it is onto the trail system that, unfortunately, has many people who use the trail that either do not leash their dog, or long leash it to the point that their beloved pet, that would never hurt anybody, lunges at you as they chortle in loving parental delight at the escapades of their beloved rascal. Usually pit bulls. Then there is the beautiful park that has been taken over by a pretty rough crowd (one guy walks around with a 12 inch hunting knife strapped to his leg), where an acquaintance was assaulted, on a walk through with friends, ending up with a chipped tooth. The same place where a group of angst filled fun loving teenagers did not want to make way for me and stared daggers at me for disturbing their delinquent repose. Oh, and if you are into the crack scene you can scratch that itch there too. There have been other tense moments. Also, the trail system is not well patrolled and there have been instances of assault and one sexual assault just last week. It is not a total disaster, but it has the potential, to be. By the way, there is a short bypass to that park so I don’t even ride through it anymore. I also make it a point to warn people, usually students from the University of Missouri, not to continue their run through it either.
A few days ago I happened I meet a friend on the trail whom I had not seen in about a year (he has not been riding because a car hit him about five months ago in a parking lot – I will be dealing with cars/trucks a bit later on down the line) and I noticed he had a pretty large can of pepper spray strapped to his bike. He told me his own war stories. What to do?
That night I went straight to Amazon. There I found this product:
So now I ride back and forth with pepper spray strapped to my bike and still feel out gunned.
So now I ride back and forth with pepper spray strapped to my bike and still feel somewhat vulnerable.
It is just a regular canister of Sabre pepper spray in a velcro holder. Is this overdoing it? I hope I am not becoming “that guy,” but I don’t wanna be that victim. Oh, and my friend? In his pannier he carries a .357 magnum. Missouri is sometimes like the wild west. No kidding.