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Chief Road Officer
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I’ve become increasing concerned about road rage, and violent stupidity in general, while on the bike. I generally ride alone and commute through “transitional” areas of the city. I’ve recently had a couple of incidents with stopped drivers where I felt threatened. I’m not a gun guy and would never consider carrying one. I have considered carrying a collapsible baton mostly as a deterrent if I should be in a mano-a-mano confrontation. How bad an idea is this?

Does anyone else carry something for self-defense? Please don’t make this a gun forum; that option isn’t on the table.
 

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I’ve become increasing concerned about road rage, and violent stupidity in general, while on the bike. I generally ride alone and commute through “transitional” areas of the city. I’ve recently had a couple of incidents with stopped drivers where I felt threatened. I’m not a gun guy and would never consider carrying one. I have considered carrying a collapsible baton mostly as a deterrent if I should be in a mano-a-mano confrontation. How bad an idea is this?

Does anyone else carry something for self-defense? Please don’t make this a gun forum; that option isn’t on the table.
Not a bad idea at all.

For the winter months, I'd suggest getting a pair of Sap Gloves.
 

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I know things get heated from time to time, but, I see too many things that could go wrong with that scenario. What if you hit him with the baton and hurt him or worse yet kill him...you will be charged. What if he pulls out a bigger weapon or even worse yet a gun? Then he claims self deference, or, just drives away after? If I were you I would pick a different commute.
 

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engaging in hand-to-hand combat while wearing cleated shoes usually doesn't end well...

and consider the possibilities of what happens if the other guy takes your weapon away from you.
 

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You should check your state's self defense laws and determine if batons are legal. I carry a 6-inch kubotan which doubles as a keychain, and the best part is it's legal to carry. I place the kubotan in my jersey pocket and let my keys hang out, so that way I can grab it at a moment's notice. Kubotans are great because they don't cause serious injuries but still cause enough pain to incapacitate your assailant since they're designed to turn any spot you jab into a pressure point. Because they're so small and fit in the palm of your hand, it's nearly impossible for your assailant to take it away from you like a baton.

Another alternative is pepper gel. It's superior to spray because it doesn't get carried by the wind. If pepper gel is banned in your state or you don't want to use spray, use your water bottle. As soon as a motorist exits their vehicle take a big swig of water and hold it in your mouth until they're close. Spit it in their face to disorient them and shove them to the ground. Then haul a$$.

If you're wearing cleated cycling shoes, the last thing you want is a lengthy fight. I've practiced fighting while wearing them, and they are not ideal for sudden changes in your stance. Get used to shuffling around in your cycling shoes so it becomes muscle memory.
 

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dude, pick a different route, or if you can't, then avoid them aholes at all cost. If drivers stopped to confront you, then perhaps you're doing something seriously wrong. All cyclists will encounter ahole drivers, but we rarely get ones who actually get out of their car to confront us.
 

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I’ve become increasing concerned about road rage, and violent stupidity in general, while on the bike. I generally ride alone and commute through “transitional” areas of the city. I’ve recently had a couple of incidents with stopped drivers where I felt threatened. I’m not a gun guy and would never consider carrying one. I have considered carrying a collapsible baton mostly as a deterrent if I should be in a mano-a-mano confrontation. How bad an idea is this?

Does anyone else carry something for self-defense? Please don’t make this a gun forum; that option isn’t on the table.
I carry pepper spray. I have never had to pull it out. Not that I would do it, but gun carry is not an option in my state
 

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Carrying a weapon on a bike is stupid, plain and simple, especially a baton!! In most states you can use a weapon for self defense, however you do not want to be the guy that brought the baton to the gunfight. Walking away is smart,, escalation with people-circumstances beyond your control not so much!!
 

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Grab the seat and handlebars and keep the bike between you and assailant.
And unless you're carrying a load of crap on the bike you can also, while holding the seat and bars\stem, swing the entire bike striking the assailant with the front or rear wheel. That may give you enough time to hop on the bike and scram. If this happens maybe grab his keys out of the ignition, if time permits, and drop them in a sewer down the road.

