ARE YOU AT RISK? – Area Cyclists attacked.

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dbacklover
Participant
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now thats my kind of bikes


msprout
Participant
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Hey guys, Mitch here from The East-End Ninja Defense Co-Op.

Are you tired of being assaulted by ninjas when you’re just riding around, minding your own business? Are you sick of looking over your shoulder, constantly expecting to see a ninja’s boner coming to impale you at break-neck speeds? And who ever wants to spend their days having panic attacks about smelling their delicious ninja sweat?

You have a right to protect yourself against the blurry black-foot menace! Come on down to the Ninja Defense Co-Op and receive FREE instructions on how to give those tree-hopping idiots a run for their money! Maybe you just have to deal with ninjas ruffling up your hair when you finally get it looking nice; maybe you just have to deal with ninjas not wiping down your bike seat after it gets rained on! Nobody wants to walk into work looking like they just had their period!

We teach classes every week on the following topics:

* HOW TO SPOT A NINJA IN EVERYDAY RESTAURANTS (or, NINJAS MAY BE PUTTING THEIR FINGERS IN YOUR HAMBURGER HOMIE)

* FOODS NINJAS HATE PUTTING IN THEIR MOUTHS

* HOW TO AVOID A NINJA WHEN THEY’VE GOT THEIR BONER UP (hint: WALK UP A LADDER!)

* HOW TO THROW NINJA STARS WHILE DOWNSHIFTING

* CHECKING YOUR TIRES FOR ANCIENT SHINTO SPIRITS

* HOW TO INSTALL A BIKE BELL

AND SO MANY MORE!

So stop on by the East End Ninja Defense Co-Op, just off of Penn Avenue. If there aren’t enough chairs, well, you know who to blame.


Kordite
Participant
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I am a cyclist, a gun owner, a CCW permit holder and one time certified firearms trainer and one of those people who successfully defended myself from near certain death with the appropriate application of a firearm.

I’ve shopped at Braverman’s. Know people at Braverman’s and disagree with their signing on here only to hawk their wares.

I also don’t agree with the people who characterize the carrying of firearms for self defense as exacerbating the problem. You have never been in the situation where such a thing is the only thing keeping you from being killed. I have. Brandishing a bike lock would not have saved my life. A taser would not have saved my life. Pepper spray would not have saved my life. My martial arts training would not have saved my life. The police station a block away would not have saved my life.

A lot of people ridicule the decision of people to choose to use a firearm to defend themselves, characterizing them as “gun nuts”. There are also plenty of mis-characterizations about the safety of firearms for self defense, such as “they are more likely to hurt you accidentally” or “they are more likely to be taken away and used against you”. These statements are not supported by the data.

Self defense is a very personal thing. How far you are willing to go to defend yourself from attack is something only you can know and it grates my cheese when people say you shouldn’t use one method or another.


msprout
Participant
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Try shooting a ninja with a gun, homie. Those guys would just eat the bullets and turn them into ninja stars!


reddan
Keymaster
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If you can see ’em to shoot at ’em, they’re obviously not really ninja, now are they? Thusly, bullets will work fine.


mark
Participant
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kordite, you carry a gun while riding?


msprout
Participant
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@reddan – Ah, I see you’ve played ‘Awkward gun rights discussion / ninja / knifey / spoony’ before.


Erica
Participant
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I was kind of disappointed to see that this wasn’t a very useful thread on how to make yourself less of a target of harassment.


dbacklover
Participant
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Rubber Factory

You are right. when I get home tonight I will put my thoughts down at least (I already have and i tried to be productive) and I encourage other to do so as well.


dwillen
Participant
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RubberFactory: There are plenty of threads dedicated to the subject. If search doesn’t turn them up, let me know and I will compile a list.


steevo
Participant
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kordite <i>You have never been in the situation where such a thing is the only thing keeping you from being killed. I have.</i>

Huge assumption on your part. Im sorry you were the victim of a situation, however to assume that somebody cannot be both a victim and anti gun is really naive and insulting.

I would think that a lot of staunch anti gun people are that way because of violent situations they have been in.


Pierce
Participant
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I can just imagine the headlines now… “Concealed Carry Cyclists Turn To Guns In Self Defense…”

You think she looks harmless… but she’s got an Uzi in that front basket


Ahlir
Participant
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Oy, Kordite… where to start?

