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What to do when attacked while cycling?

davidm3535davidm3535 Posts: 2
edited July 2018 in Commuting chat
An odd thread here, but the issue is clearly a growing concern, at least in East London where I commute.

My questions are, what are the legal boundaries, and common sense actions to achieve best possible outcome when attacked?

I have experienced only a few attempted attacks, but luckily nothing serious. The problem with attempted attacks is that police tend to be very reluctant to register or even investigate them. On the other hand, it may not be the smartest thing to do as (1) without CCTV or dashcam evidence it's going to be your word against theirs, and (2) the gangs could well be driven by revenge, and your commute route and time is very predictable.

Is giving up and giving your bike away really the smartest thing to do?

Anonymised personal experiences are welcome...

Posts

  • It depends if you have teammates in the race. Usually we nominate a couple of strong riders to close down any attacks leaving the protected rider to save his legs for the win. However it is very tiring chasing down multiple attacks and sometimes you just have to let them go and hope the bunch hunts them down.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,127
    It depends if you have teammates in the race. Usually we nominate a couple of strong riders to close down any attacks leaving the protected rider to save his legs for the win. However it is very tiring chasing down multiple attacks and sometimes you just have to let them go and hope the bunch hunts them down.

    I think we are talking being lynched by some youths etc., not Thomas de Ghendt and alike sprinting off the front of the peleton at the start of a climb. ;)
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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,813
    Depends on the circumstances, if a lone attacker that looks like he or she is high on something then they have to accept I will batter them. However if multiples and armed then I would think twice. Luckily not something I come across at 4:30 in the morning in the sticks on my way to work. Personally I'd be wearing a discreet camera linked to the internet for live recording if possible if I had to ride in the city. Very easy to snatch a camera and dispose of memory card etc. I would also be riding as part of a group or at least with others to discourage an attack rather than lone riding. Personally if I lived in London I would be driving a humvee with flame throwers and targeting all the moped gangs causing problems. Blair's snowflakes are becoming a nuisance throughout the UK. Should be zero tolerance. Apologies for the rant David.
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Jesus this sounds rough. I'd be looking to move away. Or rose a cheap bike that nobody wants to nick.
  • Ricky hRicky h Posts: 119
    First bit of advice, avoidance and evasion are best, you never know what you are up against.
    Second bit of advice, you can only use reasonable force to defend yourself. If an angry person approaches you unarmed and you batter him with a d lock, that is unlikely to be reasonable force.
    If all else fails, there is some sensible advice in this clip on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/gwYUJZmq_YA

    After all of that, my first point is the strongest advice I can give, there is limited upside in taking these guys on. As you note, revenge may be higher amongst their priorities
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,402
    I stopped wearing road shoes just incase, other than that, ride fast is my normal tactic if things look iffy.

    Didn't the standard advice used to be D-lock the c***?
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  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    I don't think there's any real rules to follow - it will depend on the exact circumstances. If there's several of them and they just want your bike, probably best to enter into a discussion and say 'can I just get my work security pass from my bag' and 'can I keep some money for the train before you make off?'

    Avoidance is the best bet though. I know there's been a lot of bike muggings around the canal in East London - some chap had a super expesnive Scott TT bike nabbed off him the other day (presuambly he was on his way home from the Velopark). I would personally avoid those sorts of areas and stick to busy roads at night.

    I've only ever had one encounter and it was around that canal area at maybe 4:30PM - someone walked up to me and asked the time, went to walk across me and he had an accomplice on the other side of the path - I just kept going and had enough speed that he thought better of getting in front of me. It was only after I'd got passed him I realised what they were trying - I was really just on my way and didn't want to stop.

    My overriding thought would be that I don't fancy getting stabbed. I don't commute on anything that isn't easily to replace but I would fight dirty if I felt I had to.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,478
    hmm - I was reading that as it was just someone out to hit the cyclist because well- they're a cyclist - not as attempting to steal the bike - which would render any camera device on the bike ineffective.

