Bike Hijackings on the Rise

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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Protecting your bike when you leave it somewhere is one thing but having it stolen out from under you is quite another story.
Along with bike theft, hijackings are also on the rise:


This one is really scary!


I actually had a narrow escape from such an incident while riding the Carpendale Trail in western PA. last week. I was crossing a bridge over the Potomac River which ends at the entrance to the Knobley tunnel, when I noticed a gang of 6 juveniles hanging around the tunnel entrance. I was too close to stop so I kept pedaling and gave a friendly greeting to the group as I passed. Apparently, they didn't notice me approaching and I surprised them before they had time to react. One of them started chasing me so I went full throttle (VERY glad I had one) into the tunnel!

The trail dead ends 1/4 mile past the tunnel on a city street in Keyser WV. where I met an older gentleman walking his dog. He was headed in the direction of the tunnel so I warned him of the situation. He told me it was a local street gang that had a reputation of accosting bikers. They would drag their victims into the tunnel where they couldn't be observed, rough them up and steal their belongings. One thug would ride away on the bike while the others disappeared into the woods. He said he would call the police. I wasn't actually hurt and couldn't file any charges so I left. There was no way I was going take the trail back the way I came so I took a 5 mile detour via city streets to get back to my truck.

I've ridden the Carpendale in Cumberland MD., which is a short spur off the GAP trail, a dozen or more times in the last 3 years and this is a new occurrence. Anyone planning a trip there should be advised of the situation.
 

ki11a

Well-Known Member
I get that we should be careful about where we ride and our surroundings, but that article you posted is from 1995 and that video you posted is from South Africa.

I usually have some forms of self defense security on me whether it be a pocket knife or my collapsible baton in my backpack. There are too many crazy people out there to be “naked” outside.

I’d say be very aware of people and things around you and you generally should be safe.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Protecting your bike when you leave it somewhere is one thing but having it stolen out from under you is quite another story.
Along with bike theft, hijackings are also on the rise:


This one is really scary!


I actually had a narrow escape from such an incident while riding the Carpendale Trail in western PA. last week. I was crossing a bridge over the Potomac River which ends at the entrance to the Knobley tunnel, when I noticed a gang of 6 juveniles hanging around the tunnel entrance. I was too close to stop so I kept pedaling and gave a friendly greeting to the group as I passed. Apparently, they didn't notice me approaching and I surprised them before they had time to react. One of them started chasing me so I went full throttle (VERY glad I had one) into the tunnel!

The trail dead ends 1/4 mile past the tunnel on a city street in Keyser WV. where I met an older gentleman walking his dog. He was headed in the direction of the tunnel so I warned him of the situation. He told me it was a local street gang that had a reputation of accosting bikers. They would drag their victims into the tunnel where they couldn't be observed, rough them up and steal their belongings. One thug would ride away on the bike while the others disappeared into the woods. He said he would call the police. I wasn't actually hurt and couldn't file any charges so I left. There was no way I was going take the trail back the way I came so I took a 5 mile detour via city streets to get back to my truck.

I've ridden the Carpendale in Cumberland MD., which is a short spur off the GAP trail, a dozen or more times in the last 3 years and this is a new occurrence. Anyone planning a trip there should be advised of the situation.
I've ridden out there. During the week it can be deserted. Feels peaceful. Maybe it's best to ride there in the evenings and weekends when people are around. Shame that has to be a consideration. Kids are emboldened these days to hurt people just for fun. I hope you call the parks department or rangers and tell them your story. It doesn't have to be a formal report to shine a light on the issue. May help the biker without extra power on tap. Glad you are okay!
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I've ridden out there. During the week it can be deserted. Feels peaceful. Maybe it's best to ride there in the evenings and weekends when people are around. Shame that has to be a consideration. Kids are emboldened these days to hurt people just for fun. I hope you call the parks department or rangers and tell them your story. It doesn't have to be a formal report to shine a light on the issue. May help the biker without extra power on tap. Glad you are okay!

Thanks J.R. The incident happened around 5 PM last Tuesday evening. It is indeed a peaceful, out of the way spot. The last place you'd expect something like this to happen.

I'm not really sure who has jurisdiction of that location. It isn't part of the C&O Canal Park and not on federal land. The East portal of the Knobley Tunnel is right on the MD - WVA state line. The Carpendale Trail is maintained by some other authority. Hopefully, the police will notify the proper organization.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I get that we should be careful about where we ride and our surroundings, but that article you posted is from 1995 and that video you posted is from South Africa.

