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Thread: Riding/hiking alone

  1. #1
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    Riding/hiking alone

    What are your thoughts on riding and hiking the trails alone? I'm talking primarily Shutes, Jones Mill, and Lock 4. I know there are safety considerations, like wrecks, mechanicals, etc, but probably more leery of the two-legged risks. Wouldn't do it unless I left a plan with times, location, etc., with someone. There are just days I get tired of the greenway and want a change of scenery.

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    I ride alone frequently. I always take a phone with me and tell my wife where I am headed.
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    yeah, it seems like the guys ride and run alone all the time without thinking twice about it. But it's different for the women, at least the ones I know. My husband does not like me going out alone, even on the greenway where there is a relatively large amount of traffic. Just wondering if the trails are considered safe to be on alone around here. I have to admit that some of the graffiti on the bath houses at Shutes is a little creepy when thinking about being out there by myself with very little other traffic on the trails. I like to ride during the week, and it's hard to find people to ride with on a weekday morning. I do carry mace with me along with my phone.
    Last edited by nmandrews; 01-06-2012 at 04:47 PM.

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    Oops.
    Didn't realize this was a ladies thread.
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    That's OK. I'm interested in what the guys have to say as well

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    Hello. I am a guy and I frequent Montgomery Bell a lot on my own, mainly in the afternoons. My advice is to make sure you have the stuff you need incase you have an issue. Like extra tubes, quick links, multi-tool, mini air-pump or anything else you can think of that might break and you would have to fix while on the trails. Also some extra snacks and water can come in handy if you end up getting stuck. I usually carry a hat and a light jacket with me during the winter, I am not looking to be as light as possible when I ride.

    As far as being safe that is for you to decide. I feel pretty safe at MB mainly because there are park rangers and people just generally around or driving by. Some of the more secluded spots I might think twice about going by myself unless there were a lot of other people there. The last couple of trips I took to Lock 4 there were at least 5 other cars there plus the area is very open at the trail head much like MB is. Bottom line is if you dont feel safe dont go by yourself. Try to find someone to go with you.

    As far as your vehicle hide absolutely everything of value under your seats, in the trunk or take it with you. I take all my personal stuff with me when I ride (phone, wallet, etc) and if I cant carry it with me I dont bring it at all.

    My 2 cents.
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    Thanks. I do carry spare tubes, a pump, basic tools, plenty of water, and snacks if I'm going to be out for a while. I can deal with a flat or a dropped chain. But I've broken a chain before, also popped spokes, which are mechanicals I can't deal with. My husband has sprained an ankle before on the trail, put his foot down wrong on one of those rock ledges at Shutes. All that is just part of biking. I just can't get past a bit of the heebie-jeebies on an isolated trail. That's why I usually go to the greenway. Guess what I need to do is find some people who like to ride during the week and are patient with a roadie who is trying to get comfortable on the trails Or get me a big dog! I'm a stay-home mom, so mornings work really well for me.
    Last edited by nmandrews; 01-06-2012 at 07:11 PM.

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    I'm a gal and I ride alone most of the time - and hike alone as well. I ALWAYS bring my phone with me and let someone know where I'm going - and if there are other people at the trailhead, I check to see what their plans are - in case something comes up. There are pepper spray kits that you can get that afix to your bike, if you are afraid of trouble. I"ve found the bikers on the trails are usually helpful and friendly - most will stop to help you and will be polite if they want to get past you --- on the other hand, it is a completely different crowd of folks on the greenways (which I also ride frequently).

    I have thought about taking one of my dogs on the trail, but my experience when other folks have had their dogs and come upon me hasn't been good. My opinion is that if you ride a trail enough with someone to get very familiar with it and know where the bailout spots are, you will be comfortable out there alone. Every time I have felt uncomfortable about my safety riding somewhere, it has affected my riding enough to cause problems. Also, be sure you are riding a trail that is within your skilll level.

    The crowd on this site is very helpful and perhaps you can find a buddy to hook up with during the day. I work at least until 4:15 so I won't be any help in that regard.

    Good luck (oh, another thought would be to try to find some gravel roads to ride)
    Last edited by runslikenew; 01-06-2012 at 10:42 PM. Reason: typo
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    Thanks! I've got one of those pepper spray clips on my road bike. Got it when I got dog-bit a few years ago on my bike. Doesn't work so well against dogs, at least not while I'm trying to get away from them, but sure gives a comfort level to have it!

    I haven't seen any ladies group rides posted in quite a while. Maybe will try to see if I can get one going soon.

