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  1. #1
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    Nervousness Riding at Night...

    Were any of you veterans a little nervous about night riding (in the mountains) when you first started out? I have been riding very seriously and continuously for well over 20 years now, but whenever I have got caught out at night in the mountains, things have turned to panic pretty quickly, even though I have had lights (albeit $hitty lights) to help me limp back out to my vehicle.

    Itís the wildlife mostly that I fear (I have all sorts in my area of riding, including cougars and grizzlies). I have googled the issue numerous times but canít seem to find any information on whether animal encounters/attacks are more prevalent at night.

    Also, I fear the thought of spirits, spooks, ghosts and other similar undesirables who may be roaming the woods late at night...

    I donít know how you guys do it, especially solo.

    That said, this is the year I am going to try to confront my fears by doing some night riding with my daughter. I will try to go on full moon nights (hopefully thatís a good idea) and to areas where I think others may be riding.

    Any of you guys nervous at night compared to daytime, or do I just need to grow a pair?

  2. #2
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    I love the night. Always have. Noncorporeal entities don't bother me and the only creature I truly fear walks on two legs.

    I do a lot of moonlight rides.

    I will say I have powerful, high quality lights if I want, but I prefer lights out or low light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post

    Itís the wildlife mostly that I fear (I have all sorts in my area of riding, including cougars and grizzlies). I have googled the issue numerous times but canít seem to find any information on whether animal encounters/attacks are more prevalent at night.

    Also, I fear the thought of spirits, spooks, ghosts and other similar undesirables who may be roaming the woods late at night...


    Any of you guys nervous at night compared to daytime, or do I just need to grow a pair?
    I dont like to solo ride at night, mostly from the standpoint that if something goes wrong, crash or mechanical, theres a lot less chance of someone else coming by. Also the chances of said events do go up in the dark. We dont have too much in the way of wildlife that wants to eat u here, the worst is mostly wild boars. They can do damage, but usually they just want to be left alone and wouod rather run away. Dawn and dusk is generally when they wre most active.
    If its somewhere not remote and is in cell range then it not too bad.

  4. #4
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    Solo can be spooky but also has an interesting extreme vibe. I worry more about accidents than anything else though.

    Riding after dark with others is fun. The whole spooky thing disappears and it becomes a cool alternative world. Nothing better than reaching the top of a long climb at night and looking down on the lights and knowing youíre out enjoying the hills while most are in front of a screen.


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  5. #5
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    It's good to be a little cautious about local potential problems if your away from civilization. Plan on the worst and being self sufficient. That's really the best way to approach it. It's comforting to know your prepared.

    Step one, get some good lights (plural).
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    My first night rides were at 24hr races about 20 years ago. Lots of folks around and a well established route. No time or energy to be afraid. It was an easy way to get into the fun of night riding

    I now ride solo almost always and have done several rides at night where it is the first time I've ever been on that trail.

    Animals like cougars or black bears are nothing to worry about. Never even seen a cougar on a day ride let alone night. When I have come across a bear (never at night yet), they take off as soon as they figure out a human is around. Coyotes run off. The only time I ever had an iffy experience was encountering a spike buck at night on a fire road. He wouldn't run off. I dismounted and walked past him as far away as I could get which was only 6-8 feet. Hopped back on and finished out the ride.

    The only wildlife I'm concerned about is two-legged. After retiring, I never ride urban trails at night anymore. When I was working I'd do night rides in a large forest park on the way home. Only one time had a sketchy moment when I encountered a couple homeless folks huddled around around either a small fire or camp stove right in the middle of the trail just past a downhill switchback. I had to swerve off the trail as they scattered. I had a minor crash and was kind of worried about the potential of them trying something while I was down. The reality was they were just as freaked out as I was and they were shouting "sorry" while I was getting going again.

    It just depends on how comfortable you are about darkness and the outdoors in general. If it bothers you to go solo, don't. Find a riding partner.
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  7. #7
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    I ride in New England and have done night rides for a long time. With daylight savings time if you work for a living, after work rides are in the dark during late fall to early spring. I've always had a decent light and love the current 950 lumen Niterider I have (always helmet mount). I do ride a little less aggressively...solo rides are not a big deal to me but I am even more careful when riding alone. It's amazing how a very familiar trail becomes vastly different at night. I'm very comfortable in the woods at night...the thought of 'spirits' never crosses my mind.

    As for wildlife...thankfully we don't have to worry about critters that eat you around here (CT). I have seen a million deer, turkeys, owls, raccoons, etc. Just last night I came upon about a dozen deer within 10 feet of me...can see reflection of their eyes before you can see anything else. Then they freak out and dash off into the darkness...Pretty cool getting that close.

    If I was in Grizzly or big cat country I would be thinking about that. I'd consider carrying a handgun. Probably not much good against a 1200lb Grizzly but maybe it would scare him off.
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    Iíve ridden at night alone for years. I was a bit spooked at first but I got over it. With the light s available today it is even less of a concern. Often enough I would see other riders out there so itís not like I was really alone. There are lots of black bears, coyotes and some cougar as well in places I ride. Once I saw a wolverine. Never seen much at night other than coyotes which donít scare me much. The wolverine was an extremely lucky and rare encounter. In North Vancouver close to a major highway and residential area. It looked at me, l looked at it and it ambled off into the blackberry bushes. Iíve seen deer often which means there are likely cougar hunting them. The cats are sighted fairly often and signs placed to warn of a cat in the area. I figure cougar have watched me many times but Iíve never seen one. Carrying a gun is probably just good for thinking you are safer. If an animal attacks it will be sudden and unexpected and you will have no chance to draw a weapon let alone draw a bead.

  9. #9
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    Great topic for an opening post. If I was riding an area where Grizzlies were known to habitat I really don't know if I would ride that area at night or even during the day alone. Even if I did I would almost have to carry a firearm to even begin to get brave enough.

    Luckily the region of the country I live in is pretty benign. I might see the occasional rattlesnake if I go north enough but otherwise I only worry about a chance encounter with a skunk ( which of course would not be fatal although quite odorous ) I've seen Black bear to the north and west of me but Black bear encounters are quite rare and usually without incident.

    Some people just get spooked at the thought of riding at night. Most of my fears usually have to do with being caught riding in areas that are suppose to be closed to riding at night. I've not done a whole lot of night riding in actual mountainous areas. In mountainous areas there are just more possible chance encounters with dangerous wildlife. Snakes are something that I tend to fear the most. If I were to ride in the mountains again I'd almost have to insist on owning a pair of snake gaters, if just for peace of mind. I most certainly wouldn't want to run into any rattlesnakes or any copperheads unexpectedly.

    Of course riding alone in the mountains tends to brings it's own dangers as well. My biggest fear is accidentally falling off the side of a steep trail. Most of the Eastern single track mountain trails I've seen tend have some very dangerous sections. Been years for me since I've done those kinds of rides so if I decide to get brave again I'll almost have to invest in some arm, shoulder, elbow and knee protection. BTW, I did actually tumble down the side of a mountain trail one time. Thankfully nothing was broken but I did have to get the arm x-rayed just to be sure. ( Ah, the good ol' days ).

    I can totally relate to being on a previously unridden mountain trail and being unexpectedly caught with the sun dropping below the horizon and without decent lighting.
    That can be a quite frightening experience. I've had that happen a couple times but that was back in the day when halogen lamps were the only lamps available as bike lights. If you're in the mountains, not sure if you took the right trail to get back...etc..etc...and you have no lights with the sun fading fast...you are in deep do-do. Been there, done that. Lesson learned. Thankfully we now have a variety of good LED bike lights to choose from.

    Sadly, I now have health issues ( as a senior citizen ) that tend to take predominance over most of my worries when riding at night. Bad enough worrying about wildlife or police encounters without having to worry about having a heart attack because you pushed yourself too hard. ( Hey, it happens ). FWIW, a dose of Xanax an hour before the ride helps me because sometimes my body just gets over-stressed while riding at night. I'm hoping to lose a lot of weight this year so hopefully that will give me more confidence to ride night if I'm carrying 40 lbs. less weight on my body. Unwanted stress can be a real buzz kill. No fun riding at night if you can't enjoy yourself because of fears, whether they be imaginary or real.

  10. #10
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    Some of my must enjoyable rides have been solo night rides...

    Albeit on trails I know really well.

    Just pedal like ya stole it & you'll be sweet...

    On one night ride I saw a hare that looked like a small deer!!

    It came out on the trail & ran in front of me for a few metres, then it vanished into the dark. It was frikin huge!!

