Author Topic: Self Defense on a Bike  (Read 22351 times)

DoubleDown

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #50 on: May 30, 2014, 10:51:05 AM »
I think the idea is that by the time you know they're attacking you and react, the attacker is probably going to be much less than 10 feet away

Bingo! An attacker can close 10+ feet in one second or less. And hitting a moving target in the face is far easier said then done. And as you've said, that assumes you're aware of their attack, ready for it with pepper spray in hand and safety released, and facing them (i.e., they did not come from behind).


Sure, but the pepper spray works from 0 - 10 ft. The kobutan only works when the person is real close, and (more importantly) you have to strike them hard and fast enough to incapacitate. I've taken some self defense classes and is not at all confident I could do that.

You are certainly free to disagree, but I stand by the premise that pepper spray is vastly inferior. Just about the last thing I want in my hand when struggling with an attacker is pepper spray. Deploying it during a struggle is a recipe for disaster. As I said above, trying to keep an attacker away more than ten feet, or inside 10 feet, with pepper spray is going to be a fool's errand 9 out of 10 times. For that you'll need a firearm and lots of training/accuracy. Once they're close, you need a viable weapon for close fighting. A kubotan or the collapsible baton you mentioned are both excellent choices. Being trained to fight with your body is even better, since you always have it ready.

Pepper spray is good for crowd control and forcing compliance with unruly people who are being detained, and that's it. It is NOT a viable self defense weapon for fighting or keeping attackers away.

The pepper spray will incapacitate for you. My sister carries it in her hand in her pocket when walking home at night. It's really not that hard to use.

I don't know your sister, but I could likely approach her at night and overcome her or take that pepper spray away from her 99 out of 100 times without her landing a single drop on me, if that's the self defense method she's relying on. Even though I'm well trained, I would not like the idea of trying to overcome her while she's armed with a kubotan or baton. I'd put my odds of walking away from that fight without getting hurt pretty low.


DollarBill

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #51 on: May 30, 2014, 11:38:50 AM »
I carry pepper spay in my car but it would be one of the last things I would reach for. I've been peppered sprayed (by a guy that I confronted who was shaking his girlfriend) yes it burns but it didn't stop me at all.

This last Christmas I bought my Mom and Sister a "monkey fist" to put on their key chains. These things look colorful and harmless but believe me these little things can do some major damage with one swing. It has a 1inch steel ball in the end of it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DsCxarlpN0

or at least add a lanyard to your keys. It will a help keep a distance between you and an attacker. Just make sure it's firmly attached.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ljifPhskIg

Always try to keep a barrier if approached, use your bike, bushes, trees, cars. Don't try to reason with crazies, just distance yourself and pay attention to your surroundings. I tend to see a lot of women walking/driving around and they seem to not make eye contact with others. Your eyes can tell you a lot about what someone is planning to do. This has saved me many times from getting into an accident. It also shows confidence. No offence women...men do it too.

DoubleDown

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #52 on: May 30, 2014, 12:50:39 PM »
Thanks for all the advice and commiseration everyone. I've finally been able to put into words why I feel more vulnerable on the bike than I do on foot. On a bike, your hands aren't free (since you have to hold onto the handlebars), you can't change direction quickly like you can on foot  and you can be knocked over easily. The advice of "abandon the bike and take off on foot" feels like  Russian roulette. If you do that, the attacker can then either take your bike, destroy it or hop on and chase you down with it.

After lots of thinking yesterday I opted for a few safety measures:

- a personal alarm. It's in a little pouch on the strap of my messenger bag so it sits in the center of my chest and is easily accessible. It makes an insanely loud sound of a woman screaming.
- a kuboton on my keychain. However this will be of no use on the bike, since I don't carry my keys and when riding my hands are already occupied because I have to hold onto the handlebars.
- A frame pump that pressure fits into the frame, just below the top tube. It will do double duty as a backup to my CO2 pump and a baton
- a helmet cam as soon as I can either find the one that @Ottawa suggested locally or get it online.
- I'll also be taking some self defense classes

I opted against pepper spray. I'm pretty sure I'd get it in my own eyes and lungs. I already have asthma and the idea of my lungs closing up seems like a bigger risk. I also have two young children and I really, really don't want them to accidentally spray themselves. They won't be able to hurt themselves with any of the items I've chosen.

Good for you TrMama on taking some active steps to be prepared! I hope you're already feeling better by having some defenses ready.

As far as being on your bike, you have both advantages and disadvantages there. It's a reasonably fast method to flee and outpace someone on foot, and when you're moving you're not a particularly easy target. But you're correct that you're vulnerable to being knocked over on it if someone surprises you. Your best defenses are to:

1. Avoid dangerous areas in the first place (less populated areas where attackers could be looking for victims, and where you are away from help if needed -- places like jogging/biking trails without a lot of traffic, emptier streets/sidewalks/alleys, far reaches of parking lots or garages, campuses, etc.).
2. Be aware of who is around you, and keep a safe distance away from anyone who is potentially threatening.
3. As mentioned by others, maintain eye contact with others near you -- just give them a brief look that says, "I see you there."
4. If you can't keep away from someone threatening you, then dismount and be ready to run to safety or fight. Don't think twice about your bike, give it up and seek safety or fight. Worry only about protecting you. Don't worry about someone taking it and chasing you down, then they'll have the same disadvantage of not being able to get you with their hands, or you knocking them off it.