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    I seem to only ride alone....That was kinda depressing to type haha. But honestly I have always been a tad sketchy about doing it. I will ALWAYS tell someone where I am going, and I always carry a phone with me. I suppose the one flaw with that is I could get in a bad crash either breaking the phone, or not be able to get to it. Whenever I do ride mtn alone I stick to Shutes since it is only about 5 min from home.

    I do not want to come across as sexist or anything, but I never let my sisters go on the greenway alone. But that could just be the brother part of me talking. I have not heard of many horror stories, but I have known of some women who have been harassed, and even chased on the greenway when they were running alone. To me riding a bike would be different since it would be easier to get away from things. I realize there are usually lots of people on the greenway, but even with the large amount of people using it there will always be sections with nobody around. Carrying pepper spray is a must, so I am glad to see you do that. Just don't do what one of my friend's sister did and panic when somebody was following her and drop it.

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  13. #11
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    Not taken as sexist. My husband has basically told me he doesn't want me riding alone on the trails. Just too much that can happen. I do most of my hiking and trail riding on the weekends when husband and son can go with me. But would be nice to go during the week, too. I have a friend who hikes the Bryant's Grove trail all the time by herself. I asked her if it was safe, and she said she did it and had never had a problem, but she sure hesitated a long time before she answered. I guess it's just not a good idea to go alone if you can help it. I will say the last time we were at Bryant's Grove (back in the summer), we were with our youth group and the rangers told us to stay in our own little area. They were having some issues with some of the folks out there and didn't want us venturing out until those folks had left. Don't know if it's true, but heard during all that about some potential gang issues in the area, at least during the summer months when there are lots of people in the swim area. Just pays to be careful and stay on watch, I guess.

    I've heard of problems on the greenway, too. In fact, I was out there a couple of years ago and there were some kids harassing women by that big field between the Y trail and the dam. I saw them hiding in the weeds, and waited until a big guy came by and asked him to walk back with me to get past them. There were police out on the trail looking for them. Turned out it was kids skipping school. Heard about another female runner that got pulled off the trail by a guy over by McGavock. He let her go, was looking for someone else. But that one was scary. A friend of mine who rides a lot told me she is nervous of riding out there, too. All someone has to do is knock you off your bike. But if we live in fear of the thugs, we'll never get out there. Just have to have good common sense about it, and if something seems wrong, get yourself out of there.

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    I have run and biked at the stones river/shelby bottoms greenway countless times and had one incident in 6 years (and it was 5 yrs ago) - it was a biker that didn't yield to walkers and runners and nearly hit me. (Frankly, I didn't not react well to it so it escalated - but I got out of there fast).
    I also have had moments at Bryant Grove that have made me paranoid (like I felt somebody was following me - but they weren't).
    But riding, I always try to stay aware of where I am and what is going on around me (trail and greenway) - it seems to me that taking a 'don't mess with me attitude' seems to do the trick with potential troublemakers.
    But, in a conversation the other day, I realized that when I am riding primarily for fitness (which is most of the time) I am focused on the task at hand and getting it done - and I don't feel like chatting. Riding with others doesn't work particularly well for me in those instance.
    My favorite trail is AEDC in Tullahoma - I feel like I know it like a good friend, probably better than anybody who would want to mess with me on it. (additionally, I know how to get to the manned gate at the base housing pretty quickly from most sections of the trail) If I mess up and hurt myself out there bad enough that I can't get help by phone or anything else - well, I'll leave this world in one of my favorite places, and I'm ok with that. But - there are risks in everything you do, common sense and appropriate precautions are all you can do.

    BUT - I will never, ever ride alone at night.

    Happy riding!
    Lisa


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    What/Where is Bryant Grove? Good scenic place to walk? Looks like it is in Long Hunter, but I have never heard of it before.

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    There is a picnic area/swim beach just past the Jones Mill trail. Just follow the road where you turn in to go to Jones Mill on back. There is a boat launch there, too. There is a trail that connects that area to the Couchville Lake area. The trail is 4 miles one-way, hikers only, no bikes. It's a nice trail, follows the shoreline of the lake. Every year there is a 9-mile trail race there called the Wild Thang. It's flat, a good place to trail run if you are looking for that.

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    I was talking to a retired Metro police officer at the Greene Military store one day about the greenway. He was spooked about being out there alone. He said with all the tunnels and concealed and remote areas, things could happen out there. I've seen graffiti out there several times, especially over toward the apartments by the dam. I just make sure I go when there are plenty of people out there, and stay aware. I do NOT use an i-pod, want to hear and be aware of everything going on around me. I think that's the best bet.

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  19. #16
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    Wow - no one has mentioned conceal and carry??? If I were a lady, I certainly would. In fact, I need to take the class and this is a good reminder. I know several bikers that carry. The little Ruger LCP is perfect. It will fit in a small case added to your CamelBak strap. Looks like a phone case. They also make really cool fanny packs with built in holsters that you can slip a 9mm into.

