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#1 Latex Salesman
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I was thinking about fastening a small hunting knife or pepper spray (or both) to my camelback strap. I doubt I'll never need it but the peace of mind is worth it to me. So, what do you carry and how?
 

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Always a good day to ride
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Be careful with a knife on your camelback strap. You are more likely to stab yourself in a crash than every actually using it to fight off a wild beast with it.

I am not sure what animals are native to you area, but pepper spray may be a better way to go.

I carry no protection when I ride. (except the ribbed kind) :D
 

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#1 Latex Salesman
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I carry no protection when I ride. (except the ribbed kind) :D
HEY-OOOOOOO... :D

make no mistake, I'm quite sure I'll never need to defend myself. The only creatures native to the wilderness in my area are deer, bears, off-leash dogs and teenagers getting drunk. this is purely for peace of mind. riding alone at night has me a little creeped out.
 

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the biggest danger you will face is riding alone at night. You should really find a riding buddy, too many things to go wrong at night that start simple and can end bad. Generally we ride at night and in colder temps (winter, fall) so a simple broken leg can be a big problem when there is a less then likely chance of seeing a fellow rider...even waiting for rescue can be a challenge because your body temp starts to drop and you were probably underdressed for the occasion and are now wet from sweat.
Sorry for being the nagging dad but that is the greatest danger I had from night riding.
P.S no animals attacked me while I was alone and hurt.
P.P.S I think bear spray is the best bet as I have seen bears while riding alone, all buggered off in the other direction. (don't use on a windy day....thats another story) :D
 

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Check out this thread for some good discussion on riding alone at night - http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/freaked-out-736275.html

Snip from my post...
>>
I ride alone at night once a week and love it. If you do not ride alone at night from time to time, you are missing out. I have seen so many different animals and critters over the years without an incident. I have seen... coyotes, javelinas, rattlesnakes, other snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, wind spiders, owls, lizards, gila monsters, mice, turtles, and a partridge in a pear tree.

We have all been spooked a time or two out there and allowed our imagination to get the best of us. But like others have said, you are the scariest thing out there.

Here are a few good guidelines for solo night riding....

- Always file a flight plan! Let someone know where you are going and when you plan on being back. Call them when you get back safe. If they do not hear from you by a certain time, they are to call you and then send out the search party if necessary.
- Coyotes... you do not have to worry about them unless you are a poodle or toddler.
- Keep your eyes up the trail! Not only does this help you ride better, but also helps spot animals up the trail in time to stop or avoid them.
- Take more than you think you will need with you... Water, food, tools, tube, patch kit, ect.
- Bring a cell phone with you.
- Ride trails that you know.
- Ride with a high-quality, bright light that you can trust.
- Bring a back up light or ride with two lights (handlebar and helmet)

Enjoy and be safe!
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I Always ride with a Karr 40 mag that's about the size of my hand when I'm alone (fits perfect in a fanny pack holster from black diamond). There's a lot of mountain lions and drug smugglers where I ride and I'd hate to be in a situation where I wished I had a gun (although realistically it would probably be too late in either situation). But what I have discovered through experience, is at night, animals are usually blinded by your lights at night and don't know what the hell to do. I've encountered many deer, javelina, coyotes ect. that just freeze on the trailhead when you approach and just stand there as if hypnotized. Even had deer bedded down on the trail not willing to move. Lions are my fear, and I'd regret not having a gun in a situation where the thing has me by the head and I'd have that chance...Maybe. I've researced many compact pistols before this purchase with the fear of it going off during a hard impact and although it claims it's safe I still worry about that also. Why can't I just ride without all the fear of what may lie ahead...Riding would be so much more enjoyable.:thumbsup:
 

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the wild life are more afraid of you than you are afraid of them. I rode around mountain lions and they seem to stare at you and than take off. Im more afraid of people than animals. have you seen all the horror movies and what they do to people in the woods?!:eekster:
 