I should first say that I don’t have any particular problem with people owning guns, especially as the 2nd amendment to the Constitution clearly establishes the right to ownership, albeit in the context of “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” Who could be against defence of the homeland? And who could object to the Founding Fathers’ crafty thrift in shifting the cost of buying arms to the general populace? Little did they know… But I digress. This is the bike-pgh.org message board and we are here to examine the relationship between guns and bikes.

But first, Kordite, I think many of us are curious about the incident you allude to. What actually happened? Where was this? Who attacked you, and why? Were you cycling?

Maybe you were in one of the services at the time and you had to be there as part of your job? I have a nephew who just got back from Iraq. He has some (scary) stories to tell, and he tells them with enough detail so that you understand what went on, and you can appreciate what he and his comrades had to go through. (We can talk about the war, but let’s not; I’m just happy he’s back in one piece.)

Once we hear about your experience(s), I’d like to hear a bit more about how guns and bikes go together. When I try to think about it, I run into the issue of logistics. Where do you keep that gun? The first place I thought of was the pannier. But this doesn’t seem like a great idea (especially when you’re confronted with something like in that scene from Children of Men where the turned-cannibal townsfolk attack the protagonist on the road [great book, meh movie], or maybe just an evening roll along the ELB). How do you get to the gun in time? Maybe it’s just my problem since I keep so much crap in my pannier. But I imagine everyone would have to stop and rummage a bit, by which time it’d be too late.

Maybe you could stick it in the back pocket of your (lycra, spandex, whatever) jersey, right next to the Clif bars? But I can imagine it bouncing around as you pedal (probably the reason you don’t keep your water bottle there).

You could rig up a holster (or two) on your chest, or maybe Braverman could start selling something that lets you holster a gun on the top tube. Is Pennsylvania an Open Carry state? I don’t really follow that stuff so I’m not sure how this would work.

What do you think? How exactly do guns and cycling fit together? Personally, I think it’s “biathlon”.


Andrew
Participant
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One time I was on the GAP in Myersdale. I was chatting with a retired guy who was former navy seal. After talking for a bit I noticed he had a revolver in a holster on his side. We parted, He hopped on his bike with the revolver on his side.

That is my only experience with guns and bikes. I guess it would be good in a wild bear came running after you.


Kordite
Participant
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@mark, Yes, I carry when I ride.

@ahlir, OK, the whole story. . . The Rodney King riots had started in Los Angeles on a Wednesday, this was 11:30 on a Friday night and I was riding my bicycle home through Wilkinsburg. One might think that was an inherently bad idea but I rode through Wilkinsburg every day for years without any particular issues and it was essentially the only route home so I had little choice. Besides, the Pittsburgh Media and authorities were assuring everyone continously that “those things” weren’t happening here in Pittsburgh.

At South Avenue and Pennwood, I came upon a pair of angry youths, armed with a baseball bat. At the time, I carried a 9mm pistol in a “fanny pack” holster. I normally ride with it to the back and I moved it around to the front. They saw me and I attempted to flee. Given the geometry of the attack I realized that I was not going to be able to out maneuver them on the bike so I attempted to get off the bike so that I could run. Unfortunately, that did not go smoothly and I fell in a tangle of bicycle just where the railroad tracks cross South.

I got up and started running. I could hear their sneakers slapping on the concrete just behind me and realized that I could not outrun them. I drew my pistol and turned.

The one attacker, the one without the baseball bat, was right behind me and I literally had the drawn pistol inches from his face. I ordered him to “Back off.”

In that moment, I saw his entire attitude change. He ceased attacking me and just stood there. I again ordered him to back off, and he complied. His partner, with the baseball bat, attempted to flank me and I presented the pistol in his direction to keep him back.

It was about this time that I realized that, in the fall, I had lacerated the index finger and thumb of my right hand. There was blood all over the gun, my shirt, all through the holster.

They backed off and started taunting me, like yappy wolves. If they were going to give me some distance, I was going to attempt to salvage my bike. I moved to the busway entrance and there was someone in a car there that I yelled to them to get help.

“Don’t watch. Please, call the police”

That driver just stared but eventually drove off when I got to the other side of the vehicle and my assailants attempted to use the car to flank me again. I ditched the bike and backed up quickly. Within sight of the Wilkinsburg police station, they stole my bike. (They didn’t get far because I had screwed it up in the fall.)