    Then a few minutes further down the trail, a Possum did it's best Zombie impression i.e. it walked out onto the trail on it's hind quarters, marched a few paces forward in front of me & waltzed off, stage left - into the night o_0

    The Possum encounter had me thinking WTF!?

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  11. #11
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    I can relate.
    Pretty new to night riding but don't go solo. I've ridden to work a few times at night but up in the high country, back roads or trails...? No, not me as solo. Bears, bobcats or mountain lions etc... I guess I just feel safer in number even if just one or two others. We have fun as a small group and I do get out enough to get my fix.

    In my view, if you rdie for fun and recreation, do so under the conditions that allow for that fun and feeling of freedom or adventure.
    Personal thresholds for adventure and risk versus fun or worry are our own good guidlines to embrace and what makes a ride fun hopefully keeps us from pushing things too far.

    Been a while now but my only recent animal encounter was on the way to work one night and just outside my neighborhood, riding the motorcycle. Seen the these two giant shadows cross the road in front me in no particular hurry. I slowed and flashed my brake lights thinking; My god - Those are huge dogs !!
    There was another following and the three were deer.
    Just so funny how something right in front of you so unexpectedly can be so confounding. Never seen deer in that area before and deer strikes are serious business for the moto crowd.
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    I attached one of these to the shoulder strap of my Camelbak in case of hand-to-paw combat: https://www.fenixoutfitters.com/kniv...ools/hideaway/

    I also carry bear spray.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu06 View Post
    I attached one of these to the shoulder strap of my Camelbak in case of hand-to-paw combat: https://www.fenixoutfitters.com/kniv...ools/hideaway/

    I also carry bear spray.
    I assume your are joking but if not, I am in bear country. Everyone I know carries bear spray and bangers...in broad daylight. And people still get eaten. Not often, but it HAS happened.

    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    I have seen a wolverine too, but only once as well. And that was at noon in the middle of a scree field, so it had nowhere to run and hide. At least I think it was a wolverine. Whatever it was, it was a very cool thing to experience. I was in a group of 4, and it was in the afternoon, so things didn't get freaky.

    I am not the least bit nervous about crashing or injuring myself at night. Perhaps I should be, but I am not. Zero fear there. What I AM super freaked about is animals. And yeah...spooks... And freaky dudes wandering around in the dead of night in the middle of nowhere. LMAO! Maybe I should lay off the horror movies for a while...

    I want to do this though. I am going to try to hook into some group rides. I am pretty sure there are some weekend midnight rides that some guys who used to work at my LBS spear head. I will track them down...

  14. #14
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    Most peoples animal fears for the most part only exist in their head and there is little to no real danger. That can't be said in Grizzly country. Bears are supposedly most active late at night and into the early morning hours, but it's been my own personal experience they are active at twilight and just after as well. With that your scenario of being caught out past dark could potentially raise the odds of a dangerous encounter. I sometimes will hunker down at twightlight untill long after the sun has set when I'm in an area with lots of bears and cat activity. Whether this mitigates the odds of an unfavorable encounter or not well, so far so good.

    Regarding the boogy man I'm a very rational evidence based guy yet I can kinda relate. I ride in an area where an inordinate amount of people disappear. I'm also about 3% open to the idea of "bigfoot"...not to mention aliens. I just don't let it deter me, it's that simple.
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  15. #15
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    I started riding at night alone about seven years ago because we were doing a biggest loser at work and I needed to get more bike time. My regular riding buddy worked 4-12.
    The first few rides were a little scary. I live on Long Island. We have no bears or big cats. Only Deer.
    Only once, I came across three teenagers smoking weed about 100' into the woods and scared the crap out of them. It was pretty funny.
    My thirteen year old wants to take up night riding with me so I'll get him another light and take him out.

    I'm not sure I'd go out alone if I lived somewhere with big carnivores.
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    I don't mean to say that it's THAT bad where I am. We all ride tons and we almost never see anything. When we do, it is totally benign - deer, elk, big horn sheep and mountain goats. The odd moose too. And LOTS of cows sometimes. I am sure that many of you are in much worse places for potential bad animal encounters.

    I'm careful and try to abide by the usual protocols when biking in the daylight. And it is relatively safe. But I am concerned that all that goes out the window when the sun goes down. Especially if I am not in a group.

    Edit: just watched the movie ďBackcountryĒ, a low-ish budget CDN flick. Bad bad timing. Wow.
    Last edited by mtnbkrmike; 03-03-2018 at 11:53 PM.

  17. #17
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    I get this for sure! Every season when i start to ride at night the first rides are always the hardest. I start to think about stupid scenarios like Yeti, zombies, bears, mountain lions chasing me, crazy demented people, aliens. I find myself always scanning to the sides and looking behind me. I get paranoid as shit. After a few more rides its much more enjoyable. When they let the cows out to range i feel way safer and more confident, not sure why, but i love riding when the cows are out. I ride mostly in open hilly desert, so its wide open, xc type trails. I also ride solo. I have never seen any one at night on the trails out here, hell in the last four years only seen two mtn bikes in the day time. I bet i'm the only night biker the area. Some times at night, people by the main dirt road stop and are probably WTF, 2000 lumens can peak curiosity i guess. At times i thought about carrying my subcompact 9mm on my chest for "safety" but that has never materialized. Last season saw a bunch on wildlife and even heard a mountain lion call but have never seen one. Also, I almost did run into a huge buck that trotted across the trail 5ft in front of me across the trail, it was confused as hell. Fun times for sure.

  18. #18
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    Dude, cows attract the aliens.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by someoldfart View Post
    Once I saw a wolverine. Never seen much at night other than coyotes which donít scare me much. The wolverine was an extremely lucky and rare encounter. In North Vancouver close to a major highway and residential area. It looked at me, l looked at it and it ambled off into the blackberry bushes.
    I had to do a doubletake when I read this - you live and learn

    Nervousness Riding at Night...-wolverine.jpg
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  20. #20
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    Yep!^^
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I don't mean to say that it's THAT bad where I am. We all ride tons and we almost never see anything. When we do, it is totally benign - deer, elk, big horn sheep and mountain goats. The odd moose too. And LOTS of cows sometimes. I am sure that many of you are in much worse places for potential bad animal encounters.

    I'm careful and try to abide by the usual protocols when biking in the daylight. And it is relatively safe. But I am concerned that all that goes out the window when the sun goes down. Especially if I am not in a group.

    Edit: just watched the movie ďBackcountryĒ, a low-ish budget CDN flick. Bad bad timing. Wow.
    Not long after a local murder of a mtn biker just north of town (unresolved) and the so far, unconnected 'crazed hatchet man' threatening people in that same area and timing, I had a bit of a scare myself.

    With another rider in the center of town at our lovely Palmer Park of 700 plus acres, we stopped to chat and water when a guy hiking up behind us had all the trademark appearance of a psycho from Nicholson's Cuckoo's Nest. John was ahead of me looking back as we talked and this guy was right up behind us-
    White tee wrapped around his head, empty eyes and a dead stare with no emotion,, I said "HI" just to offset any type of action he might have been thinking, got no response at all and we pedaled the hell outta there.

    In retrospect, I know there are medical conditions than can arise where people look drunk or out of it and are having some type of emergency but that wasn't what clicked with us and we warned others on the trails as we met them. Thinking back on it now, I'm not sure I'd have thought of it that way even if we were three in number and felt less vulnerable but it may change how I'd interpret things next time if we out number 3 to 1.

    The man's appearance, clothes for being on a hike or trails and most everything about him looked out of place and set off that alarm most of us have. It was like he was dropped off in the woods or woke up there without knowing how he got there and under the influence of
    something.
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  22. #22
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    LOVE solo night riding- live in cougar country- but there have been so few attacks and even fewer deaths- statistically more likely to die in a car accident or getting struck by lightening. But do have huge lights and back up light on. Once my 'only' light went out- pitch black, while coming fast down a rocky steep, curve with cliff on one side- stupid of me not to always have smaller back up light on at all times. :-) Also wear reflective material in case need to be found by rescue (serious injury) and tell someone what trail I'm taking. Always have nrg bar, water, light waterproof shell w/me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    Not long after a local murder of a mtn biker just north of town (unresolved) and the so far, unconnected 'crazed hatchet man' threatening people in that same area and timing, I had a bit of a scare myself.

    With another rider in the center of town at our lovely Palmer Park of 700 plus acres, we stopped to chat and water when a guy hiking up behind us had all the trademark appearance of a psycho from Nicholson's Cuckoo's Nest. John was ahead of me looking back as we talked and this guy was right up behind us-
    White tee wrapped around his head, empty eyes and a dead stare with no emotion,, I said "HI" just to offset any type of action he might have been thinking, got no response at all and we pedaled the hell outta there.