    Personally I wouldn't stick a GoPro or similar on the lid - because a) it looks ridiculous (to me) and b) it's noticeable - and therefore more likely to be targeted by anyone trying to hit you or steal your bike.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,670
    slowbike wrote:
    Personally I wouldn't stick a GoPro or similar on the lid - because a) it looks ridiculous (to me) and b) it's noticeable - ...
    Plus you could end up like Michael Schumacher.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
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  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    It depends if you have teammates in the race. Usually we nominate a couple of strong riders to close down any attacks leaving the protected rider to save his legs for the win. However it is very tiring chasing down multiple attacks and sometimes you just have to let them go and hope the bunch hunts them down.
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  • jspashjspash Posts: 107
    I've been awaiting the day some yoof decides he likes the look of my Garmin and grabs it and just walks away. Is there anything on the market like a tiny lockable kevlar wire that could be used to string it to the bike? Or would you be better letting them run off with it? Or maybe just avoid the East end of London entirely? :lol:
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Keep it in your pocket if the areas that bad ?
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,142
    Maybe think about your route? Seriously if there is a real risk of serious injury/death from a robbing gone wrong then personally use a alternative, being right but dead/injured isn’t the wisest of choices clearly.
  • CitizenLeeCitizenLee Posts: 2,227
    Maybe think about your route? Seriously if there is a real risk of serious injury/death from a robbing gone wrong then personally use a alternative, being right but dead/injured isn’t the wisest of choices clearly.

    If this forum has taught me anything over the years, it's to never under estimate cyclists desire to be right ;)
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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,142
    CitizenLee wrote:
    Maybe think about your route? Seriously if there is a real risk of serious injury/death from a robbing gone wrong then personally use a alternative, being right but dead/injured isn’t the wisest of choices clearly.

    If this forum has taught me anything over the years, it's to never under estimate cyclists desire to be right ;)

    Heh! Someone wrong on the internet!
  • condormancondorman Posts: 811
    jspash wrote:
    I've been awaiting the day some yoof decides he likes the look of my Garmin and grabs it and just walks away. Is there anything on the market like a tiny lockable kevlar wire that could be used to string it to the bike? Or would you be better letting them run off with it? Or maybe just avoid the East end of London entirely? :lol:
    Not sure about Garmin but Wahoo have a tiny screw that screws into the back of the computer securing it to the mount so you can't just twist it a quarter turn and run off.
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  • chunkytfgchunkytfg Posts: 535
    condorman wrote:
    jspash wrote:
    I've been awaiting the day some yoof decides he likes the look of my Garmin and grabs it and just walks away. Is there anything on the market like a tiny lockable kevlar wire that could be used to string it to the bike? Or would you be better letting them run off with it? Or maybe just avoid the East end of London entirely? :lol:
    Not sure about Garmin but Wahoo have a tiny screw that screws into the back of the computer securing it to the mount so you can't just twist it a quarter turn and run off.


    Only on the Wahoo Bolt. Not the normal one and its so the GPS then becomes part of the bike and not an accessory and therefore counts towards the 6.8kg weight limit on UCI regs for racing. :roll: Stupid but its true
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  • condormancondorman Posts: 811
    chunkytfg wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    jspash wrote:
    I've been awaiting the day some yoof decides he likes the look of my Garmin and grabs it and just walks away. Is there anything on the market like a tiny lockable kevlar wire that could be used to string it to the bike? Or would you be better letting them run off with it? Or maybe just avoid the East end of London entirely? :lol:
    Not sure about Garmin but Wahoo have a tiny screw that screws into the back of the computer securing it to the mount so you can't just twist it a quarter turn and run off.


    Only on the Wahoo Bolt. Not the normal one and its so the GPS then becomes part of the bike and not an accessory and therefore counts towards the 6.8kg weight limit on UCI regs for racing. :roll: Stupid but its true

    I didn't know that so it now makes sense in a UCI sort of way!
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  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,364
    That's interesting - I've seen a few bike changes needed in the Tour this week and they're all very keen to take their computer with them. I guess thats the only way they can make sure they strava the ride...
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