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peace of mind

Not sure where you ride but it must be really wild. I guess you could carry pepper-spray, a knife, a handgun or an assualt rifle for that matter, but I believe if you have a mindset such that you are expecting to be attacked you'll never really have peace of mind. Ride into the night - turn off your lights and breathe
 

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I am in the western suburbs of Chicago, so out here our wild are a few coyotes, plenty of geese, lots of deer, and the other night, 2 teenagers doing the nasty in the middle of nowhere. They scared me more than anything else. Thus far, the only wild life attack I have experienced is a goose flying in to me on my road bike as I was riding along at 25MPH. Now that hurt! It is hard to get used to, but the other night I was lit up as much as possible. This made it much better, as well as having a decent light on my helmet. It calmed my nerves a little. A couple of times I scared myself more than anything else. When you do that, you tend to push yourself harder and at times to hard. Don't want to bonk out in the middle of nowhere :)
 

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I work in law enforcement in a city of about 110k. I ride to and from work daily so depending on my shift I could be riding home anywhere from 0600 to 1900 to 2300 hours. Given my profession I got a little nervous when I started seeing many of our local repeat offenders hanging out in some of the more secluded areas of my rides. So I started riding armed. I do not expect that I will ever need the Glock I carry when I ride but just like when I'm on duty I am going to take whatever precautions I need to to ensure that I am going home to my family, whether I am coming home from a shift or from a 20+ ride through town. You know what they say, better to have and not need than need and not have.
 

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If it brings you peace of mind, by all means carry whatever you need to feel safer. However, in an area where wildlife is of concern, I would focus on bringing sufficient first aid and survival equipment to make it out in case you have an accident—which is far more likely to happen than being assaulted by a bear or such.

(Actually I would bet that the most danger from wildlife comes from birds and small animals, since they can end up under your wheel or between the spokes while trying to get away from you.)
 

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I had a staring contest with a very big cat the other night. I don't know if it was a bobcat or a mtn lion (we call her MoLi). Fortunately only one of us had a Lupine Wilma on our helmet. I won the contest, but when the cat decided to move, it became invisible!. Race on!

Whatever you carry, make sure that you can deploy it quickly. There are some very powerful pepper sprays out there (I like the Cold Steel Inferno 3.5oz). A clip knife is a good tool, and last resort. Again, only if you are good at getting to it. Firearms are cool, but please take a training course and do regular practice. Proper handling of a handgun is not intuitive, and the liability aspects are huge.

Once you have chosen and stored your tools, ask the question that bik_ryder pointed out: where might this end up in a bad crash? I had a clip knife take a piece out of my hip once, and it was still folded!

gerG
 

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If I rode in an area at night where any of the following was a possible present danger I think I would ride elsewhere:

1) Drug or gang activity.
2) Grizzly Bears, alligators.
3) a known hunting area in season
4) trails with steep drop offs ( off to the side )...because stupid stuff can happen! Dangerous enough during the day - even more so at night.

The following I would consider dangerous if present but I would likely still ride. Snakes though are hard to see at night and as such make me very paranoid...particularly on narrow/rocky trails at higher elevations.

5) rattlesnakes
6)Mountain lions
7)Black bear

I ride alone all the time. Because I really have no one else to answer to I am very careful at night. That means nothing super-steep. If I go down in a crash I am on my own. Women should not ride alone at night. A shame to have to say that but unfortunately it's necessary.

