This is a discussion on Bicycling and CC within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm on the far side of middle age and I took up bicycling a few years ago because my knees can no longer take the ...
I'm on the far side of middle age and I took up bicycling a few years ago because my knees can no longer take the pounding of running. Like many of us, I'm trying to postpone the inevitable effects of aging. When I bicycle I almost always ride country roads and I stay as far to the right as possible. I'm never discourteous to drivers, and I value staying alert to what's going on around me. I wave at motorists who are obviously considerate of my personal space and riding pace. And I always carry a handgun with me.
While I've never felt seriously threatened, I've had several occasions - including one today - when motorists deliberately swerved toward me, offered less-than-friendly hand gestures, etc. To the other cyclists on this forum, do you often encounter this type of aggressive/rude behavior from motorists? If so, has it ever been severe enough that you had to draw your weapon, or seriously consider this possibility? Let me be clear, there's no excuse for drawing one's weapon over simple rudeness. Still, I know a cyclist who's brain damaged because he was hit in the head by a bottle thrown from a car. Undoubtedly, there are lots of obnoxious cyclists. I'm not one of them. Maybe I expect too much from the general population. In any event, do other cyclists experience much of this type of behavior from motorists, and have you ever been seriously threatened?
"Denial has no survival value." David Grossman
My knees deteriorated beyond even bicycling. I often see rudeness exhibited toward bicyclists here in FL, and there are a lot of them. FL law requires motorists to give riders 3-foot clearance when overtaking. Sometimes that may mean having to wait and cross the centerline, which seems to irk some drivers.
Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
I can't ride a bicycle anymore but I often encounter this behavior on my motorcycle. I know folks complain about bicyclist clogging up traffic because they are slow but with motorcycles I believe they just do it to see if they can scare us. I'd imagine that many times they do it to bicyclist for the same reason. They feel powerful because they are bigger than we are.
Glad to hear I'm not the only one who carries while riding my bicycle. If you want to get away from all the traffic find a rails to trails bike trail in your area. They are old rail lines that have been converted to paved bike trails. You still have road crossings every now and then but no cars to deal with on the trail. My wife and I both carry when we ride the trails. When we ride the roads around the house she doesn't carry unless she is riding without me.
I ride quite a bit on and off road.
Over the years, the most I have felt threatened was from Milwaukee County bus drivers who seem to go out of their way to get as close as they can to bicyclists. On three occasions over the years I have thrown water bottles at buses or pounded on them with bottles when they came within inches of me, and have struck two with an ASP baton I have carried for years. I only remember winding up to swing the baton at one car which then moved away from me.
Concealed carry has only been legal here for just under a year, and this season I have been carrying on and off while riding (I ride to work, and cannot take a gun into my workplace, so I don't carry then). I often ride urban trails along some of the rivers here, and am glad to be able to carry then as I have come across some pretty dicey people in the woods.
NRA Life Member
I carry my lcp while riding, however I do not carry +1.
I have been involved in a hit and run. guy crossed the yellow to pass me, started slowing to make a turn... I assumed a left, then came toward me... no shoulder, I put myself up on the front wheel, set it back down, had my shoulder against the suv just behind the back door. yelling the whole time. he turned right in front of me, my front wheel touched and i tumbled out into the middle of the intersection. luckily no one was behind the guy or i would have been road kill... a little road rash, landed on my phone in my left jersey pocket and got a bad bruise right in the kidney area... no damage to the bike or wheelset... no idea how that happened. the guy made the turn, stopped like he was going to pull into the quick shop on the corner, then took off. a lady tried to catch him and get his plate but he took off...
Next time if i get the chance I will hand the cop the passenger side mirror and tell him its the car that belongs to this mirror... I was doing 23mph on an easy down hill, and all that happened in about 200 feet.
I have had a couple red necks buzz and yell at me, one throw a cup at me. and a couple people that I thought might stop and decide to pick on the nerd in spandex. what a surprise it will be for the first guy that does stop and decides to start comming toward me...
I used to ride back and forth to work in town and you are right it can get crazy at times. SA comes natural when one is on a bike or a motorcycle.
In some places, roads are tight, bike lanes are narrow or non-existent, and the driving population can often be downright deadly toward bicyclists. Root around the news for Portland, Oregon, over the past decade and you'll be appalled.
I'm with you: go armed everywhere it's lawful, always (or, at least as much as you can). IMO, while out and about alone is one of those absolutely/always times.
I'm not really surprised that most of us who ride road bikes seem to have had similar experiences. Still, I find it amazing that something as innocuous as bicyclists on rural roads who are bothering or impeding no one are subject to such aggressive/threatening behavior. It must be a power thing.