    In retrospect, I know there are medical conditions than can arise where people look drunk or out of it and are having some type of emergency but that wasn't what clicked with us and we warned others on the trails as we met them. Thinking back on it now, I'm not sure I'd have thought of it that way even if we were three in number and felt less vulnerable but it may change how I'd interpret things next time if we out number 3 to 1.

    The man's appearance, clothes for being on a hike or trails and most everything about him looked out of place and set off that alarm most of us have. It was like he was dropped off in the woods or woke up there without knowing how he got there and under the influence of
    something.
    One thing you do have to watch out for ( in certain areas ) is the occasional homeless person who decides to live back in the woods. Then there are the occasional poachers who hunt out of season. I've run into poachers on more than one occasion. Usually they are more afraid of me because they think I'm with the Natural Resources Police. I scared one guy so bad one time that he ditched his ATV ( engine still running with lights on ) and took off into the woods.

    Some weeks ago I was watching a show on T.V. were there were groups of homeless people who were setting up permanent hovels in the local state park ( or state forest ) in one of the mid-western states. Since there were no laws forbidding them to camp there the forest Rangers were constantly having to check on them to make sure they didn't stay longer than the law allowed them too and to make sure that nothing dangerous or unlawful was going on. Most were homeless and would walk or hike into the nearest town daily where they would do their panhandling. Many were drug addicts and when encountered by outsiders tended to have very anti-social tendencies ( no surprise there ). Sometimes when you go out into the woods you just don't know what you might run into, day or night. It happens.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 03-11-2018 at 12:58 PM.

  24. #24
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    I'm pretty sure I told this story before but it applies here...
    A few years back, I was doing an evening ride with my then ten year old son and a friend.
    It was July so it wasn't dark yet until almost nine. We were almost to the end and I was waiting for my son to do a real tecchy spot when I noticed a guy with a clean shaven head wearing a wife beater crouching behind a bush down hill from me. Just then, my son falls so I turn my attention to my son and off him. After we get rolling again, I look for the guy and don't see him. He's hiding. We catch up to my friend and he says "Did you see that guy digging?" I said digging? What do you mean, digging? Guy was burying something and he stopped when I looked at him. I decided to sneak back and see what he was doing. I have a Hope hub on my bike so I had to carry the bike when I got close. I could hear him digging and when I made a sound walking, he stopped. I went back to my son and my friend and we agreed this looked very suspicious and we called 911.
    The cops did not listen to my instructions and came in the front entrance to the park where it would take way too long to get them to the spot. We drive back and meet them there and then drive them to where we told them to meet us and walked in. Now, it's dark. We find the spot where the guy was and there's a fresh pile of dirt marked with a beer can with a stick on it. It absolutely looked like a grave.
    The cops called for the special investigation truck or whatever and a cadaver dog. They checked out everything in the area and dug up the "grave". There was logs buried there.
    Just then, I looked at where this was and realized it was a jump on a steep downhill, not part of the regular trail. Dummy was building features. Guess it was unauthorized and that's why he was hiding.
    A year later, one of my neighbors was telling me how one of his friends does jumps and features in the woods on the sly. I asked what does he look like? Bald with tattoos was the answer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I'm pretty sure I told this story before but it applies here...
    A few years back, I was doing an evening ride with my then ten year old son and a friend.
    It was July so it wasn't dark yet until almost nine. We were almost to the end and I was waiting for my son to do a real tecchy spot when I noticed a guy with a clean shaven head wearing a wife beater crouching behind a bush down hill from me. Just then, my son falls so I turn my attention to my son and off him. After we get rolling again, I look for the guy and don't see him. He's hiding. We catch up to my friend and he says "Did you see that guy digging?" I said digging? What do you mean, digging? Guy was burying something and he stopped when I looked at him. I decided to sneak back and see what he was doing. I have a Hope hub on my bike so I had to carry the bike when I got close. I could hear him digging and when I made a sound walking, he stopped. I went back to my son and my friend and we agreed this looked very suspicious and we called 911.
    The cops did not listen to my instructions and came in the front entrance to the park where it would take way too long to get them to the spot. We drive back and meet them there and then drive them to where we told them to meet us and walked in. Now, it's dark. We find the spot where the guy was and there's a fresh pile of dirt marked with a beer can with a stick on it. It absolutely looked like a grave.
    The cops called for the special investigation truck or whatever and a cadaver dog. They checked out everything in the area and dug up the "grave". There was logs buried there.
    Just then, I looked at where this was and realized it was a jump on a steep downhill, not part of the regular trail. Dummy was building features. Guess it was unauthorized and that's why he was hiding.
    A year later, one of my neighbors was telling me how one of his friends does jumps and features in the woods on the sly. I asked what does he look like? Bald with tattoos was the answer.
    Lol!!
    That is one of the funniest things I have ever read on here!
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  26. #26
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    While riding at night, I saw a freshly dug grave with a shovel stuck in the pile of dirt. I didn't real investigate further, seemed like a good way to get hit on the back of the head and fall into your own grave. Went back then next day, it was filled it. I guess curiosity got the best of someone else

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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Lol!!
    That is one of the funniest things I have ever read on here!
    Nothing more dangerous than our imagination.
    The cops didn't think it was too funny but they assured me that they'd rather we call than not call. Actually, the funniest part of the whole thing was when the dog showed up, one of the cops standing up by the dig site looked at it and said is that the cadaver dog? The K-9 officer said no, it's the bomb dog. The cadaver dog is busy. The cops all looked at me and said don't tell anyone.
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    Paranoia....

    Sometimes I wonder how much of it is a result of exposure to horror movies and other violent imagery, such as "Shark Week, etc.." Sadly, since indulging myself in a few shark attack YouTube binges, I am more scared of the ocean than ever.

    Life without worrying about bear attacks, shark attacks, night intruders, serial killers, thieves, etc., is better than holing yourself up with guns and surveillance cameras, waiting for the next awful thing to happen.

    Easier said than done once those thoughts have taken hold. You have to face your fears head on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    The cops didn't think it was too funny but they assured me that they'd rather we call than not call. Actually, the funniest part of the whole thing was when the dog showed up, one of the cops standing up by the dig site looked at it and said is that the cadaver dog? The K-9 officer said no, it's the bomb dog. The cadaver dog is busy. The cops all looked at me and said don't tell anyone.
    That's Hilarious!! Reminds me of a k-9 unit that came to my house after my alarm went off. The dog jumped through the cop car's window, came roaring up to the front door (closed, we were standing outside) and was very intently looking in the windows of my house. I asked how the officer knew his dog found the 'perp' inside a house versus a cat ( I had 2 in the house) He said his dog would be far more excited if he found a cat in the house. LOL!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightFattie View Post
    Paranoia....

    Sometimes I wonder how much of it is a result of exposure to horror movies and other violent imagery, such as "Shark Week, etc.." Sadly, since indulging myself in a few shark attack YouTube binges, I am more scared of the ocean than ever.

    Life without worrying about bear attacks, shark attacks, night intruders, serial killers, thieves, etc., is better than holing yourself up with guns and surveillance cameras, waiting for the next awful thing to happen.

    Easier said than done once those thoughts have taken hold. You have to face your fears head on.
    Yeah, I hear you. I'm a scuba diver too and live/dive on N. CA coast- in areas known to be inhabited by Great Whites- so what the heck- between that and riding alone on trails at night....skiing off cornices when I have no idea what the landing looks like- GO FOR it- we're still far more likely to die in a car accident or get struck by lightening :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightFattie View Post
    ... Sadly, since indulging myself in a few shark attack YouTube binges, I am more scared of the ocean than ever...
    That just means you're intelligent. As much as I love the ocean if I go down to Fla. I'm not going for a swim in the ocean unless there is some kind of barrier to keep the sharks out. When I heard the story of Bethany Hamilton ( Pro-surfer ) who lost an arm to a shark attack, I just shook my head when I found out that she continued to surf after she had recovered. ( the event happened when she was 13 yrs old and it almost took her life ). I could admire her courage if such attacks were an extreme rarity and while it might be compared to winning the lottery...let's just say it's the one lottery where I would rather not participate.