I usually have some forms of self defense security on me whether it be a pocket knife or my collapsible baton in my backpack. There are too many crazy people out there to be “naked” outside.

I’d say be very aware of people and things around you and you generally should be safe.

Your point is well taken. I should have spent more time searching for a current article but the 1995 one I linked is still appropriate today. Yes the video is from South Africa but this is an international forum. In any case, you get the point. There are indeed too many crazy people out there today.

I always carry a pocket knife and pepper spray for what good it would do against 6 juveniles. Certainly better than nothing. I'm licensed to carry a concealed weapon in my home state but at my age, I'd rather flee or ride elsewhere than get involved in a confrontation. There are several trails I no longer ride for this reason. The danger is discovering one for the first time as was the case I described.

Thanks for your input.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
It seems that South African EBR'ers need to be especially careful. A Google for "bicycle hijacking" suggests "South Africa" as the next two words.

Even without adding SA, a high proportion of the results are articles from SA from different years. Of course, I never saw any "Hijackings on the decline" articles. :)

I'm more concerned about chainsaw attacks on one of my favourite local paths.

 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
It seems that South African EBR'ers need to be especially careful. A Google for "bicycle hijacking" suggests "South Africa" as the next two words.

Even without adding SA, a high proportion of the results are articles from SA from different years. Of course, I never saw any "Hijackings on the decline" articles. :)

I'm more concerned about chainsaw attacks on one of my favourite local paths.

These are curious times.

 

ki11a

Well-Known Member
These are curious times.


Didn’t even really think of the possibility that there would be traps on trails...how disheartening.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
The Greenway path was/is notorious for attacks on bikers.
There won't be more biker attacks coming, they've been here for 4 years.
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
You have to be careful riding in some areas. In Portland, OR booby traps on bike paths that got in the news included a thin rope strung across a path neck high that caught at least one person. Blame who you will but Portland has turned into a sh**hole. I've lived in the area for over 25 years - it used to be a clean, beautiful city. Yesterday I took a 64 mile ride that included several miles along the Columbia River. Trash heaps, tent cities and junk vehicles with people living in them right along the river, much trash on the 205 (glenn jackson) bridge walk/bikeway. Really sickening, Seattle is much worse.
What a shame you have to be reminded that there are people in this world who are less fortunate than you, being cast by the wayside and suffering. You might actually end up wanting to do something constructive about that, heaven forbid.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Just the very sad reality of the situation, not a comment on cause or solutions.

Somewhere on the inter webs there is an excellent article on how Rhode Island has greatly alleviated their homelessness with a hands-on intensive drug and alchohol treatment program and halfway houses continuing the work with individuals. It's very uplifting.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I started a thread about this awhile back based on an NYC article about strongarm robbery of e-bikes from delivery riders. And pursuant to some conversation with some folks I know regarding whether e-bikes, as they become more popular, will attract more than your standard lock-cutting thief (ie armed and strongarm robbery):

 

ki11a

Well-Known Member
Your point is well taken. I should have spent more time searching for a current article but the 1995 one I linked is still appropriate today. Yes the video is from South Africa but this is an international forum. In any case, you get the point. There are indeed too many crazy people out there today.

I always carry a pocket knife and pepper spray for what good it would do against 6 juveniles. Certainly better than nothing. I'm licensed to carry a concealed weapon in my home state but at my age, I'd rather flee or ride elsewhere than get involved in a confrontation. There are several trails I no longer ride for this reason. The danger is discovering one for the first time as was the case I described.

Thanks for your input.

Definately agree, I also have a concealed carry but I do not find it nessessary to carry on me during bike rides. I would rather ride out on my bike than have a physical confrontation where someone might get hurt. Just because I can, doesnt mean I should.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
These are curious times.

The Chinese expression (mis) translated as "May you live in interesting times" is actually a curse, I've been told. These kinds of criminal activities, more prevalent or better reported (?), aren't a good sign for "civil" ization.
 

sc00ter

Active Member
I carry a jogger wrist wrap of mace. Originally for dogs but now it seems people have gotten worse than dogs. I carry one of those big Dog the Bounty Hunter mace containers on my scooter, may get one for the ebike.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
As a non-American I always find these tales of self defencive weaponary part baffling, part horrifying. For me, it would be inconceivable to ride packing a gun, blade or mace. (You hearing me, European members?)

Seriously, I love the states. Love, love, love. I've road tripped it several times, yes including big cities, spent a month last year living in rural VT, even visited New Haven and never ever felt unsafe or threatened, but maybe just got lucky. Has poverty, wealth equality, endemic racism or whatever root cause gotten so bad that members here routinely fear for their safety?
 
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