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DC Area Residents - are you still riding your normal routes?(9 posts)

DC Area Residents - are you still riding your normal routes?Fez
Oct 16, 2002 7:59 AM
I live in the DC area, and I haven't had a good ride in almost 2 weeks, coincidentally when this sniper stuff started happening.

I haven't noticed a lot of riders the past 2 weeks, but I don't know if this is just a reaction to the cold and wet fall weather, or a reaction to the sniper on the loose.

Do you think the trails or a closed loop inside a park are a better place to ride until they catch this psycho? I think statistically the chances are very slim, but I don't have much desire to ride on the road in the midst of all this madness.
Yes, weather has changed thoughpmf1
Oct 16, 2002 8:11 AM
As you know, its been rainier here than in the past 9 months. A bit cooler too. I'm still commuting and riding the same as if this nut were not around. He doesn't aim at moving targets, so you're probably a lot safer riding around on your bike than you are when you do what we all really fear --- fill your car with gas.

Don't let this a-hole change your life. Statistically, you're more likely to die in a traffic accident than get shot by him. The press does seem to dictate his choices a lot. The first week, they reported how safe school kids are and the first thing he did the following week was shoot one. Last week they said he stops near major interstates to use them as a quick getaway. So the first thing he does Monday night is shoot someone in a crowded suburb not close to the interstate. Bottom line ---- if the press starts saying "bike riders appaear to be safe", I'll quit riding.

Legal issue I'm curious about --- If they catch him in VA, he'll undoubtedly get the death penalty. If they catch him in MD where there is no death penalty, he'll get life w/o parole. Can he be tried for crimes in both states, or does where he gets caught decide his fate?
Yes, weather has changed thoughscott bdc
Oct 16, 2002 9:23 AM
pmf1, each and every jurisdiction in which he commits a crime has the right to try him for the offenses committed in that jurisdiction. I know VA has capital punishment, and I'm not certain about MD, although I think it might as well. And, finally, given all the crossing of state lines that have gone on, he could be brought up on federal charges too, and probably capital ones at that.
Punishment options for the sniperms
Oct 16, 2002 9:46 AM
Both Maryland and Virginia provide for the death penalty. The sniper clearly falls within the eligibility requirements for the death penalty in Virginia (e.g., murder or more than one person in a three year period). However, there is some question in my mind as to whether the sniper falls within the eligibility requirements for the death penalty in Maryland. The closest provision in the Maryland code requires that there be more than one murder "arising out of the same incident." I could argue the point either way as to whether the Montgomery County shootings that occurred closely in time to each other were one incident or not.

I live in the Baltimore suburbs. My house is closer to the Montgomery County shootings than the Manassas and Fredericksburg shootings were. Although I have not changed my activities because of the sniper, I worry that the sniper will decide to go north on I-95 the next time rather than south. There were not many cyclists on the road this past weekend in Northern Baltimore County. However, I think that many cyclists either were cycling elsewhere (like at the Seagull Century) or stayed home because of the cloudy/rainy weather. I think that people in the Baltimore area are somewhat anxious because of the sniper, but nowhere near as anxious as people in the D.C. area.
The level of fear is pretty high herepmf1
Oct 16, 2002 11:09 AM
Several times I've seen people cowering at the gas pump.

The randomness of it makes me think there's nothing you can do, but live your life. If my number's up, its up.

I didn't know MD has the death penalty. VA sure does and isn't afraid to use it.
Yes, we have made no changes to our routine or routes.MB1
Oct 16, 2002 8:24 AM
I love this time of year when it gets cooler and wetter. The MUTs that we use during the week have a lot less users because of the cooler weather and darkness coming earlier each day.

Out in the country where we ride on weekends there are also a lot less riders (mostly because it was a wet weekend).

I think a lot of people are overreacting to the shootings. I also think that if you are worried about getting shot while riding you shouldn't ride but I think normal DC area auto traffic is a much bigger danger to a cyclist than a random deranged sniper nutcase.

Cyclists might even be statisticaly safer on the road now with people staying home and/or paying more attention while they are dirving. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Agree with the above, BUT...Fez
Oct 16, 2002 9:56 AM
the one thing this psycho has proved is he is unpredictable. I'm not that concerned when I am riding at speed. But I do wonder when I have to stop at an intersection or stoplight.

I have also wondered if I could be a potential target if I stop at a convenience store for a snack or drink, or when I get back to the car, switch shoes and put the bike back into the car.

Pretty sad what a few bad people are capable of doing in this day and age.
re: DC Area Residents - are you still riding your normal routes?commuterguy
Oct 16, 2002 10:15 AM
I have been riding as much as the weather allows. Frankly, I think cycling is much safer in this regard than waiting for the bus at my local metrobus stop, which has long sightlines in many directions, and isn't too far from the Beltway.

What I have noticed, to my amusement, is that the few cyclists out and about lately look to me as though they are on their way to the North Pole. Full gloves, tights, jackets and fleece vests, ear muffs--and we haven't even had a frost yet. I am reminded again that the vast majority of cyclists are strictly fair weather types. I agree with MB1--this is, in many ways, the best time of the year to ride.
Guilty -- wrt North Pole attirems
Oct 16, 2002 12:38 PM
When the weather turned cooler last week, I broke out all of my cold weather gear. I have overdressed for every ride I have taken since then. Sooner or later I will get it right.