Now if I had a riding buddy I might venture on #'s 3 and 4. :)
 

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I ride in an area where there are many coyotes, rattlesnakes and a few mountain lions. The coyotes are no big deal as has been said. Rattlers are scary, but I'm only real nervous when I stop and put a foot down. I'm looking pretty close. Big cats are another story. Attacks are very rare, but often don't end well for the human. I think a gun isn't the best idea for defense in a cat attack. If they're stalking you, you won't see them day or night before they hit you. Try to get a gun out of a fanny pack with a cat on your neck. I carry a NECK knife from Columbia River Knife company on the shoulder strap of my camelback. I can grab it and get it out in less than a second.It gives me a nice sense of false security. The sheath protects it and me well in a fall. It may not kill a big cat, but it'll give them second thoughts on what they attacked. I also carry a gun when I ride alone during the day. It's more for protection against the two legged variety. I very much doubt that I will ever need either, but better to have and not need than need and not have.
 

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I prefer a handgun, and I don't leave one chambered while riding. I can rack the slide quicker than I could get a knife out and opened. I would prefer to have one in the chamber, but honestly, I have a greater chance of falling and the gun going off than I have of needing the gun for defense against an animal or person. So, I choose to avoid the greatest probability. I carry a Kahr PM40...very small handgun with a lot of punch, or my Glock 23, mid-sized .40, but not very concealable. The Kahr is my go-to carry pistol....15 grams, plus the weight of ammo.
 

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Village Dirtbag
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We have cougars in the foothills of Albuquerque. A friend of a friend actually fought a small one off with a stick...this on a trail just a couple miles from town. We also have bear, coyote, potentially wandering wolves, and of course lots of rattle snakes.

Cougars are the main safety concern though. If one attacks you, you'll probably not see it until it's on you. Good luck digging a pistol out of your pack then. You need something you can reach and use when the cat has your head in it's mouth. This is why I carry a knife on my sternum strap. It's a Tool Logic folding knife. It can be opened with one hand, and also includes a wistle and mini flashlight, which could be handy if you're hurt and stranded. It is a bit cumbersome to unclip it from the strap and unfold though, so I was thinking of replacing it with a dive knife, where all I have to do is give it a good yank and it's free, and then I'll just attach a seperate wistle.

Other animals, such as coyote, wolves, bears, or rabid small animals like racoons, possum, and skunks you're likely to see before they attack. Same goes for unleashed dogs. For this, I've recently started carrying a big can of pepper spray, also attached to my sternum strap. I figure this would also be a more practical defense against people, too.

Rattlesnakes are the dangerous animal I most frequently encounter. A weapon isn't particularly useful when it comes to those though. They aren't very agressive. If you see it in time, you avoid it. Otherwise, you run it over and hope you don't get bit. What I ususally do when I see one is get some rocks or a stick and try to scare it off the trail to protect whoever comes down the trail after me.

The main thing though is I almost never ride at night alone. You could get in a lot of trouble there. The only exception I sometimes make are the trails near my house
 

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....Rattlesnakes are the dangerous animal I most frequently encounter. A weapon isn't particularly useful when it comes to those though. They aren't very agressive. If you see it in time, you avoid it. Otherwise, you run it over and hope you don't get bit. What I ususally do when I see one is get some rocks or a stick and try to scare it off the trail to protect whoever comes down the trail after me.

The main thing though is I almost never ride at night alone. You could get in a lot of trouble there. The only exception I sometimes make are the trails near my house
I suppose it depends on the type of rattlesnake. In the mountainous areas close to where I live it's the Timber Rattler I see most. If they are resting ( not hunting ) they are fine but get one that's wide awake and hunting and you have a problem. On one ride I encountered a very large ( 6+ft.) TR. The snake sensed my approach just before I saw it ( 25ft away ) and it was shaking that rattle like you wouldn't believe. I was on narrow single track with no way to walk around the snake due to heavy brush on both sides of the trail. With no long sticks around to move it I tried throwing rocks at it. Snake would not move until I dropped a rather large 15 lb. rock on it. After that experience I tend to be a bit more paranoid when in Timber rattler country.
 

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Village Dirtbag
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It alerted you to it's presence. That's good. It wasn't attacking you. I don't think a weapon would've helped.

The diamond backs we have around here a lot of times won't even rattle. That's kind of unnerving.
 
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