I have talked to quite a few people who are afraid to ride on remote bike paths. I don’t quite agree with them, but there is merit to their fear. I ride those remote paths… just with some trepidation. My precautions are that I keep a fast pace and I do not stop. It really can take away from the enjoyment of the ride. I mean, sometimes the whole reason for the ride is because of the remoteness and solitude and the great scenery.
One thing you can do to mitigate the circumstances is to never ride alone. We all know that that is not always possible. Obviously, riding with others also sort of eliminates any sense of solitude that you might be chasing.
You can also arm yourself. I used to carry a knife with me, mounted under my saddle. That is not a bad idea if you are willing and able to use it. Remember though, that it is also a possibility that it will be turned against you. (I never used mine and I no longer carry it)
Learn self-defense. This is a skill that you can carry with you at all times and it will not be turned against you, ever! It doesn’t have to take forever to learn, either. You don’t have to become a black belt in karate or a judo master. You just have to know how to defend yourself and then get the heck out of there. This class will teach you what you need to know.
The downside of this approach is that you can’t really test it out. Big corporations can afford to use crash test dummies to study the effects of car crashes. You and I can’t afford this luxury, and I am not willing to crash a car intentionally to see how I fare in the “accident”. The same is true with a self-defense class; I can’t go raking my friends knees to see if the technique works or not. This is because these are not sustainable tests. They are destructive tests.
I have a friend that was mugged while riding her bicycle through a secluded portion of the park along the canal path. She was stopped by a couple of thugs (what else can you call them?) and her purse taken. Luckily, she was not physically harmed at all. You better believe that she was mentally scarred, though. I know, because I was not even involved in any manner and it has effected my riding habits ever since. I doubt she will ever completely enjoy a bike ride through that park again.
Knowing self-defense might not have changed the outcome of that encounter; because luckily, it had a “good” outcome as it was. Me, I wish she were able to kick their butts and exact some justice from them. Possibly, if she had taken this class she would have. Maybe not, though. The message of the class is to use force only as a last resort. Your primary concern is to get yourself out of a situation and to a safe place. Let the authorities take care of justice. Still, I wish she had mopped them up like Hit-girl from Kickass the movie.
Unfortunately, what you will learn is that there is no such thing as a fair fight. We need to have a paradigm shift and start thinking of winning at all costs. Gun control laws are a great thing in theory. In reality, though, the regulations only control the law-abiding people like us. The criminal element doesn’t care about gun control: they are criminals. This same model is at play when thinking about self-defense. No hitting below the belt. Don’t hit someone wearing glasses. If your life is in danger, I hope you will do both as necessary.
Re-claim the roads and trails and all the enjoyment of riding your bicycle where you want to by taking this exciting training: First Strike. First Strike will give you the confidence to ride in peace. You will once again be able to ride secluded routes and be able to enjoy them.
I hope it is blatantly obvious to you that the endorsement of the First Strike self-defense class is an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase following one of my links. However, I do honestly believe in the course content.