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    After I became a huge fan of The Walking Dead, I would see zombies staggering in the woods out of my peripheral vision. I KNEW it was in my head but it still made me ride faster. And quieter.
    One night, I was riding with my regular riding buddy and my back was killing me. I told him to go and do the loop and I'll take the short cut and meet him at the plateau. I was sitting in the dark waiting for him, enjoying the stars and the wind in the trees when I see two sets of lights coming. I know it isn't my friend so I sit tight. As they came up the hill, the leader's light hit me and my bike and the guy screamed like a girl. He yelled at me asking why I would sit in the dark by myself. It was pretty funny.
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    I was out one night riding with headphones on. I stopped on the side of the trail to rest with the lights off, but kept the headphones on. As I was sitting leaning against a tree, a guy came up behind me walking down the trail. I never saw him as my back was to him, and he didn't see me because the tree blocked me and my bike. We scared the shit out of each other. He had headphones on too. That was the last time i rode with headphones

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    I night ride often with a group in a local city park, sometimes solo, I see owls once in a while, that's pretty cool. Sometimes we get buzzed by an owl, I'm sure it happens much more often than we see. There are some strange dudes wandering around sometimes, but I don't think they're looking for trouble, there's better places to look for mischief than an empty park. Make sure somebody knows where you are and when you're expected back, and ride safely, if you do get hurt you can get cold pretty quickly.
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    Whenever I think about being spooked at night I always go back in my mind's eye to the time when I was a kid and I sometimes walked ( or rode my bike home ) from my cousin's house with just the ambient light from the near by homes to see by. Back then my community was still very wooded with only a few houses on some roads. It was only about a mile or so from where I lived but I still remember the spooky feeling whenever I would hear the call of the Whippoorwills in the distance. As a kid my imagination could really get the best of me. I think it odd now that whenever I reminisce on those times I would die to be able to hear a Whippoorwill again. I haven't heard the Whippoorwill in my region since I was a kid. The last time I heard a Whippoorwill anywhere in Maryland was a couple years ago while doing a night ride in southern Maryland ( Cedarville State Forest ). When I heard it I was so surprised that I stopped riding and sat down on the trail to listen for a couple minutes and let my mind take me back in time. I have no real fear of riding at night now as an adult but like what has has been said before... sometimes things can get weird when back in the woods at night.

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    Whatever danger there might be riding in the woods at night it's still safer than riding the roads during the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangie View Post
    Whatever danger there might be riding in the woods at night it's still safer than riding the roads during the day.
    Thats one point that definitely cannot be debated except you say during the day. Trail riding at night is safer than road riding ANYTIME.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Thats one point that definitely cannot be debated except you say during the day. Trail riding at night is safer than road riding ANYTIME.

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    Yep, the day when all the cars became mobile telephone booths was the day when everything changed for people who still want to ride their bikes on the road. I used to believe that it was safer to ride a bike on the road after 10:00 pm if you had very good lights ( front and back ) and lots of reflective material on your clothing. I now no longer believe that but only because I forgot to factor in the possibility of more people being under the influence of alcohol, some other drug or just plain being sleep deprived or overly distracted. Thankfully though traffic does tend to die down at night so that helps your chances of being seen ( or so I would like to think ). All things considered it's the electronic gizmos that we take with us in our cars that are the biggest threat. I speak this from experience because I have to use 4 different types of portable electronics when I do my job. Most of my day revolves around driving from point A to point B. Without the electronics not only would I not be able to do my job but I'd be bored as hell. Sadly the biggest threat is the stupid touch screen on the vehicle I drive. Car radios that operate with touch screens are the most dangerous things to ever be put into a car. I have no idea what the designers were thinking when they came up with the idea.

    Of course cell phones operate the same way so there you go. Hopefully the day will come when it will be possible to totally operate your phone or other electronics completely by voice. My current smart phone does a lot of things by voice but not everything, particularly if I have it doing more than one task at a time. ( which for me is very common ). I look forward to more vehicles in the future having A.I. safety features to prevent accidents. The day when a vehicle's computer can be programmed to avoid anything looking like a cyclist will be a day I look forward to. ( Although by that time I might be so old I might not be able to ride anymore ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Yep, the day when all the cars became mobile telephone booths was the day when everything changed for people who still want to ride their bikes on the road. I used to believe that it was safer to ride a bike on the road after 10:00 pm if you had very good lights ( front and back ) and lots of reflective material on your clothing. I now no longer believe that but only because I forgot to factor in the possibility of more people being under the influence of alcohol, some other drug or just plain being sleep deprived or overly distracted. Thankfully though traffic does tend to die down at night so that helps your chances of being seen ( or so I would like to think ). All things considered it's the electronic gizmos that we take with us in our cars that are the biggest threat. I speak this from experience because I have to use 4 different types of portable electronics when I do my job. Most of my day revolves around driving from point A to point B. Without the electronics not only would I not be able to do my job but I'd be bored as hell. Sadly the biggest threat is the stupid touch screen on the vehicle I drive. Car radios that operate with touch screens are the most dangerous things to ever be put into a car. I have no idea what the designers were thinking when they came up with the idea.

    Of course cell phones operate the same way so there you go. Hopefully the day will come when it will be possible to totally operate your phone or other electronics completely by voice. My current smart phone does a lot of things by voice but not everything, particularly if I have it doing more than one task at a time. ( which for me is very common ). I look forward to more vehicles in the future having A.I. safety features to prevent accidents. The day when a vehicle's computer can be programmed to avoid anything looking like a cyclist will be a day I look forward to. ( Although by that time I might be so old I might not be able to ride anymore ).
    I know those kids with their cellphones and drinking an inexperience get lots of attention but there's another group you should watch out for.

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    [deleted - note to self...no more posting after beers...]
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    Interesting comparisons. I can't help but think that when it comes to the fatal crashes that perhaps the figure is skewed by the death of the very old person who most likely is dying in the accident simple because they are so old and just kick the bucket when under the duress of being in an accident. That and perhaps they die just driving down the road and then hit something while doing so. That said the first chart is the most interesting because it clearly shows that the very young people are the ones to be more prone to getting into an accident. I can believe that. When I first got my drivers license I was a terrible driver. Not that I was a speeder or anything I just had lousy basic skills.

    Been driving professionally now for almost 45 years and the number of accidents I avoid by other people is scary. Just the other day I left my home for work, I'm driving down the main road near my home at about 55 mph ( 3 lanes both ways ) when suddenly a car comes over the hill right in front of me ( in my lane ) going the wrong way. With cars all around me I was glad I was in the lane farthest to the right. I swung off to the shoulder with the hand on the horn the whole time...Thankfully I don't think there was an accident. I have no idea how someone can do something that stupid in broad daylight. Now that I think about it I'm real glad I wasn't messing with the navigation app at the time or the outcome wouldn't of been the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    That just means you're intelligent. As much as I love the ocean if I go down to Fla. I'm not going for a swim in the ocean unless there is some kind of barrier to keep the sharks out. When I heard the story of Bethany Hamilton ( Pro-surfer ) who lost an arm to a shark attack, I just shook my head when I found out that she continued to surf after she had recovered. ( the event happened when she was 13 yrs old and it almost took her life ). I could admire her courage if such attacks were an extreme rarity and while it might be compared to winning the lottery...let's just say it's the one lottery where I would rather not participate.
    Pretty fun thread. I took surfing lessons for a week at Tunnels Beach (where Hamilton was attacked) the month after the attack. The first day I showed up, the instructor was looking out at the water and said, "Lesson canceled today." When I asked why, he gave me a little biology lesson about the area and said, "That's shark water today." Before taking off, he told me to go to a particular camera shop and ask for "the photo." When I did, the owner pulled out a photo of a 14 foot tiger shark caught the week before, hanging from a front loader. When I met the surfing instructor the next day, I asked him how often he saw sharks, to which he answered, "Every week, but there are days when you just don't go out. When the big ones come in, you don't want to be in that water." He went on to talk about how many times sharks had bumped his board or shown signs of too much curiosity for comfort. I've dived with sharks (all sorts, though not great whites-yet), but surfing makes me more uneasy than diving.

    Regarding Grizzlies, after a summer in Alaska (and having watched Grizzly Man), I know I wouldn't want to ride at night in bear country, no way. Black bears don't give me much pause. I see them occasionally when I hike up near Flagstaff. Mountain lions, though, are another critter for which I have a healthy fear. Came across one on a hike outside Prescott and it was a pretty freaky encounter. There had been a sign posted that one was hanging out on the Thumb Butte trail. Sure enough, at one point I saw it off to the side of the trail, just watching from a rock overhang.

    But as several folks have said, it's the human animal you have to fear the most. When I do remote solo hikes, I always carry a handgun. Never have on the bike, but I don't ride in really remote areas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    ...Regarding Grizzlies, after a summer in Alaska (and having watched Grizzly Man), I know I wouldn't want to ride at night in bear country, no way. Black bears don't give me much pause...
    I have always been of that view as well. That is consistent with everything I have ever read or heard, as well as local protocol. Then I saw the movie Backcountry a week ago...

