4 comments on “Personal safety when cycling

  1. Yes, good point and this subject is rarely covered in cycling magazines.

    I always take a well-charged mobile with me, and, as a back up take an address book (in case the mobile gets pinched and cards get stolen). I also memorise useful numbers. I don’t carry credit cards with me and I don’t take lots of dosh.

    If a train ticket gets stolen, I know I can get a ticket using a SILK system whereby you go to the station and see if you can get a relative or friend to pay for it in advance (and then you pay them later). Even if the station is closed, you can call Customer Services or perhaps ask someone to do that for you.

    I won’t fight over a small possession, it is not worth it. The trick is just to look poor! I am insured up to the hilt for most things, so even if I lose things, then I can get another, although it may mean an excess and hassle but it just takes a few days to sort out.

    At night I try to stick by housing and avoid canals at night time in London.

  2. I’ve read that a lot of cyclists here in the US carry pepper spray, is that something you’re allowed to do over there? Often it’s mentioned in connection with protecting oneself from aggressive or hostile dogs, but could I imagine be used against human attackers as well. I don’t currently carry it, but will probably look into it more.

  3. Thanks Velochick. I think we have to make new cyclists aware that they are so much more vulnerable to assault when on a bike that when coccooned in their cars.
    Digitaldame: Thank you, you raise a good question: I imagine that we might get away with using a pepper spray against an aggressive dog (though I would be happier using it on the dog’s owner – working on the basis that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners), I feel sure that we would be in deep trouble using it on a human attacker. Then again, if it can be regarded as an offensive weapon, one would be in trouble if caught carrying it.
    There have been many cases in recent years where citizens have used force to protect themselves and/or their property and have ended up in court for their trouble. Among other things we now have to respect the villian’s human rights. The law and the police have both lost the plot and no longer offer any protection at all to law-abiding citizens so far as I can see. And of course behind all this nonsense are the idiotic politicians who wonder why we have no time for any of them.

  4. Personally I’ve always felt completely safe on my bike – but then for me the alternative is usually walking. And I never felt particularly vulnerable on foot either, even (maybe especially) in London.

    When I was at Uni, if we were caught by police riding without lights the standard excuse was always ‘sorry officer, but as a woman on my own I thought I’d be safer on my bike…’ But then one friend of mine tried this and ended up with a patrol car escorting her (on foot, wheeling her bicycle) all the way home…

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