I went to the fire station and pounded on the door to get someone. After a fireman stuck his head out the window I realized that I still had the pistol in my hand and thought it would be best to put it away. It was then that I saw that the pistol was in the half-cock position. I had been literally half way through the double action trigger pull when my assailant backed off. A near thing.

The cop who took my statement said I should have shot him. The EMT who bandaged my hand said I should have shot him. I spent the next few hours in the hospital waiting room wondering if I was going to need stitched and watching continuous replays of Reginald Denny getting the shit kicked out of him.

I have no doubt that if I were armed with anything less than a firearm, a taser (which weren’t available to the public back then), a stun gun, pepper spray, my fists, I would have been unable to defend myself sufficiently that they would have beaten me until they grew tired of beating me. I also know that if my attacker had done anything other than what he did when I had the gun in his face, it would have taken 4 pounds of pressure and about two-tenths of a second to send a 115grain hollow point through the bridge of his nose at 1100 feet per second and he would have died instantly. As it turned out, we all got to go home that night.

I bristle when people tell me that I should not carry a gun to defend myself because I know that without it I would be dead or, if I was really lucky, merely permanently disabled.


Nick D
Participant
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@kordite I fully support your choice to carry a weapon.

The way I see it, if anyone is going to purposefully attack my life, I will do anything in my power to prevent it–if that means taking their life, I will do it. I don’t care if they are a product of a bad situation, or if they are just trouble kids–I will defend my life. Everyone has free will. There is no situation in any of these attackers lives that is forcing them to attack and beat cyclist.

Are guns the long-term solution? I don’t think so. If I lived in the concentrated area of attacks, who I consider carrying a weapon? I would.

As for other non-firearm implements of defense, there are a lot of options, and I think anyone concerned about their safety should do some research and find something they are comfortable with, and learn how to properly use it.

Furthermore, I think simply becoming, “less of a target of harassment,” is not going to do anything for the problem, and is no more constructive to fixing the problem than talking about guns.

To clarify, I hate seeing that people are being attacked, I don’t think violence is the solution, and I would hate to see anyone get killed, but if it were my life or an attacker’s, I would not hesitate to use force.


cburch
Participant
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+1 Nick. when i was working for triangle in the late 90s there were more than a few times i or one of the other guys had a gun pulled on them by people in cars.

basically it went like this:

car cuts you off and damn near runs you over so you yell in self defense and anger.

car either screaches to a halt or drives around the block.

driver points gun at you and says somethign to the effect of “what now bitch?!”

fortunately none of these incidents ended in a shooting, but it would not have taken much for any of us to no longer be here.

if i had not gotten a job offer back in ny and so moved, i would have begun carrying too. there was i think a 3 day period where this happened to me and 4 other guys right before i left.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@kordite – I’m glad you got out of that spot. As you describe it, I can’t imagine that ending any way other than very, very badly for you if you had not done exactly what you did.

And to the other victims of these attacks recently and otherwise, I feel very badly for what has happened to you, and I want in no way to diminish what must have been very terrifying and painful experiences. I know when I pass through, or nearby some of these areas where these attacks have happened I have my head on a swivel, and am always very relieved when I am through.

Although I think carrying a gun may not do one much good for many of the circumstances described on this board, I have no problem if someone feels they need to do so to protect themselves. That is their choice, and it is within the law. Whether or not I might think it is effective is immaterial.

For myself, if someone is going to jump out of the shadows, throw a rock at my head, or otherwise intend me terminal harm, then there is not a whole lot I can do about that. It is the hand of god (ask the guy at the Tree Forge, or Don Parker – different circumstances, but similarly unpredictable). How do you prepare for that?

Having a gun in my pannier, fanny pack or wherever isn’t going to do me a whole lot of good if I never saw it coming in the first place.

Kordite, the circumstance you described offered you the opportunity to get your weapon handy, dismount and respond. I have the sense that that very narrowly defined type of situation is about the only time that weapon may have come in handy. For most of these other attacks recently, it doesn’t sound like they saw it coming, that they would have had that heads-up to get themselves ready and get their weapon out even if they had one.

I don’t think there is any satisfactory answer here. Like Nick said, if it comes down to it, any of us would do what we had to do. I guess for myself, I’m not ready to live my life with THAT option handy, and I hope i’m never in the situation where I would need it.


reddan
Keymaster
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Kordite, the circumstance you described offered you the opportunity to get your weapon handy, dismount and respond. I have the sense that that very narrowly defined type of situation is about the only time that weapon may have come in handy. For most of these other attacks recently, it doesn’t sound like they saw it coming, that they would have had that heads-up to get themselves ready and get their weapon out even if they had one.

