Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
User avatar
bigjim
Posts: 3119
Joined: 2 Feb 2008, 5:08pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby bigjim » 25 Jul 2019, 3:13pm

Way back in the mists if time when Kung Fu was all the rage I attended a few classes with my young son. I enjoyed it and thought it would help him out if he was ever bullied. One night they brought this guy in for an exhibition fight thing. He was a black belt karate and high up in the Kung Fu system. He chose me, [the big guy] to demonstrate his moves against. He started fighting me and was I was blocking, but of course he was very good, very strong and he was hitting and hurting me. Suddenly I lost my temper and lashed out with a fist. I floored him. That was the last time I attended the class. They banned me. Me, the total beginner took him by surprise. By the way it was out of character. I'm not aggressive or a fighter. Pain and instinct took over I guess.
Martial arts if fine surrounded by mats and an opponent using moves you are trained to deal with. Out of the blue stuff? I'm not so sure. Up against some raving nutter with no fear it's a different story.
Nothing left to prove.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 5970
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 Jul 2019, 3:19pm

I knew a lass who was very petite and a black belt in Tang Soo Do. She got pickpocketed in a market in southern India or some such place with a lot of poverty. Her martial arts training kicked in and the guy was no match. She then ran away scared because the crowd thought he'd molested her and had gone all vigilante on the poor pickpocket.

Of course as I said style of martial arts is very important for effective self defence. Also I never said competency was the only factor. Our chief instructor (now 7th Dan and Head of family for his martial arts style, sokeship I think it's called) was very keen that skills and techniques were taught alongside awareness. However some took to the awareness training but others didn't.

It's one thing being able to cope with threat when seen it's another to see it in the first place. Some people just can't get that awareness no matter how well it's taught by experts.

Then there's the issue of training becoming a weapon. One instructor got arrested and was close to ching through the justice system when he defended himself against a knife wielding mugger in a close quarters situation. It's a situation that's hard to defend but because of his martial arts training the breaking of the muggers arm was considered beyond self defence. Treated the situation like the mugger had brought a knife to a gunfight and decided that the guy with the better weapon (martial arts training) was the one to prosecute and the mugger the victim.

It worked out alright. The police officer who had arranged to use his training services heard about it and knew the BTP officer who arrested him. It soon got dropped. Plus the mugger was known for doing this just he'd changed to doing it on a train so was new to BTP.

BTW my awareness of things around me improved dramatically after those self defence awareness training sessions. It's partly about knowing where the risks are. Where to look for them. Like when I did the commentary as part of my advanced driving training. Doing it and hearing others do it really increased my recognition of risks and hazards. Even now I subconsciously note hazards when out and about. Especially walking the dog at night last thing. It's instinct now.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 5970
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 Jul 2019, 4:42pm

bigjim wrote:Way back in the mists if time when Kung Fu was all the rage I attended a few classes with my young son. I enjoyed it and thought it would help him out if he was ever bullied. One night they brought this guy in for an exhibition fight thing. He was a black belt karate and high up in the Kung Fu system. He chose me, [the big guy] to demonstrate his moves against. He started fighting me and was I was blocking, but of course he was very good, very strong and he was hitting and hurting me. Suddenly I lost my temper and lashed out with a fist. I floored him. That was the last time I attended the class. They banned me. Me, the total beginner took him by surprise. By the way it was out of character. I'm not aggressive or a fighter. Pain and instinct took over I guess.
Martial arts if fine surrounded by mats and an opponent using moves you are trained to deal with. Out of the blue stuff? I'm not so sure. Up against some raving nutter with no fear it's a different story.

See above stories. One skilled pickpocket detected by trained martial artist. The other a drug addict desparate for money for a fix with no fear.

I disagree about your views on martial arts. However I am acutely aware that not all martial arts training is the same.

My dojo had some very talented instructors who taught in a very effective style of ju jitsu. A complete style that's tailor made for self defence.

I took my son to a different class and their ju jitsu was dire. I could have taught it better and I'm only a few belts up. The instructors had a style that read best described as beginner compared to my dojo. Even white belts could do the techniques better than the instructor. We stopped taking him. IMHO a bad martial arts instructor is dangerous for all.

recumbentpanda
Posts: 221
Joined: 6 Apr 2009, 12:13pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby recumbentpanda » 25 Jul 2019, 5:05pm

“I would that there were no age at all from sixteen to two and twenty, for the in between is nothing but fighting, wenching, whoring and outraging the ancientry.”

-some bloke in a play a few hundred years ago :lol:

User avatar
hondated
Posts: 2359
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 7:59am
Location: Eastbourne

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby hondated » 25 Jul 2019, 8:30pm

Having been brought up on a large council estate in the 50/60s I too would roam the streets of a night with my mates but we would never dream of intimidating anyone particularly if they were old. But that said I guess times change !

I like to think I can look after myself , but that can be career ending though :wink: but given the same situation as the OP I think even though it would be inconvenient I would just avoid the area. I mean after a certain age one of them may just get the better of you.