    I told my GF afterwards "This is a little unrealistic, given that this was a black. They should have used a grizz". So...she proceeded to get on the google machine and came up with this:

    "...I started writing the script and I started doing research and I came across this story of a couple that encountered a predatory black bear in northern Ontario about 10 years ago...Itís based on a tragic occurrence, but the sad part is, this happens again and again. This happened many times. Thereís an older couple in Algonquin that was murdered in their sleep, eaten in their sleep by a black bear in Algonquin Park. This is real stuff..."

    Writer-Director Adam MacDonald Talks Backcountry at TIFF 2014 | Collider

    There is some other stuff online as well:

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...nflict-alaska/

    Although extreme caution is always warranted (obviously), especially when cubs are nearby, every black bear that I have ever encountered has been pretty docile. I suppose any wild animal is capable of attacking, especially when starvation is setting in or there is a perceived threat to the safety of their offspring, but I now have a new appreciation for the risk involving black bears after watching that movie and doing some further research (even though historically, black bear attacks have been relatively infrequent).

    And yeah, not going to lie. After the sun goes down, the fear factor escalates through the roof for me. Plus, it's not just blacks in my neck of the woods...

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    I love night riding. Absolutely love it. But I started in my 20's when I was fearless. I am 48 now. Again the biggest key is having bright lights. I have 2 on my handlebar (1200 lumens each) and one on my helmet (1500 Lumens). I literally light up the night. I have an eye injury though so I need the extra light. Now that I am older though and fear has set in. I always tell My wife where I am riding and when to expect me. But even before I was married or dating her I would always check in with a friend just so someone knew I was out there. If you worried about wildlife put a bell on your seat. Keep bear spray on your frame. Most importantly stop thinking about your fears and just get out and do it. Once you are out there all your worries should melt away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkmtb View Post
    ...If you worried about wildlife put a bell on your seat. Keep bear spray on your frame...
    I don't know about the bell. According to most sources I have come across, bear bells are not effective (except for annoying other 2 legged animals). I keep my bear spray on the sternum strap of my CamelBak (yeah, I know, I know, but it's better than getting separated from my bike and the spray) and bear bangers in the side pocket of my CamelBak. I have a "bear cozy" bear spray holster for my water bottle cage and a second can of bear spray, but rarely bring either.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5038-9...-Spray-Holster

    If I ever have to resort to any of those things, I don't like my chances of making it back to the trailhead in one piece. But agreed - much better to have them than not.

    And that is just bears. Then there's the whole cougar issue as well (and not the good kind either)...

    This was in the middle of Banff (an hour and 15 from where I live) in January:

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3980567/r...anff-townsite/

    This was in Fernie, 3 hours away, where I ride all the time (and in broad daylight):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FbHzeCJjM

    Good times!

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    Yeah man: Brown bears are fvcking terrifying. We saw one in a stream outside of Sitka and holy $hit, that thing was HUGE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    .......When I do remote solo hikes, I always carry a handgun. Never have on the bike, but I don't ride in really remote areas.
    A contrast in fears....

    When I go backpacking, the closest thing to a weapon I carry is a small pair of folding scissors in my first-aid pouch. If the wife wants me to take her downtown for something, day or night, I'll be armed.
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    I was in law enforcement for five years. Last thing I ever consider taking into society is a gun. More risk than rewards there, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I don't know about the bell. According to most sources I have come across, bear bells are not effective (except for annoying other 2 legged animals). I keep my bear spray on the sternum strap of my CamelBak (yeah, I know, I know, but it's better than getting separated from my bike and the spray) and bear bangers in the side pocket of my CamelBak. I have a "bear cozy" bear spray holster for my water bottle cage and a second can of bear spray, but rarely bring either.

    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5038-9...-Spray-Holster

    If I ever have to resort to any of those things, I don't like my chances of making it back to the trailhead in one piece. But agreed - much better to have them than not.

    And that is just bears. Then there's the whole cougar issue as well (and not the good kind either)...

    This was in the middle of Banff (an hour and 15 from where I live) in January:

    https://globalnews.ca/news/3980567/r...anff-townsite/

    This was in Fernie, 3 hours away, where I ride all the time (and in broad daylight):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4FbHzeCJjM

    Good times!
    After viewing a couple videos on Youtube I found this one which really got me thinking. ( this video shows multiple animal encounters so be patient. The good ones take a minute or so to come up )

    Most certainly I think if you ride in an area known for bears I'd go with the bear spray which is likely the best deterrent. In the video I linked to there are a couple good bear encounters with mountain bikers. The one that really got me was the one where the guy is riding up a slight rise. You can tell he is getting really tired as he starts to slow. When he stops he sees the bear off to his right, freaks obviously and decides to ride his bike down the side of the mountain ( no trail ) in which case he falls shortly after. ( Not sure I would do that ). When he gets back up he looks up the hill to see if the bear is chasing him. He slowly makes his way back up to the trail and sees a guy ( apparently riding behind him ) standing in the trail with a can of bear spray in his hand and calmly holding his ground. In the far distance you can see what looks to be more than one bear so likely a bear and her cubs.

    The video with the mountain lion is good too. I think some bear bangers and some bear spray the best way to go if you ride in areas like that. Now as far as threats, cougars are one thing but the size of a Brown or Grizzle Bear...you really don't stand a chance. Unless you happen to be riding downhill and the bear just decides not to give chase. With all this in mind I doubt I'd ever choose to ride at night in an area where those types of animals happened to be indigenous to the region.

    Now that reported episode with the black bear eating someone; That would be an extremely rare thing to happen. There are demented animals though. Animals that for some reason ( usually sick or injured ) see humans as vulnerable prey and / or just decide to be overly aggressive for no in particular reason. It happens but thankfully those types of encounters are rare.

    I did see a black bear once but that was many years ago riding in WVa. I was riding down a steep downhill section and just happened to notice the bear off to my right about 100ft. away. No chase or anything, he saw me, I saw him and he bolted the other way while I sped off down the hill at a good clip. Really glad this didn't happen though while I was climbing a hill.

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    The only thing I am afraid of are skunks and Rangers. Both spray you with a different thing and they both stink.
    Lots of wildlife around here, except bears and crocks, but after 100's of hours running (mostly) and riding at night, most every animal Ive seen is either running away or big eyes looking back at my blinding lights and then running away. They usually scatter by the time my brain puts the whole picture together.
    The one other thing mentioned but not highlighted is ALWAYS run two lights with different batteries. Batteries dies, connectors disconnect, wires get snagged and there is no good ending if your lights drop going 20mph in the woods...really important point! I wont let people ride with me if they wont turn both lights on.

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    Good point on running two lights on. I ride with 3, 2 on the bars and one on the helmet. The last couple night rides I got lazy and only took one on the bars and one on the helmet, which I didn't turn on. Good reminder on the failure while flying down the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    I was in law enforcement for five years. Last thing I ever consider taking into society is a gun. More risk than rewards there, IMO.
    You didn't carry on duty?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducman View Post
    You didn't carry on duty?
    Check the tenses in my reply up there. Not a fan of every Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry carrying in public. More guns have not been accurately correlated to safer streets.

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    Excitement is part of the fun, and although I think the 5000 lumen, stadium light crowd might be happier riding when they don't have to create daylight conditions and their own weather from radiant heat, I don't night ride where there are predation bears.

    But seriously, relax. It's gonna be okay.

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    My first long night ride was the second half of a century with about 30 miles of full-dark riding. Back then we generally only used reflectors and my lights battery died 20 miles from home. I generally won't ride after 10pm until about 4am. Try as I might, I can't trust the drinkers and text messaging masses. Additionally, we've had a few bike robberies by local punks. The rest of the time I watch for cars, dogs and knuckleheads on the trail not wearing reflective material, no situational awareness, etc. Let's face it, biking is more hazardous than driving (if you forget about the health risks of not riding). Time on the trail/road will either make you more relaxed (and able to concentrate on real and changing threats) or careless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    Check the tenses in my reply up there. Not a fan of every Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry carrying in public. More guns have not been accurately correlated to safer streets.
    Not sure what to make of your last statement. If you had said, "More guns in the hands of outlaws and idiots have not been accurately correlated to safer streets", I would have to agree. On the other hand if you had said, "More guns in the hands of law-abiding well trained citizens and well trained Police personal have not been accurately correlated to safer streets", then I'd be inclined to disagree. Of course even if I was wrong about that and streets were still not safe with trained law-abiding people carrying guns it really wouldn't matter because you would still have to have good people with guns to stop the bad people with guns whether the statistics proved the streets safer or not. Now if no law abiding people or law enforcement people had guns I would bet my last dollar that street crimes would increase exponentially. Sorry for going a bit off topic but couldn't let that last statement go without comment.