Scandium

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #53 on: May 30, 2014, 02:09:51 PM »
I don't really disagree that pepper spray can be difficult to use. I just don't think a blunt object is much better, especially not one that's 6 inches long. And if it's a big guy vs a smaller women it's even more difficult (or small guy vs huge guy...). You might just piss them off more if you hit them at all. This of course goes for all forms or resistance and certainly doesn't mean you shouldn't try everything you got. I carry a baton some times, but I don't really see my wife using it effectively..

If you're talking classes look into Krav maga.

Runge

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2014, 02:55:30 PM »
I've had similar incidences with motorists, not so much motorbikes though. I've always thought carrying a paintball gun with me would be an interesting way of "retaliating" when someone threatens my life.

Although there's only been one time that I seriously felt like shooting someone while I was on my bike. Giant jacked up truck passed withing 2 feet of me going about 60 mph. He then proceeded to the exact same thing to my father who was about 50 feet in front of me. Unfortunately it all happened so fast before I could get a license plate number.

Scandium

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #55 on: May 30, 2014, 03:27:37 PM »
I've had similar incidences with motorists, not so much motorbikes though. I've always thought carrying a paintball gun with me would be an interesting way of "retaliating" when someone threatens my life.

Although there's only been one time that I seriously felt like shooting someone while I was on my bike. Giant jacked up truck passed withing 2 feet of me going about 60 mph. He then proceeded to the exact same thing to my father who was about 50 feet in front of me. Unfortunately it all happened so fast before I could get a license plate number.
You're probably not serious, but I've played paintball competitively (yes there is such a thing) in college and advice against using one outside of a field for a number of reasons.
-don't hurt that much
-can take an eye out
-you get in serious trouble if you're caught, because of above
-you damage the image of legitimate players, which is pretty bad to begin with (you may or may not care about this)

libertarian4321

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2014, 02:16:47 AM »
Mossberg Maverick 88 12-gauge with the pistol grip.   Short, light weight, maneuverable.  No one will screw with you.

GuitarStv

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #57 on: May 31, 2014, 07:16:11 AM »
Mossberg Maverick 88 12-gauge with the pistol grip.   Short, light weight, maneuverable.  No one will screw with you.

Except the police.

In Canada we don't have a second amendment to justify mass shootings every couple months, so we regulate guns and gun use a bit more safely.

Ottawa

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #58 on: May 31, 2014, 07:44:08 AM »
Mossberg Maverick 88 12-gauge with the pistol grip.   Short, light weight, maneuverable.  No one will screw with you.

Except the police.

In Canada we don't have a second amendment to justify mass shootings every couple months, so we regulate guns and gun use a bit more safely.

Concur fully!  Clap clap

Cressida

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #59 on: May 31, 2014, 09:30:05 PM »
In Canada we don't have a second amendment to justify mass shootings every couple months, so we regulate guns and gun use a bit more safely.

+1

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2014, 07:46:16 AM »
Yikes. You're taking good steps. Does the personal alarm have any 911 and/or GPS functionality? These exist and aren't terribly expensive.

I'm a big guy, so I rarely feel as vulnerable, but even I'd be freaked out by that situation. Would caltrops be legal? Much harder for him to chase you if his tires blow out.

In addition to the kubotan, there are some catalogs I used to get that had collapsible nightsticks that extend out to about 18" but are light enough to whip with a lot of force.

BJJ is excellent. Aikido and Kempo are other disciplines that are quite effective, but with the popularity of MMA, BJJ is probably going to be the easiest to find. Learning basic techniques like proper closed fists, throwing punches, breaking common grapples (wrist, neck, waist from behind, etc) will also pay excellent dividends.

Hopefully you don't need any of that advice, though :)

TrMama

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #61 on: June 02, 2014, 12:05:47 PM »
@ Thegoblinchief - A personal alarm that calls 911 is an excellent idea! Do you have any specific suggestions?

A quick Google search turned up a ton of hits for medic alert type systems and an iPhone app. Obviously, something that only works in my home isn't what I'm looking for and accessing my phone is totally impractical. By the time I get the phone out, unlock it and hit the dial 911 button, the threat has either passed or I'm in the midst of fighting for my life. Using a phone also requires you to look down at it. I think the only way to use a phone for self defense would be to throw it at the attacker and hope you hit a sensitive spot.

The alarm I bought was this one, http://www.safetygirl.com/ila-dusk-personal-alarms.html. My bike is also now equipped with one of these, http://www.mec.ca/product/4015-597/planet-bike-roadie-cycling-pump/?h=10+50002+50039+50548&f=10+50002+50551.

I had to look up what caltrops are. I don't think they'd be very effective against bikes, since the tires are so skinny. Plus, I'd never have time to deploy them. I also wouldn't want to carry them close to my body since I'm not keen on becoming a human pincushion if I crash.

eil

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #62 on: June 02, 2014, 03:07:57 PM »
I've never had to put up with another person's arsehole behavior when biking, but at some point I decided that I wanted to be able to defend myself to some degree while riding and without getting off the bike... So I started to kick things.

Every once in awhile when I come up to a concrete wall, light pole, tree, or particularly study sign, I'll give it a good kick.  While moving, with the bottom of my foot, as hard as I can without falling off the bike or altering my trajectory too much. It's taken quite a lot of practice but I'm pretty confident that I could knock down an aggressive cyclist or at least knock the wind out of an attacker on foot. It's a skill I hope I never have to use, and certainly carries some risk and is something I would only rely on as a last resort as opposed to simply pedalling my ass off to get out of dodge.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Self Defense on a Bike
« Reply #63 on: June 02, 2014, 08:47:23 PM »
OK, apparently the person who told me they were affordable has very different idea of what is affordable. Sorry for passing on misinformation.

It shouldn't be THAT difficult to make.