Self defence expert Geoff Thompson ex Bouncer etc advises this in one of his books. He writes you go into a pub and you just don't feel comfortable so just walk out after all there are plenty f other pubs you can go into.

For the record my recent altercation was with not kids but rather a man walking a dog not on a lead . Long story short he started with the F word and then progressed to the C word. :evil: Felt my arm going back and before it came forward sanity set in and I thought do I really want to get nicked for lamping someone so I just pedalled off. Mind you he didnt like me taking his photo on my phone but never had the bottle to try and get the phone off of me :lol:

pete75
Posts: 12023
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby pete75 » 25 Jul 2019, 9:35pm

A simple lesson in how to deal with the situation.


User avatar
rob_wales
Posts: 56
Joined: 27 Aug 2017, 11:58am

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby rob_wales » 25 Jul 2019, 11:45pm

This is going to sound a tad paranoid. The UK is changing. Rapidly. Behavior is getting worse. Most people seem to have a growing sense of injustice and resentment. Austerity didn't help, and Brexit has taken things down to another low level. Social media is another main culprit. My general advice is to avoid everything as much as possible, especially involving people of a certain type (you know what I mean). Travel by car unless it is safe to cycle, especially for women. I've read quite a few of the other comments here. Some of them seem to be written by ex teachers and youth workers from the 1970s taking a very sympathetic view to youth. I don't trust anyone.

Carlton green
Posts: 337
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby Carlton green » 26 Jul 2019, 6:25am

rob_wales wrote:This is going to sound a tad paranoid. The UK is changing. Rapidly. Behavior is getting worse. Most people seem to have a growing sense of injustice and resentment. Austerity didn't help, and Brexit has taken things down to another low level. Social media is another main culprit. My general advice is to avoid everything as much as possible, especially involving people of a certain type (you know what I mean). Travel by car unless it is safe to cycle, especially for women. I've read quite a few of the other comments here. Some of them seem to be written by ex teachers and youth workers from the 1970s taking a very sympathetic view to youth. I don't trust anyone.


I don’t think it paranoid, my suspicion is that it just reflects life as you find it in your particular area. The U.K. is changing and has been changing for many years, sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. Social media is somewhat off a two edged sword, it does some harm and some good.

Traveling by car unless you know it’s safe to cycle seems a bit OTT but there is some logic to that philosophy. I suggest not sticking rigidly to something you find unsafe is wise, review your alternative options and make what practical selections you can from what you have.

I wondered about the scene from Grand Torino posted above by Pete75, it all seemed a bit American Hollywood to me but I still think that it contained much that’s to useful to reflect on.

Youth has had a bad name for seemingly forever yet there are so very many wonderful young people out there. The problems are mostly due to older people who fail to take responsibility and bring up their young people properly - that’s simplistic but it’s still true. That said the young usually have limited experience and not that much logic to their action, but have a body which is full of emotion and vigour, so beware the hazardous mixed of powerful engine and a sometimes unstable driver .......
Last edited by Carlton green on 26 Jul 2019, 6:42am, edited 1 time in total.

poetd
Posts: 92
Joined: 16 Jul 2019, 6:12pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby poetd » 26 Jul 2019, 6:41am

Yes you do sound Paranoid.
None of this is new.

Sound familiar? That was 1976.

One big thing that has changed is Journalism. As in there's very very little of it left now.
All about click generation now, and fear-porn generates more clicks than any other kind of news item.
So we don't have news now, we have fear-porn clickbait.

Crime stats go up and down, but the general trend for violent crime is downward. The Daily Mail doesn't want you informed, it wants you scared and clicking.

User avatar
rob_wales
Posts: 56
Joined: 27 Aug 2017, 11:58am

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby rob_wales » 26 Jul 2019, 7:34am

poetd wrote:Yes you do sound Paranoid.
None of this is new.

Sound familiar? That was 1976.

One big thing that has changed is Journalism. As in there's very very little of it left now.
All about click generation now, and fear-porn generates more clicks than any other kind of news item.
So we don't have news now, we have fear-porn clickbait.

Crime stats go up and down, but the general trend for violent crime is downward. The Daily Mail doesn't want you informed, it wants you scared and clicking.


Thank you for posting that. I missed that movie completely back in 1976... I must have been busy dodging the drug-crazed psychopathic swivel-eyed loons who were out to kill me back then. But I am going to watch it tonight on Amazon.

And very good points you make about the media feeding paranoia.

HobbesOnTour
Posts: 374
Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby HobbesOnTour » 26 Jul 2019, 8:03am

MOARspeed wrote:What's the best approach here?


I don't believe there's a single "best approach", but practical things you could do are:

Find a cycling buddy. You may not have seen any cyclists at the time you cycle that section of the route, but there well may be cyclists that ride at a slightly different time. The trick is to find them and to change your timing accordingly. Perhaps local cycling clubs/facebook/etc. Persuade a colleague who lives locally to join you in your commute.

