Newsletter - 2000 Archive

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Personal Security

Ian Stephen


As Mel Gibson once said "Personal security is serious business. That's why I pack an Uzi!" The following personal security tip for randonneurs is only for us guys though and may be a little off colour, so women and children please close your eyes.

Now gentlemen, the family nurse assures me that I am the last guy to ever think of this. I think she is just trying to dissuade me from sharing it though. More on that conspiracy theory later. The great majority of times that I go to the men's room, I walk straight to the urinal because that's what I've always done. I am often riding by myself though, so find myself with rack bag in hand and no good place to set it down. The bag usually ends up a little behind me because the floor looks less splashed there. This results in much anxiety as I know that anyone could grab my ...pannier and while we randonneurs are probably fit enough to give chase, the circumstances give a thief a distinct advantage. Well guys, go to the stall instead! Even if you don't really need to sit! It finally dawned on me recently at a Starbucks. There's even often a hook on the door that a pannier can be hung on. This is not totally safe, but it's a darn sight safer than setting it on the floor. It may take some getting used to, but women have been using the stalls for everything for so long they don't even have urinals in the ladies rooms anymore! I don't know why they didn't share this idea with us, but now the secret is out and we can all be a little more secure for it.

Editor's Note: Do not put your purse or small pannier on the hook on the back of the door in a really "poor" area. The purse/pannier can be easily knocked down by reaching over the top of the door and then quickly scooped up from the ground (while you are otherwise occupied). Airport etc washrooms provide (women anyway) with a separate purse shelf that folds down. It is well away from the door.