With summer upon us, we have been spending more time engaged in a favorite pastime and exercise, bicycling. Bicycling can take you into unknown and unsecure areas, so let’s talk about at bicycling with a gun.
Our riding is usually not too remote. We bike around neighborhoods, parks and trails. Some of the trails do afford the cover that miscreants desire for attack, but attacks can occur in broad daylight on a busy street.
First let’s consider how to carry a gun or any weapon on a bike. For guns, few regular holster options work. Traditional 4 o’clock belt carry or appendix will not work for comfort or concealment. Ankle holsters used property on the inside won’t work, but it is possible to wear one on the outside of the leg and get by. But most people are wearing shorts when biking in my area, so that’s a no … maybe up north. Shoulder holsters are not common around these parts either. My best suggestion for on-body carry is a fanny pack. The fanny pack should be worn actually on the fanny, as the name suggests, even though they are more commonly used around the front. We are not talking about fast draw here, but this option allows you to draw and access your gun, even if off your bike.
A knife or pepper spray can be clipped inside a waistband and accessed fairly easily, and the pepper is especially handy if a dog is chasing you.
All of the above can be carried in a bag on the bike, such as a front or rear-mounted zippered bag. I strongly recommend a bag which can be released and taken with you, if you need to ditch your bike to escape or you need to make a pit-stop.
Many communities, including ours, have rails-to-trails paths that are great for bicycling without car traffic. They are also much more remote and, along with their typically narrow paths make great ambush points for bad guys. Beware of blind spot, curves, low-hanging branches, and branches across the path. All could be an ambush waiting for you. If you see something, stop. Get off your bike or if danger is imminent, haul the other way. Bike start ups are slow but once you get moving, it will be hard to will catch you.
On the street or road, be aware of somebody who should be passing but seems to be hanging back, Unless they are signaling a turn coming up soon, get off the road to create distance, if possible. Stop, dismount, be ready. Mirrors are helpful.
As with any context, your situational awareness must play a key role in keeping you safe. If you get the “creeps” anywhere, get out now. Get rid of your earbuds and pay attention.
If a situation catches you unawares and you must fight, plan to stop and dismount prior to unholstering. Some riders even go as far as to switch their brakes so that they can access their gun and brake at the same time (a right-handed person would then be able to brake safety with the left hand applying the rear brake). You can also use your bike as a barrier for human or animal predators.
When you dismount to fight, take off your helmet. It can be used to control your balance and movement very easily.
Florida is a dangerous place for bike-riding anyway, so please be sure not to let your guard down and make it even more deadly.