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Woman attacked, let's find this man

MissybikerMissybiker Posts: 73
edited December 2014 in Commuting general
I took am 2nd ride into watford during the week. Really excited about it and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I realised how inexperienced a rider I still am and that I put myself in a place of vulnerability. The ride into town was almost all road and cycle paths, but on the way home I thought I will go through Cassiobury park ( which is gorgeous). I had riden the same trip a few weeks ago on a Saturday. This weeks ride was Wednesday It was about 3 pm and the park was full of people walking home or their dogs. I got onto the towpath and started a 2 mile ride along the path. About a mile in I became very conscious that I hadn't seen a sole. No one walking, no one on any of their boats. I became so nervous that When I saw what appeared to be a path to the main road I took the path. It was incredibly eerie and I desperately wanted to see people and cars. I got home safely and was horrified to read in the press of an attack in a beautiful part of the grand union in Hemel Hempstead. It's 100 m from my office and I have walked it a number of times (generally very well used) and commuted on it twice. This woman could have died. If anyone knows of anything that can help the plolice please do so. When I thought about my own action, I realised that I had been silly to take the tow path. Certainly not mid week and near dusk. I am having to relearn some common sense .http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/more-n ... -1-6436231

Posts

  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    So are we particularly focusing in this attack because it's a cyclist, because it's a women attacked (sexist) or a man (or someone she took to be a man, no guarantee these days!) who did the attacking (sexist again)?

    Most of us neither live nor work anywhere near here and will have no information at all, even those nearby like yourself have nothing to offer, so all in all rather a pointless post really, even though I agree it would be good for the perpetrator to be caught.
  • What a bizarre response to a perfectly reasonable post.
  • Cheers shmooster, frankly I couldn't think of a suitable response to The Rookie.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    I agree, stick to the main roads while you can. Off road paths can be useful in daylight but once the dark comes it can be a choice between negotiating traffic or negotiating your way through a hostile chav horde or opportunistic attacker. Wouldn't you rather get beeped at for 'blocking' the road than raped or killed for riding down the wrong unlit off-road route?
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • Here here!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The point I wa smaking is we could all put up posts about random assaults and the board would be clogged with them to no real effect.

    The chances anyone on here can help at all are vanishingly slim so it achieves nothing either.

    yes I want the person doing it to be caught, if there was a 1% chance the post on here would help, then fine, but I doubt its a thousandth of a percent chance, also the title sounds sexist.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,506
    Missybiker wrote:
    Here here!
    Where where?
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • I agree, stick to the main roads while you can. Off road paths can be useful in daylight but once the dark comes it can be a choice between negotiating traffic or negotiating your way through a hostile chav horde or opportunistic attacker. Wouldn't you rather get beeped at for 'blocking' the road than raped or killed for riding down the wrong unlit off-road route?

    it's fairly unlikely, though the fear is much higher.

    these random acts of violence tend to hit the media since they are very rare, but most violence happens between people who know each other.

    I and my wife have nice off road routes clearly in winter tend to be pitch dark, even in london! But its far nicer though the park than via the road.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368

    it's fairly unlikely, though the fear is much higher.

    these random acts of violence tend to hit the media since they are very rare, but most violence happens between people who know each other.

    I and my wife have nice off road routes clearly in winter tend to be pitch dark, even in london! But its far nicer though the park than via the road.

    I agree its more fear factor, and thankfully personal attacks like that are rare occurences, but its hard to be totally rational about it,I know myself on occasion Ive felt far more vulnerable riding a section of a route when its dark riding by myself, which I wouldnt think twice about doing in the summer. and Id far rather ride on the road instead simply because it feels like safety in numbers kind of thing, even if the personal injury risk Im putting myself in is probably much greater.
  • awavey wrote:

    it's fairly unlikely, though the fear is much higher.

    these random acts of violence tend to hit the media since they are very rare, but most violence happens between people who know each other.

    I and my wife have nice off road routes clearly in winter tend to be pitch dark, even in london! But its far nicer though the park than via the road.