    Anyway, what you said about guns you could also say about cars but nobody would dare try to limit how many cars there are in the hands of the public nor do I know anyone willing to give up their car even though the roads are statistically more hazardous with more cars on the road.

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    Ugh. That car analogy seems always to pop up in these circumstances. NRA meme? Not even remotely logical comparison. Shall we do cheese choking incidents next?

    Sorry, but I can't waste time arguing it. Do some research and learn about it. Guns aren't saving all the lives-especially in the hands of the "good upstanding citizens" the far right seems to posit exist in direct confluence with the purchase of firearms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    .....Guns aren't saving all the lives-especially in the hands of the "good upstanding citizens"
    I think more lives get saved by guns in the hands of the "good upstanding citizens" than are saved by guns in the hands of a hiker/biker. Note I said "think". That means it's just my opinion and I'm entitled to have one. Just as you're entitled to carry while you hike or bike and I'm entitled (and licensed) to carry in town.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    Ugh. That car analogy seems always to pop up in these circumstances. NRA meme? Not even remotely logical comparison. Shall we do cheese choking incidents next?

    Sorry, but I can't waste time arguing it. Do some research and learn about it. Guns aren't saving all the lives-especially in the hands of the "good upstanding citizens" the far right seems to posit exist in direct confluence with the purchase of firearms.
    The analogy makes perfect sense to me. Cars ( like guns ) can easily wield death if mishandled. The only difference is that more people likely own cars than own guns. That said in a modern society no one is trying to limit the amount of cars being owned. Of course unlike guns cars can come with many safety features that help prevent death. Nevertheless they can still kill under certain circumstances and in a modern society they are just one example of the necessary evil that is needed in order for people to get around.

    I have no association with the NRA. I don't own a gun nor do I want one at the moment. Now if for some reason I had to move to a really crime ridden neighborhood I most certainly would consider buying one although I would never ever really want to shoot anyone. Of course if it were to protect a family member I would more than likely be a little more trigger happy.

    I don't know why people always want to to deflect a conflicting POV by giving the old, "do more research cop-out response". I'm at the point in my life where I'm just going to trust my own common sense. So far it's worked very well for me. I've seen many things in my lifetime including someone being shot down in cold blood. There are bad people out there with guns. So far my common sense tells me I don't need one at the moment but it also tells me that others probably do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkmtb View Post
    I love night riding. Absolutely love it. But I started in my 20's when I was fearless. I am 48 now. Again the biggest key is having bright lights. I have 2 on my handlebar (1200 lumens each) and one on my helmet (1500 Lumens). I literally light up the night. I have an eye injury though so I need the extra light. Now that I am older though and fear has set in. I always tell My wife where I am riding and when to expect me. But even before I was married or dating her I would always check in with a friend just so someone knew I was out there. If you worried about wildlife put a bell on your seat. Keep bear spray on your frame. Most importantly stop thinking about your fears and just get out and do it. Once you are out there all your worries should melt away.
    I agree with you! Cougars are known to live where I ride at night, but getting attacked by one is less likely than getting hit by lightening. And the biggest problem I've had night riding is when my light went out for a moment (on a fast down hill- uh oh!)- now, as others have said- I ride with 2 sep. lights.

    The moment I start becoming fearful about animals or whatever, is when it is no longer fun and my concentration goes to heck, making the ride really not good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    Ugh. That car analogy seems always to pop up in these circumstances. NRA meme? Not even remotely logical comparison. Shall we do cheese choking incidents next?

    Sorry, but I can't waste time arguing it. Do some research and learn about it. Guns aren't saving all the lives-especially in the hands of the "good upstanding citizens" the far right seems to posit exist in direct confluence with the purchase of firearms.
    There are only 3 groups that get their power from disarming "good upstanding citizens"
    Cops, politicians and criminals

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    Couple o thoughts. Multiple lights, good. Go with someone? Bats are freaking scary, 8" wings 3 ft away? They have 5 ' wings when the shadows hit the ground. And rabbit eyes glow red, still freak me out. Still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Couple o thoughts. Multiple lights, good. Go with someone? Bats are freaking scary, 8" wings 3 ft away? They have 5 ' wings when the shadows hit the ground. And rabbit eyes glow red, still freak me out. Still.
    Yeah, bats are the only thing that freaks me out at night. The new place I'm riding is suppose to have a bunch of them. damn flying rabies rats

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogirl View Post
    I agree with you! Cougars are known to live where I ride at night, but getting attacked by one is less likely than getting hit by lightening. And the biggest problem I've had night riding is when my light went out for a moment (on a fast down hill- uh oh!)- now, as others have said- I ride with 2 sep. lights.

    The moment I start becoming fearful about animals or whatever, is when it is no longer fun and my concentration goes to heck, making the ride really not good.
    ...and without the fun factor it really is not worth riding. My current biggest fear riding at night is just dealing with my own age related health factors. Like others have said it helps to let someone know where you are if you suddenly are not where you should be at a certain time. Thankfully there are some apps that allow others to see where you are so if you have someone waiting for you that is at least some minor comfort. Of course in a remote mountainous area without cell phone coverage those type of things will likely not work.

    They even sell a FOB system now that claims you can use anywhere. Press a button and someone will know where you are at. I hate to say it but I might have to get something like that because I really don't have anyone watching over me, being single and all. Yep, the last thing you want to deal with is having a stroke while riding in the woods and no one around to get you help.

    This year I really am trying to lose some weight and get some decent fitness level back. Otherwise if I don't I'm treading on dangerous ground and my riding days are numbered.

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    About 20 years ago I moved into a not so safe neighborhood and started carrying a large lockback knife for protection.

    For at least the last 7 years, 95% of my transportation has been my bicycle. At least 1/2 of my riding is at night. Over the last 20 years I've had two occasions where I drew my knife and was fully prepared to gut potential assailants.

    One incident was late at night in an industrial area where I stopped to look at a map under a streetlight at about 2:00AM when there shouldn't have been anyone in the area. Someone started to approach me and I yelled "Back off!". He kept coming. My hand was already on my knife and I drew it and canted the blade back and forth to make sure the guy saw the streetlight glinting off of the blade and that was enough to make him turn around and go away.

    I was glad that I was carrying a knife. I don't know that I'd want to deal with all of the potential problems with carrying a handgun. A big knife can be a scary deterrent.

    Plus, knives are such incredibly useful tools that I can't imagine going anywhere without at least one large and one small knife on my person.

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    Last edited by Scott Novak; 03-19-2018 at 09:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Novak View Post
    About 20 years ago I moved into a not so safe neighborhood and started carrying a large lockback knife for protection.

    For at least the last 7 years, 95% of my transportation has been my bicycle. At least 1/2 of my riding is at night. Over the last 20 years I've had two occasions where I drew my knife and was fully prepared to gut potential assailants.

    One incident was late at night in an industrial area where I stopped to look at a map under a streetlight at about 2:00AM when there shouldn't have been anyone in the area. Someone started to approach me and I yelled "Back off!". He kept coming. My hand was already on my knife and I drew it and canted the blade back and forth to make sure the guy saw the streetlight glinting off of the blade and that was enough to make him turn around and go away.

    I was glad that I was carrying a knife. I don't know that I'd want to deal with all of the potential problems with carrying a handgun. A big knife can be a scary deterrent.

    Plus, knives are such incredibly useful tools that I can't imagine going anywhere without at least one large and one small knife on my person.

    Thriller
    I need to find a good knife. I had one - a vicious looking SOG navy seal style thing. It was very intimidating, but it weighed a ton and was super impractical to carry biking. I need to find one that is easier to carry, but doesnít look like a potato peeler.

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    I ALWAYS have a CRKT My Tigh folder with me and a Minimalist Bowie. Not to mention some other stuff.
    Hey... I commute in and out of NYC every day.

    In all seriousness, CRKT makes some nice stuff.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post

    I don't know why people always want to to deflect a conflicting POV by giving the old, "do more research cop-out response". I'm at the point in my life where I'm just going to trust my own common sense. So far it's worked very well for me. I've seen many things in my lifetime including someone being shot down in cold blood. There are bad people out there with guns. So far my common sense tells me I don't need one at the moment but it also tells me that others probably do.
    Carrying a weapon while riding a bike is sometimes necessary if hazards in the area you ride dictate that type of response. I carry when the low life bad guys carry. I carry when life threatening wildlife is present where I ride. I always try to avoid confrontations if possible.