This goes back to Nick’s point about learning how to properly use your chosen defensive option. Whether it be a firearm, pepper spray, or a U-lock, training includes figuring out accessibility issues in advance. The argument about not having time to ready a weapon is very valid, but it applies to pretty much all forms of self defense, not just to firearms.


dbacklover
Participant
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A weapon, any weapon should be the last line of defense (as it was in Kordite’s case) As I have said before I am supporter of Gun rights, I know there have been times when I did carry a gun that simply making it known that a firearm could be brought into play was enough of a deterrent as to calm the situation and allow everyone to go about their day.

Still the first line of defense is (and has to be) an awareness of your situation. We all know that bad things can happen anywhere, but the truth is that we can point to a map and say ‘this is a bad area’ or ‘this is where there has been trouble’. I can go thru the threads and pick out the areas we have all talked about, where cyclist and others have been attacked.

Then it becomes as simple as avoiding the high risk areas or going thru those area and avoiding the high risk times (after dark usually) or going in groups, finding parallel detours that avoid a bad section.

Also being aware of those around you, noticing the two guys on the corner, or the group of teens on bikes. being aware. You have to remember that unless you personally have pissed someone off enough for them to target YOU, then you are being picked because you look like an easy target.

riding alone

looking lost

looking afraid

looking unaware

looking vunerable

all of these things call attention to you and mark you as an easy target.

I believe that these things alone could reduce your chance of being attacked by an order of magnitude.

This is all part of a defense in depth idea

1. be aware of the ‘trouble spots’ and plan accordingly

2. be aware of your surroundings so as to avoid trouble beforehand

3. Don’t present yourself as a target

4. be emotionally willing to defend yourself

5. be prepared to defend yourself

please forgive me if I bounce around as I am putting this together in my mind as I think about it.


msprout
Participant
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But if a ninja attacks you, you better believe that you’ll die. They’re super fast, super nasty and can back flip so fast, they generate electricity.

They’re my number one fear!


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@msprout: Thank you (typed after wiping the coffee off my laptop that was just sprayed out of my nose by the laughter).


Ohiojeff
Participant
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They’re super fast, super nasty and can back flip so fast, they generate electricity.

They’re my number one fear!

They’d have to be my #2 fear. I worry more about Chuck Norris. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, Chuck Norris can actually roundhouse kick you yesterday.


dbacklover
Participant
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well if you have Ninjas and/or Chuck Norris after you not much is going to help, just please don’t ride near me.

Shrapnel and all, You know.

(what kind of evil person would you have to be to have Ninjas and Chuck Norris after you…. ‘He beats puppies, with kittens….’)


88MS88
Participant
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‘underneath his beard is a fist’


bikefind
Participant
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They’d have to be my #2 fear. I worry more about Chuck Norris.

When I worry about Chuck Norris, I worry that I’m going to have to listen to him talk about what he thinks.


Greasefoot
Participant
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Chuck Norris vs a Ninja who wins?


dbacklover
Participant
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Chuck Norris Vs Ninja

We all lose


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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CHUCKANINJAGEDDON! DOOM! IT IS DOOM I SAY!


reddan
Keymaster
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Chuck Norris has admitted that some ninjas are tough, as he often finds them undigested in his stools.


dbacklover
Participant
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Go ahead I dare you


J Z
Participant
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Kordite
Participant
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There is a very big difference between short term and long term solutions. In the short term, if attacked, I believe that, if you cannot flee, then you must be prepared to exert the maximum amount of violence upon your attackers as possible. Overwhelming force. The sort of crazed application of excessive violence that will prompt your attackers to cease their aggression and run in terror.

But this is something for the singular moment of the attack. The long term solution is to prevent the attack. Not merely avoiding the area where the attack might occur or suppressing it with increased police presence but actually taking away the reason for the attack. Jobs. Economic development. Community building. Justice. Those sorts of things change people from predators to citizens.


chrsjxn
Participant
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I think dbacklover really has the right idea here.

Changing your habits (routes/behavior) to avoid trouble spots and not make yourself a target is probably the most effective thing you can do to avoid violent confrontation.