But, whatever the outcome, be prepared for the assailant to be watching for you in the future.
 

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I’ve become increasing concerned about road rage, and violent stupidity in general, while on the bike. I generally ride alone and commute through “transitional” areas of the city. I’ve recently had a couple of incidents with stopped drivers where I felt threatened. I’m not a gun guy and would never consider carrying one. I have considered carrying a collapsible baton mostly as a deterrent if I should be in a mano-a-mano confrontation. How bad an idea is this?

Does anyone else carry something for self-defense? Please don’t make this a gun forum; that option isn’t on the table.
Fight or flight? When things start to go south, get the hell out of there. The bike is your perfect escape vehicle. Nothing works better! Get a little sprint training out of it.
 

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It's your personal decision. BUT I strongly caution against it. You don't ever want to bring a sub-par weapon to a gun fight. That baton is setting yourself up for just that kind of situation.

If your feeling the tension then follow your gut and make a change of route. Luckily in life 90% of "bad dudes" are all mouth and couldn't squash a grape....but those remaining 10% are for real! Unfortunately you never really know who that 10% is until it's tooo late!

I've said I'm LE here before. I don't always carry but when I do it's mostly because I'm not comfortable leaving it in the car. Just think where you would carry even a small handgun. For me it's in a small rack bag behind my seat. Now envision in real time how long it would take you to get that weapon and be in a position to actually come to target and use it. Loooong time. Now that is a handgun that is point and shoot. Your talking some form of collapsible baton. Even longer time frame.

Just my 2 cents, find another solution.
 

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I just assume anyone enraged enough to leave their vehicle for a confrontation is armed, crazy, and possibly both.

personally, there's no shame in just riding away from such a sketchy situation.
 

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Two things, one is a visual deterrent to avoid an incident even before it starts, the other is a device that can deploy something as a way to get out of situation. Former would be a fake pistol strapped to your side. Latter would be something like pepper gel.
 

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Get your CCW and a small pistol , or pedal away.
 

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" How bad an idea is this?"
About as bad, or good, as your ability to use it. If it gives you a false sense of security, then really bad idea. There are a lot of people out there who know what they are doing in a fight and a baton in the hands of Joe Average won't help you with anything but getting more of a beating.

All most all meat heads are satisfied if the other dude backs down and they get to think you're a pu$$y and they scared you off because you knew they were such a tough guy. I have no problem giving them that satisfaction when the reality is I could probably kick their a$$. I've got nothing to gain so why bother.

And if a little chest puffing and you giving in isn't enough for them, that's a person with nothing to lose so you better know what you are doing with that baton and hope he doesn't have anything similar or more.

Defense and standing up a confrontation or completely different things. Odds of ever being in a true 'self defense' situation with no other way out on a bike are pretty close to nil so I don't bother preparing for them.
 

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It has been decades since I have had any driver pull off the road to confront me. When it happened, I would read out their license tag loudly: "Yes, HSN774, what can I do for you?" It is amazing how quickly that defused the situation.

Why haven't I had such encounters in recent decades? I think that it is because when a driver blows on his horn or makes an aggressive move I just smile and wave.

Defusing the situation is the best option. Then get your buns out of there.
 

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two things, one is a visual deterrent to avoid an incident even before it starts, the other is a device that can deploy something as a way to get out of situation. Former would be a fake pistol strapped to your side. Latter would be something like pepper gel.
omg no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Mace ? As someone suggested you need stay as far as possibile,since you would be wearing cleat shoes you know it may not end up well for you.
Still,letting the guy have it and have it's tiny ego feeded is the best option. You know someday he'll eventually stumble upon somebody that will beat the heck out of him,it always end up like that..
 

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I hesitate even commenting in a thread that includes "fake pistol strapped to your side" (holy &$#@ that's a bad idea).

If you carry anything, I'd go with the pepper gel/spray. It's good for dogs too. And, because of that, if you're ever in court explaining your actions... pepper spray won't make you seem like a hothead looking for a confrontation.
 
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