    I agree its more fear factor, and thankfully personal attacks like that are rare occurences, but its hard to be totally rational about it,I know myself on occasion Ive felt far more vulnerable riding a section of a route when its dark riding by myself, which I wouldnt think twice about doing in the summer. and Id far rather ride on the road instead simply because it feels like safety in numbers kind of thing, even if the personal injury risk Im putting myself in is probably much greater.

    for myself I grew up in the country, where it's dark at night the area is classed as a dark sky reserve, ie no street lights that close.

    So I have no fear of the dark, and this has rubbed off on my wife, who like most urban folks fear the dark, most of the staff at work upon hearing I go though the park, say "but it's dark!"
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,506
    TBF, growing up in the sticks, you're far less likely to randomly encounter a bunch of chavs that set on you like a pack of rabid dogs for sh1ts & giggles. I grew up on a council estate in London - believe me, you learn to appreciate the finer qualities of street lighting growing up in that environment...
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • zebulebu wrote:
    TBF, growing up in the sticks, you're far less likely to randomly encounter a bunch of chavs that set on you like a pack of rabid dogs for sh1ts & giggles. I grew up on a council estate in London - believe me, you learn to appreciate the finer qualities of street lighting growing up in that environment...

    If you are unlucky enought to bump into said gang I'm struggling to see how street lights will help.
  • Well I hope he is caught. Re biking at night I think it's relatively safe due to the cyclists ability to speed past nasties.
    tow paths on the other hand do limit cyclists' flight options
  • I reckon it is a zero chance of anyone giving the evidence that catches the person (male or female) who perpetrated this crime. However that post has merit in that we are discussing safe cycling from a POV of being attacked as opposed to the usual motorist issues being discussed. Perhaps leaving the plea for witnesses aside a discussion on safe, night time, solo cycling is worthy of a thread??

    BTW Missybiker - if that had been your purpose you'd have been 100% successful, adding the plea for witnesses/help catching this "man" (assume it is known that it is a male attacker) is a side issue that led to Rookie's comment. I hope this attack hasn't led to you stopping riding due to fear of attack. Ride safe and in full view of others is my advice. I am male rider who in summer rides a towpath sometimes to get home. In the darker months i stay on the road even in the rain and poor visibility. It is not fear of attack just the idea that playing the percentages is better, I ride on a road with regular car use so that attackers of any type would be a complete mug to do anything. BTW it is not just women who can feel fear of attack, I have been in a dodgy situation that led to a close call and it really shook me up! I know a bit about self defence too but it is no guarantee.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,506
    zebulebu wrote:
    TBF, growing up in the sticks, you're far less likely to randomly encounter a bunch of chavs that set on you like a pack of rabid dogs for sh1ts & giggles. I grew up on a council estate in London - believe me, you learn to appreciate the finer qualities of street lighting growing up in that environment...

    If you are unlucky enought to bump into said gang I'm struggling to see how street lights will help.
    Pretty simple to understand really - Street lighting helps you AVOID pondlife. Seriously - South East London isn't a particularly nice part of the world, but the parts with adequate street lighting make it much safer than those without
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Norvern Munkey/Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • zebulebu wrote:
    zebulebu wrote:
    TBF, growing up in the sticks, you're far less likely to randomly encounter a bunch of chavs that set on you like a pack of rabid dogs for sh1ts & giggles. I grew up on a council estate in London - believe me, you learn to appreciate the finer qualities of street lighting growing up in that environment...

    If you are unlucky enought to bump into said gang I'm struggling to see how street lights will help.
    Pretty simple to understand really - Street lighting helps you AVOID pondlife. Seriously - South East London isn't a particularly nice part of the world, but the parts with adequate street lighting make it much safer than those without

    police research disagrees though does point out that street lighting can help burglary/car crime.

    But not violent crime which is unaffected.

    linky http://www.college.police.uk/en/docs/What_works_Street_lighting.pdf
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