Dear Abby on cycling safety

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005
By Yokota Fritz

In response to this column in which a 13-year-old girl asks how to avoid creeps and weirdos while she's out riding her bike, several people wrote in to offer their perspectives. Dress like a guy. Carry a cell phone. Be aware of your surroundings. Ride with a group.

My wife carries pepper spray and a heavy U-lock. My friend Lauren, an LCI, tells me that she often rides on the streets rather than trails because the streets are not as isolated as the paths, especially after dark. (Lauren has also told me to dress like a woman and wear Terry cycling skorts for better motorist interaction.)

In light of a recent sexual assualt in broad daylight on a local bike path, there's certainly reason to be concerned about your personal safety. How about it, ladies? What tips can you offer to enhance riding safety? Let's talk empowerment, not fear or blame-the-victim.

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