But if you can’t do that, or if you still don’t feel safe enough after you have, I’m not so convinced a gun is the right solution in all cases. If Kordite’s closest attacker had been the one with the baseball bat, that situation could have ended very differently. Plus, I think drawing a gun of your own only increases your chances to be shot if your attackers have guns.

(PS, if we all /became/ ninjas, then we wouldn’t have to worry about any attackers except Chuck Norris!)


spakbros
Participant
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Kordite, wise words, you must not watch much t.v.

Someone also mentioned a navy guy on the trail with a pistol?

I saw a guy when we were camping once who had a pistol on his side in a decorative, embossed leather holster. It was very non-threatening and seemed to be a good way of presenting an open carry without making other people uncomfortable.


Lyle
Participant
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I think drawing a gun of your own only increases your chances to be shot if your attackers have guns.

This probably used to be true. So did “resisting hijackers will just get everyone killed, go along with them, they only want to get to Cuba.”

But I’m less and less convinced that it’s still true. I’m beginning to think that if your attackers have guns, you’re probably going to get shot whether you’re armed or not.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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“But I’m less and less convinced that it’s still true. I’m beginning to think that if your attackers have guns, you’re probably going to get shot whether you’re armed or not.”

It’s the “…if your attackers have guns…” part that is starting to bug me. Over the course of the last several weeks, we have gone from apparent random acts of violence against some cyclists to terrorists hijacking airplanes.

It seems like this thread has lost all sense of context. And humor has failed, unfortunately.

“If your attackers have guns…” then give them what they want. If they want to kill you, they are going to kill you. But when has anyone ever heard of armed gunmen targeting cyclists? What cyclist has anything worth stealing on their person while they are riding a bike?

A commuter might have a laptop, an i pod – fine, hand it over. But are we going to base our expectations of the humanity that we MIGHT encounter on a bike ride on some paranoid delusion that every dark conner is sheltering a gun-wielding psychopath hell bent on… on… on what? Robbing me?

Really? So I should get myself a gun, get all trained up on it on the off chance THAT might happen? Really?

Rodney King was pre-OJ, right. What was that, 1993? THAT WAS 17 YEARS AGO!

Sorry to holler, but let’s try and keep some perspective here. The sky may fall tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean i’m getting a titanium umbrella tonight. Unless Chuck Norris thinks it’s the thing to do.


Greasefoot
Participant
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It’s obvious that Chuck Norris has no equal but I have pondered some difficult matches that could give Mr. Norris difficulties:

Chuck Norris vs Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is a very strong willed and compelling lady. She persuades Chuck Norris to sit down and talk. After a 45 min conversation she convinces him that his life style is destructive and he needs to pay more attention to his wife. Chuck promises to change, signs up for her book club, and then Oprah gives him a Pontiac- advantage Oprah

Chuck Norris vs Tommy Lee (the drummer from Motley Crue)

The exploits and movies of Chuck Norris are obviously well known, but so are the videos and exploits of Tommy Lee! As a mutual sign of respect Chuck Norris spares Tommy Lee any embarrassment- advantage Tommy Lee

Chuck Norris vs iPhone 4

No contest, Chuck Norris destroys the phone with just a glance, it never had a chance. Although Steve Jobs believes there is no such thing as bad publicity and sends out a press release stating that Chuck Norris was holding the phone incorrectly. He then proceeds to give everyone 1 free download on iTunes and the sales of the phone continue to increase- Advantage iPhone 4

Chuck Norris vs Sponge Bob Square Pants

Sponge Bob Square pants is a sponge who lives in a Pineapple under the sea. This is a distinct tactical advantage. Nothing in Chuck Norris’s extensive training has prepared him for this situation. Not to mention it’s almost impossible to hurt a sponge with a roundhouse kick or punch- Advantage Sponge Bob Square pants.

Shaq vs Chuck Norris

Shaq vs is really a bad TV show but Chuck Norris fears no man and decides to shows up and teaches Shaq a painful lesson. He beats the snot out of Shaq and makes him beg for mercy on prime time television. Unfortunately this is not enough for the network to cancel the show and it’s renewed for another season- advantage Shaq vs


Nate
Participant
#

Steel is real! BB30 will take over the world! Ceramic bearings will win you races! 3/16″ cogs are lame, use 1/4″! Mustache bars suck. All fixed-gear bicycles should have exactly one brake — no, make that one break. *You* should wear a helmet.

Oh, never mind.


msprout
Participant
#

Guys, can we please shift the discussion back to ninjas?

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