    I have seen single women on the greenway with ear buds in, When we pass on our bikes, they usually jump because they can't hear anything - that's crazy and almost asking for trouble.

    As for Shutes, it's pretty safe, but I've seen some shady people around. Mostly partiers. The increase in dog walkers and bikers has really mellowed the place down.

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    I honestly thought about it when I got bitten by the dog a couple of years ago. It was a big dog, and he bit 3 times, so it wasn't just a nip. One of the guys who was with me had a gun with him, but he didn't want to shoot. What scares me about it is using a gun in a neighborhood and the potential for injuring someone else if you miss the shot. That's why I like mace. I have a friend who carries wasp spray. Only problem with that is it takes up one of his water bottle cages. Have thought about getting some bear spray, but same problem with where to carry it would apply. I asked the deputy who responded to my dog bite what he carries, and that's what I got at Greene. I was carrying Halt, but the stream is so weak on that stuff that you have to hit the dog right in the nose/eyes for them to feel it, and that's hard to do on a bike when you're trying to get away. I hit the dog that got me full in the face after I got off the bike and he just walked off. Didn't seem to even bother him.

    I think anyone who runs or rides with ear buds is asking for trouble. On the greenway I always call out "on your left", and it seems like the ones with music in their ears don't hear me until I''m right up on them, and it scares them to death. You've got to be able to hear what's going on around you, whether it's cars or dogs or people.

    Nancy

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  23. #18
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    RE: Conceal and Carry

    I would have mentioned it but I was unsure what the law is now for carrying on state and city land such as parks in Tennessee. I know it was changed recently, at least that I can recall. I did not want to mention anything I had no legal knowledge about. Anyone with any legal knowledge about the matter care to share? Would be nice to know if carry permitted people can carry in parks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinB View Post
    Would be nice to know if carry permitted people can carry in parks.
    Let's see if I can help....

    National Land defers to state law....so yes a permit holder can legally carry
    State land defers to state law(obviously)...so yes unless posted
    Municipal and county land are now allowed to decide for themselves, but must post.

    Anywhere that you are not allowed to carry must be posted in accordance with the newish law. A specific wording and symbol must be at all entrances to the building/park and must be able to be seen by a reasonable person.

    A lot of the local gov't opted for a no weapons law in the park, which is a shame, b/c now only the criminals can carry a weapon. I am pretty sure that I have seen a no weapons sign at the greenway in Murfreesboro, but I am not sure if it is properly posted.

    I look at it this way.....I am going to carry where ever I feel unsafe. Concealed should be concealed, and the only way it's not is when my life or family's life is in grave danger. I will take the weapons charge in order to breathe another day.

    That being said, I have only on the rarest occasion carried while cycling. I keep saying that I am going to start carrying on the road, but it's going to take another purchase for a jersey gun. The only times I end up carrying is on solo night rides in the mountains. My friends don't like night riding as much as I do, so quite often I will embark on a night ride that is close to where ever we are camping. I carry at these times due to the chance of spending a dark night on the mountain, and more just so I can calm the fear that I would likely have if I had to spend the night without gear or a light.

    Not a lawyer, not a LEO, and not even particularly nice so don't risk your freedom on my advice.

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    Amen Bother Steve! Hamilton Creek in particular is sketchy, what with all the break-ins and illegal sexual activity in the past. I've ridden it alone regularly, but the thought of my girlfriend out there by herself is not a pleasing one, or on any other trail for that matter. I always shudder when I see a woman alone on the Greenway or out on a trail. My girlfriend rides the road by herself frequently and I worry about that, too, with all the creeps out there on the streets!

    What size LCP are you referring to? I carry a Keltec PF9 everyday, but it's still a little bit large for the Camelbak. I have a very small .32 I inherited from my daughter, but I'm a little concerned that it's not enough stopping power. Better than nothing I guess!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toocheaptobuyanewbike View Post
    Amen Bother Steve! Hamilton Creek in particular is sketchy, what with all the break-ins and illegal sexual activity in the past. I've ridden it alone regularly, but the thought of my girlfriend out there by herself is not a pleasing one, or on any other trail for that matter. I always shudder when I see a woman alone on the Greenway or out on a trail. My girlfriend rides the road by herself frequently and I worry about that, too, with all the creeps out there on the streets!