    Research shows that if you appear vulnerable, bad people or aggressive animals are more likely to attack than if you show a strong presence. Riding on the road in the middle of nowhere seems to bring out the worst in people as they believe you are just some defenseless rider. Riding in the forest during drought stricken times increases negative wildlife encounters. Arizona has had a very dry and warm winter which causes hungry animals to look towards humans for food. See this link: Warning: Beware of bears, mountain lions around Mount Lemmon, Sabino Canyon | Local news | tucson.com .

    During the summer I live in Pinetop, a half mile away from where a woman was attacked several years ago.
    See this link: Bear attacks Gilbert woman in Pinetop - Arizona's Family .

    Our home owners association alerts us every year about bears wandering in my neighborhood. Last summer I spotted a bear at 1 a.m. across the street from where the Gilbert woman was attacked in the above link. The bear I saw ran away after he saw my Gloworm XS light coming towards him. I am more concerned with getting jumped by mountain lions though because they are ambush predators. My opinion is that any weapon you carry is better than nothing at all. Don't be afraid to ride in threatening areas, just be prepared and always be aware. After all, your adrenaline is considerably elevated while riding so you should have an advantage right there.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    ...In all seriousness, CRKT makes some nice stuff.
    Can you recommend something that is reasonably light and easily carryable, which looks like some asshole's worst nightmare? I commute, sometimes late at night. I run across people all the time in the pitch black and middle of nowhere who look to me like they wouldn't have much to lose by slitting my throat for my phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    I think more lives get saved by guns in the hands of the "good upstanding citizens" than are saved by guns in the hands of a hiker/biker. Note I said "think". That means it's just my opinion and I'm entitled to have one. Just as you're entitled to carry while you hike or bike and I'm entitled (and licensed) to carry in town.
    Of course you're entitled to your opinion. That's part and parcel of interweb fora.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Not sure what to make of your last statement. If you had said, "More guns in the hands of outlaws and idiots have not been accurately correlated to safer streets", I would have to agree. On the other hand if you had said, "More guns in the hands of law-abiding well trained citizens and well trained Police personal have not been accurately correlated to safer streets", then I'd be inclined to disagree. Of course even if I was wrong about that and streets were still not safe with trained law-abiding people carrying guns it really wouldn't matter because you would still have to have good people with guns to stop the bad people with guns whether the statistics proved the streets safer or not. Now if no law abiding people or law enforcement people had guns I would bet my last dollar that street crimes would increase exponentially. Sorry for going a bit off topic but couldn't let that last statement go without comment.

    Anyway, what you said about guns you could also say about cars but nobody would dare try to limit how many cars there are in the hands of the public nor do I know anyone willing to give up their car even though the roads are statistically more hazardous with more cars on the road.
    The car argument is simply dumb.

    As for refining your if/then statements, law enforcement personnel should be extremely well trained with any and all firearms they will carry. Citizens carrying downtown don't tend to solve any problems (yes, it happens occasionally, but far more often it either has zero benefit or causes more trouble). More citizens armed, having taken their local CCW class does not equate to safer streets.

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    Just remember that guns don't kill people.

    Cell phones do!

    I would wager that there are more deaths on the road due to distracted driving using cell phones than from violent crimes involving guns.

    Scott Novak

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    The car argument is simply dumb.

    As for refining your if/then statements, law enforcement personnel should be extremely well trained with any and all firearms they will carry. Citizens carrying downtown don't tend to solve any problems (yes, it happens occasionally, but far more often it either has zero benefit or causes more trouble). More citizens armed, having taken their local CCW class does not equate to safer streets.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...vidence-shows/
    Lol scientific america. Real quality journalism there

    Here is another gem by them, where they conclude white men buy guns because they are racists
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com...ckpiling-guns/

  74. #74
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    Nervousness Riding at Night...

    Oh, great. Another guns argument.

    Three things.

    1) If a person with anything approaching middling intelligence gets the drop on you, no gun is going to help you.

    2) Plenty of properly trained turn into quivering piles of jello when the adrenaline starts flowing.

    3) God complex. Iíve had death threats or guns pulled on me multiple times. Twice by middle aged dudes in nice cars in affluent suburbs. I know: criminals are everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and colors. Not only do people think they are safer because they carry, but I know they are more aggressive, particularly to people they assume are unarmed.

    I support your right to legally carry a firearm. Guns are great. But, if itís all the same, a WFR course is a better set of skills to have than the ability to not hit anything, after firing blindly, at a hazard you think you saw in the night.


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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post

    2) Plenty of properly trained turn into quivering piles of jello when the adrenaline starts flowing.
    Some even hide outside while kids are being slaughtered

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Not sure what to make of your last statement. If you had said, "More guns in the hands of outlaws and idiots have not been accurately correlated to safer streets", I would have to agree. On the other hand if you had said, "More guns in the hands of law-abiding well trained citizens and well trained Police personal have not been accurately correlated to safer streets", then I'd be inclined to disagree. Of course even if I was wrong about that and streets were still not safe with trained law-abiding people carrying guns it really wouldn't matter because you would still have to have good people with guns to stop the bad people with guns whether the statistics proved the streets safer or not. Now if no law abiding people or law enforcement people had guns I would bet my last dollar that street crimes would increase exponentially. Sorry for going a bit off topic but couldn't let that last statement go without comment.

    Anyway, what you said about guns you could also say about cars but nobody would dare try to limit how many cars there are in the hands of the public nor do I know anyone willing to give up their car even though the roads are statistically more hazardous with more cars on the road.
    The problem here is that the average person is not well adapted to stress, and lacks the ability to make hard decisions under that stress.

    But, yes, I agree on the roads. One reason I stopped racing on the road. Distracted or angry drivers made training a death defying exercise in stupidity. Got hit, purposely, by a guy in a black Caddy SUV going 55mph while visiting my parents in Chicago. Went from 27mph to 0mph faster than Iíd ever done it before, thanks to his right front quarter panel and a tree on the far side of a drainage ditch. Turns out I fly better than my build would suggest.


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    Nervousness Riding at Night...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    Some even hide outside while kids are being slaughtered
    I saw Air Force personnel shoot at fellow Americans when the shit hit the fan, once upon a time in AFG. Luckily, they were terrible shots.

    I was accused, briefly, of shooting a Polish SOF dude, despite the fact that weíd fired 7.62 at a building he wasnít in (he was in the next building, with 5.56 in his leg; which means, other Americans did it). We did turn another Af/Pak gentleman into sausage, though. Our intended target.

    Letís just say that my faith in the ability of even trained personnel to properly ID and put rounds in their target is not super high.


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    Ugh, more ignorance. Scientific American is the oldest magazine in the U.S. and has had such luminaries as Einstein, the Wright brothers, FDR, Douglas Hofstadter, et al as contributors. Typical foolish response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacon Fat View Post
    Some even hide outside while kids are being slaughtered
    You clearly don't know much about protocol for barricaded shooters. You should give it a rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post

    Letís just say that my faith in the ability of even trained personnel to properly ID and put rounds in their target is not super high.


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    Exactly, how many innocent vehicles and victims did the LAPD shoot up, some without even hitting the occupants and spraying houses, while firing hundreds of rounds while they were hunting Dorner?



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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    You clearly don't know much about protocol for barricaded shooters. You should give it a rest.
    Yep, he obeyed protocol that's why he quit/was let go...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    Ugh, more ignorance. Scientific American is the oldest magazine in the U.S. and has had such luminaries as Einstein, the Wright brothers, FDR, Douglas Hofstadter, et al as contributors. Typical foolish response.
    And now its become a liberal rag that produce opinion pieces

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    You clearly don't know much about protocol for barricaded shooters. You should give it a rest.
    Like your magazine, things have changed over the years
    The new policy, actually it has been around quite some time now, is to immediately engage the shooter.

    How long have you been retired for

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    Ok guys come on. This was a great discussion thread.

    The whole guns thing everyone has their thoughts, opinions and feelings. Its a rough subject like many, a lot of passion on both sides and in between. But each should understand all others have their feelings on matters like this and respect them.

    All matters like that subject are good discussion pieces for those open to hearing all sides. But the place for it isnt a thread about how fellow riders feel about the creepiness of the trails after dark when they are out riding.

    So can this stuff be moved somewhere else for discussion (or kept in a thread that already exists if one does)

    Thanks guys.

