I know it can be tough out on the road for cyclists. I blogged last week about Toronto suburban drivers who pass way too close, too fast, while honking. At times during the ride that prompted that post I was angry. I even swore. I can do that now. (See Sam starts to swear: “That’s bulls**t” ) But at no time did it occur to me to wish I were armed. You know, like with a gun.
I gather not all cyclists feel the same way. See Danny Summerhill Charged With Firing Gun on a Ride.
Pro road cyclist Danny Summerhill has left the UnitedHealthcare team after being arraigned on Tuesday for disorderly conduct, discharging a weapon, and reckless endangerment.
Summerhill was riding in a rural area outside Denver, Colorado, in February when he was spotted firing a handgun several times into a hillside by local residents Joe and Shawn Porter, who reportedly confronted the 28-year-old American pro and filed a police report.
I wanted to write about guns and cycling before, when this bike jersey made the news: Concealed Carrie women’s cycling top packs a deadly secret — a handgun pocket.
At first glance this multi-purpose women’s jersey looks ideal for summer cycling with its rear pockets, high collar to keep the sun off and drawstring waist tie to flatter the female figure. But look a bit closer and there’s capacity for an, erm, unusual accessory: a concealed pocket for a handgun.
“Only in America” you’re probably thinking, and you’re right. Manufacturer Concealed Carrie specialises in fashionable handbags designed to make it easy to tote a handgun. This is their answer to the problem of packing heat while cycling, walking or running.
See also This Jersey Is Made for Your Gun.
I don’t want to get into a big argument about guns and gun control laws. This isn’t a subject I’m interested in talking about as part of this blog. Personally, even if it were allowed where I live I wouldn’t think of it as a good answer to my cycling safety issues. There’s a reddit thread about the wisdom of riding with a gun for reasons of safety even if it’s legally okay to do so where you live. For the case in favour, read Why I Carry a Loaded Gun on My Bike Commute.
One danger is the gun going off while riding. See Florida Cyclist.
However, what intrigued me as I looked around is that the connection between cycling, safety, and guns isn’t new. There were guns designed especially for cyclists from the early days of bike riding.
Check out these ads!
The ads are from Guns & Bicycles by Kurt Bauer. [CW: Random racism ahead.] Bauer writes: “These weapons were recommended for the cycling enthusiast’s protection against dogs, the homeless, gypsies – really, any undesirable situation in which a loaded firearm represented an expeditious solution.”