    What size LCP are you referring to? I carry a Keltec PF9 everyday, but it's still a little bit large for the Camelbak. I have a very small .32 I inherited from my daughter, but I'm a little concerned that it's not enough stopping power. Better than nothing I guess!
    I think the one that Steve is referring to is the one I have the Ruger LCP 380. It is a great for a small carry gun that still has good knock down. It uses the same bullet as my 9mm just less powder. It is the same size as most .32 but uses .380 instead. I bought it specifically to carry on my bike and have mostly on night road rides alone. I put it in a binto box which is a small velcro bag that sits on your top tube behind your stem and is very easy to get to. I have yet to bring it on the MTB as I haven't felt I needed to yet but I wouldn't be opposed to it. I will say as compared to bigger guns like you would expect it is a hand cannon with a lot of recoil and it is extremely loud and at night looks like a flame thrower because it is so small with a tiny barrel. So it is not one you would use at the range for fun but is great if you are worried about space. I can put it in my front pants pocket and it is no bigger than my wallet or iPhone.
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  29. #22
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    I would also like to tell yall about a Baby Glock and also my personal favorite a compact Springfield xd in either 9mm or .40 cal, I carry my XD .40 in my camelbak on every ride. If anyone needs a hand gun carry permit pm me for details its $75 per person and cheaper if ya have a group.

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  31. #23
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    I sometimes carry my kel-tec p3at (.380) when I feel I need to (should probably do it all the time. Fits real nice in a camel back. Mountain biking is the only time I don't carry in condition 1 though. I don't want something getting in the trigger guard. Probably would never happen, but it makes me nervous.

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  33. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNcaveman View Post
    They also make really cool fanny packs...

    trust me... there are no "really cool fanny packs". 8)
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  35. #25
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    That's why a Springfield is good it has a grip safety and a trigger safety.

  36. #26
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    hey

    Lisa


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  38. #27
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    I agree with Lisa.
    If you guys want to measure your barrels... start another thread!

    Admin hat off... have a nice day!
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  39. #28
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    Boo! OK, OK.

  40. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toocheaptobuyanewbike View Post
    Boo! OK, OK.
    Just to note: This forum is for the gals to post on.
    Not that guys can't jump in, but just don't take it over.
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  42. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by twolfcon View Post
    Just to note: This forum is for the gals to post on.
    I missed that it was a ladies safety only thread and ladies can't carry guns I guess. I'll make a new thread as I'm excited that so many other mtbers protect themselves with firearms. I never would have thought it.

  43. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob-e View Post
    I missed that it was a ladies safety only thread and ladies can't carry guns I guess. I'll make a new thread as I'm excited that so many other mtbers protect themselves with firearms. I never would have thought it.
    Look, I'm just trying to say, the thread has wondered away from it's intended purpose, which was safety on the trails.

    I have no problem with guns or threads about guns, I carry myself.

    Just trying to keep the thread in perspective.

    I will copy the selected posts & make a new thread so the conversation can continue.

    Thread is here: http://tennesseemountainbike.com/boa...ne-Thread-Here
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  45. #32
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    As a female with a CCW permit, I would like to say that women do carry firearms, and, you would be surprised at the percentage who carry. It's not something most people advertise for obvious reasons. Not only are all of us faced with malicious intent, drug induced behavior, and general mayhem in the public today, but we are helpless unless we choose to protect ourselves, home and family. I advocate proper usage and prior instruction, target practice, evasion techniques, that goes for males and females. I don't like guns but wouldn't hesitate to shoot the adversary and I don't need to call 911 to get permission to shoot an intruder. As far as carrying one while hiking or biking, I prefer not to tote it, but am not saying I have never carried one during recreational pursuits. Being aware and using common sense is more appropriate for the average female than trying to use a deadly weapon you are uncomfortable with or scared witless with, and then street fighting techniques can work instead, and most men think females are helpless. Given weight to strength ratios, we often are doomed, but distraction and a few choice moves can enable a woman to have a better chance.

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    Does anyone have any suggestions about certain trails that seem to be safer than others for a lone female rider? I noticed a couple posts that mention trails that may be questionable.

  48. #34
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    Back to the carrying pepper spray, there are a few draw backs. You don't always have time to check wind direction, so be sure you can fight blinded or buy a pepper spray that comes out in a foam instead of spraying. Also the sheriff's dept carries Freeze +p availible from Green's military and police in Donelson. It works I have seen the effects on people multiple times and heard peoople say "I eat that stuff" trying to be intimidating and then cry like babies after being sprayed. :cry: If used properly it will take the fight out of someone. I also work at the Wilson co. jail., So just my 2 cents.
    Mike

    Vassago Jabberwocky

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  49. #35
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    That's what I carry. When I got bitten by the dog, I asked the deputy what he carried, and that's what he said. And you are right about checking wind direction. Have to be careful not to spray your ride buddies, too. My husband rode right through the spray when another rider in the group sprayed at a dog one time. Not good...

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