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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Can you recommend something that is reasonably light and easily carryable, which looks like some asshole's worst nightmare? I commute, sometimes late at night. I run across people all the time in the pitch black and middle of nowhere who look to me like they wouldn't have much to lose by slitting my throat for my phone.
    Check out any of the knives on their Everyday Carry page. Also, check out plastic "brass" knuckles. They're excellent. Only thing, they require a little work in the finger holes with fine sand paper so they slip over your fingers easily.
    I like turtles

  85. #85
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    Lately I haven't done any solo night rides. My one friend who I know has my back no matter what moved out of state. Even though I would tell my wife where I'm riding, that really means very little if something happens and I need help or to be found.
    I always told him as well. I still do night rides with friends and as mentioned above, with my son, but unless it happens to be a truly spectacular evening, I'll probably start a ride while it's still light and finish in the dark vs going out at 11 pm.
    I like turtles

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Lately I haven't done any solo night rides. My one friend who I know has my back no matter what moved out of state. Even though I would tell my wife where I'm riding, that really means very little if something happens and I need help or to be found.
    I always told him as well. I still do night rides with friends and as mentioned above, with my son, but unless it happens to be a truly spectacular evening, I'll probably start a ride while it's still light and finish in the dark vs going out at 11 pm.
    This is why I have to night ride right at sundown anymore. Late night rides are out. My wife will have no clue unless she gets up at 5 am and Im still not home that something is wrong.

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    Interesting the way they tailor website ads. I'm now seeing a conceal carry ad for USCCA at the top of this discussion.

    Scott Novak

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Can you recommend something that is reasonably light and easily carryable, which looks like some asshole's worst nightmare? I commute, sometimes late at night. I run across people all the time in the pitch black and middle of nowhere who look to me like they wouldn't have much to lose by slitting my throat for my phone.
    Lots of options for a knife. I'm thinking strait blade, 5-6? " and some kind of sheath/clip that fits right on a camelbak strap. Easy access will be key, IMHO.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Ok guys come on. This was a great discussion thread.

    The whole guns thing everyone has their thoughts, opinions and feelings. Its a rough subject like many, a lot of passion on both sides and in between. But each should understand all others have their feelings on matters like this and respect them.

    All matters like that subject are good discussion pieces for those open to hearing all sides. But the place for it isnt a thread about how fellow riders feel about the creepiness of the trails after dark when they are out riding.

    So can this stuff be moved somewhere else for discussion (or kept in a thread that already exists if one does)

    Thanks guys.

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    I agree. Time to end the discussion on guns. Too much of a political hot topic and simply the wrong place for such argumentative back and forth. Sorry now that I helped fuel the fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Can you recommend something that is reasonably light and easily carryable, which looks like some asshole's worst nightmare? I commute, sometimes late at night. I run across people all the time in the pitch black and middle of nowhere who look to me like they wouldn't have much to lose by slitting my throat for my phone.
    Simplest thing would be to carry your lock/cable in a way that you can swing it. Next easiest on my list would be an expanding baton. You can swing it at two legged and four legged critters and the aluminum ones don't weigh much. If your local ordinance allows, cold steel makes a couple of configurations of T-handled push knives that are easy to deploy and easy to retain.

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    High powered lights in a rapid flash does quite well to deal with people. Can't bother you when they cant see a damn thing. I like my knives, have a firearms license (but dont own a single one, never have, at least yet) but I try to stay passive and avoid. Since my real animal concerns are one being a speed bump or skunk with an agenda I only carry a blade during the fall when deer are moving and draw the mountain lions down this direction.

    2000+ lumens of strobe in someones face works well enough here, at least for now. Hell 1500 lumens spot beam does nicely for people just being asses.

    To bad its not that easy for everyone that animals are the only real concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Simplest thing would be to carry your lock/cable in a way that you can swing it. Next easiest on my list would be an expanding baton. You can swing it at two legged and four legged critters and the aluminum ones don't weigh much. If your local ordinance allows, cold steel makes a couple of configurations of T-handled push knives that are easy to deploy and easy to retain.
    Thanks. I hail from Canada. Pretty much everything beyond a potato peeler is contrary to my local ordinances. Not saying thatís necessarily a bad thing. Itís just the way it is.

    I found a thread at this forum strongly advocating the Kershaw Skyline as THE perfect biking knife. I did a search and discovered that while it used to be sold locally, it has recently been pulled from the shelves. Then I found out why - in January there was a Canadian regulatory board decision that found that it was illegal to import this knife into Canada.

    Probably bear spray on my sternum strap in the City is also taboo too but I will likely just go with that.

    Every time I pass through a number of particularly dark, secluded areas on the bike path late at night, I canít help but think that it is completely possible that some less fortunate soul could easily appear out of nowhere with a baseball bat and pull a Donny ďthe Bear JewĒ Donowitz upside my head. Not much is going to save me against this though, were it to happen...

    Maybe the money for a knife is better spent on some kind of psychotherapy to try to get all these brutally horrific thoughts from cascading through my mind at night.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    High powered lights in a rapid flash does quite well to deal with people. Can't bother you when they cant see a damn thing. I like my knives, have a firearms license (but dont own a single one, never have, at least yet) but I try to stay passive and avoid. Since my real animal concerns are one being a speed bump or skunk with an agenda I only carry a blade during the fall when deer are moving and draw the mountain lions down this direction.

    2000+ lumens of strobe in someones face works well enough here, at least for now. Hell 1500 lumens spot beam does nicely for people just being asses.

    To bad its not that easy for everyone that animals are the only real concern.

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    Hmmm...another good option. Maybe the best for my particular circumstances. And significantly less expensive than psychotherapy...

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    For just the "creepiness" factor, I found headphones are great too. I used to always use them while riding, help me focus. I used to blast metallica in my old portable cd player while doing my calculus/trig homework in highschool. Always got perfect scores on homework lol.

    But during the day its dangerous and inconsiderate on trails (no issues on bike paths, plenty wide, user numbers at any given time are low) but at night Im almost always the only one unless a group ride. So headphones block out sounds around me and I can just focus. Its the sounds you think are behind you chasing you that are the worst. Especially when somehow its tire noise you never notice during the day.

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    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


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    Citing the following article (https://gizmodo.com/which-animals-ar...-do-1688990017) roughly 2x as many people are killed by lighting than all animal attacks combined. Whats worse you will most likely die driving to the 'remote' wild than any form of death.

    Like I said, most animals scatter when they see your lights coming and please don't carry a gun on the remote trails....that pushes the death rate from accidental discharges to 10x higher than lightning strikes. If you don't agree don't battle me, just battle the data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    Citing the following article (https://gizmodo.com/which-animals-ar...-do-1688990017) roughly 2x as many people are killed by lighting than all animal attacks combined. Whats worse you will most likely die driving to the 'remote' wild than any form of death.

    Like I said, most animals scatter when they see your lights coming and please don't carry a gun on the remote trails....that pushes the death rate from accidental discharges to 10x higher than lightning strikes. If you don't agree don't battle me, just battle the data.
    We are a nation of irrational and misplaced fears no doubt. It's getting worse & I bet if people turned off their TV it may help.

    The worst are areas that deliberately close to night riding for ridiculous fear based reasons. As if heart disease, obesity, and disconnection to the environment aren't scary enough.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    ...It's getting worse & I bet if people turned off their TV it may help...
    Agreed. That said, I havenít had cable for over 10 years. My TV doesnít suck much of my time from me. I have a million better things to do with what precious little spare time I have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    please don't carry a gun on the remote trails....that pushes the death rate from accidental discharges to 10x higher than lightning strikes.
    Or, just don't be stupid. And NEVER ride with Dick Cheney!

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    That said, when I was 14 years old I took the firearm safety classes required to get a hunting license.

    I only learned one thing during the entire course, and that was the existence of brass shotgun shells. All of the other material was basic common sense or things that I already knew. I aced every single test and never broke a sweat.

    This was also in a rural area where almost everyone hunted and fished and were familiar with firearms. Nearly everyone owned some kind of hunting firearms. What really shocked me was that there were quite a few kids that struggled with the class and did very poorly on the tests. THAT actually scared me and taught me how stupid much of our population is.

    Scott Novak

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommybees View Post
    Citing the following article (https://gizmodo.com/which-animals-ar...-do-1688990017) roughly 2x as many people are killed by lighting than all animal attacks combined. Whats worse you will most likely die driving to the 'remote' wild than any form of death.

    Like I said, most animals scatter when they see your lights coming and please don't carry a gun on the remote trails....that pushes the death rate from accidental discharges to 10x higher than lightning strikes. If you don't agree don't battle me, just battle the data.
    Do you have actual data on the accidental discharge increase?

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    Here we go again...

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