Change your route. If the issue is on your way home from work at last you have the opportunity to cycle a little further.

Get faster. Train harder and zip past the area.

Talk to the Police. Find out if there is an issue in that area. There is a difference between kids hanging around and malevolent kids looking to cause trouble.

Get a camera and have it prominent. It may act as a deterrent. Then again, it could be perceived as provocative, or attractive to steal.

Undertake some kind of self defence training.

Accept that this is (probably) a temporary situation (school holidays) and that normal service will resume in September.

Finally, investigating something like Mindfulness or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be a very useful tool to help us to control the physical reactions to our minds going off on (unhelpful) tangents and helping us to bring our minds back under our control.

While I was not in your position and cannot judge the seriousness of your interactions with these people, I do think that associating local teenagers with terrorist attacks in Morocco and Tajikistan is really not helpful.

We all have our fears. To some they will be understood, to others, they will seem silly. You've seen that here - some people reinforcing the fear by adding anecdotes, others advising to reach out and communicate.
The only things you can do are to
    Evaluate the source of the anxiety
    Take whatever steps are possible to reduce the anxiety.
    Decide if the anxiety is now manageable.
At the end of the day it's your life, your route, your cycling. Your call.

Good luck!

Stradageek
Posts: 635
Joined: 17 Jan 2011, 1:07pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby Stradageek » 26 Jul 2019, 10:17am

rob_wales wrote:This is going to sound a tad paranoid. The UK is changing. Rapidly. Behavior is getting worse. Most people seem to have a growing sense of injustice and resentment. Austerity didn't help, and Brexit has taken things down to another low level. Social media is another main culprit. My general advice is to avoid everything as much as possible, especially involving people of a certain type (you know what I mean). Travel by car unless it is safe to cycle, especially for women. I've read quite a few of the other comments here. Some of them seem to be written by ex teachers and youth workers from the 1970s taking a very sympathetic view to youth. I don't trust anyone.

I think that TV, newspapers etc. play on fear.

Headline 'Old man mugged whilst cycling' is a paper/ad space selling headline, 'Kids chat to cyclist and demonstrate wheelies' is not.

Promoting fear both makes and sells news and allows governments to control us - lets combat it with more police, armed police, ID cards etc.etc. The world is a safer place than it has ever been and I intend to get out and enjoy it.

For a detailed perspective on the fear issue watch 'Bowling for Columbine', the interview with Marylin Manson, of all people, is amazing.

For an excellent example of how to react to fear, read the end of Josie Dew ''The wind in my wheels'

Carlton green
Posts: 337
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby Carlton green » 26 Jul 2019, 11:29am

I think that TV, newspapers etc. play on fear.

Headline 'Old man mugged whilst cycling' is a paper/ad space selling headline, 'Kids chat to cyclist and demonstrate wheelies' is not.


Unfortunately Newspapers are not focused on delivering News they are focused on profit. Newspapers are primarily just a money making venture that happens to do so through the regular delivery of information some of which the reader pays for directly in the cover price and some of which s/he pays for with his/her time spent reading advertisements. To sell advertising space and to cover high fixed costs Newspapers sensationalise reported events so that we buy the cover and read the paper cover to cover to arm ourselves with information.

Many decades ago a local (to me) workplace dispute was covered by the media, they got so many details wrong that I decided never to trust the media again. Of course lots of folk bought papers and tuned into the TV which was great for the advertisers. So, at the end of the day, bad news and not good news sells Newspapers and selling Newspapers makes money. Accuracy isn’t particularly important but keeping your readership loyal is important - typically that’s done by slanting news towards a particular political bias that regular readers of that cover already like.

mercalia
Posts: 11734
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby mercalia » 26 Jul 2019, 12:39pm

poetd wrote:Yes you do sound Paranoid.
None of this is new.

Sound familiar? That was 1976.

One big thing that has changed is Journalism. As in there's very very little of it left now.
All about click generation now, and fear-porn generates more clicks than any other kind of news item.
So we don't have news now, we have fear-porn clickbait.

Crime stats go up and down, but the general trend for violent crime is downward. The Daily Mail doesn't want you informed, it wants you scared and clicking.



seems to me we should doing this in response to what is happening with our so called leaders like this for instance

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... GTUK_email

alexnharvey
Posts: 844
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Gangs of youths on national cycle route.....

Postby alexnharvey » 26 Jul 2019, 12:46pm

It seems like that a number of posters are unable to distinguish between,

A) the person who is scared to go out because they perceive the world as very dangerous and

b) the person who does go out and encounters a potentially dangerous situation.

It seems extremely important to me to distinguish between the two because in A the fear is inappropriate and unhelpful and in B it may be both helpful and appropriate. That is not to say that one should become overwhelmed or panic in B, of course.

The media does indeed skew perceptions of danger. That doesn't mean that dangers don't exist.