Some Houston cyclists fight back after recent attacks

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by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 3 at 9:31 AM

HOUSTON -- Sara Stassen was out for a Saturday morning bike ride this year when she was attacked and robbed on the Columbia Tap Trail. Two teens pushed her to the ground.

“I was thinking, ‘Why are there rocks in my mouth?’” Stassen said. “I thought that maybe when I fell, I got some sand in my mouth, when it was actually pieces of my teeth.”

The bad guys were caught and charged, but the attacks did not end. John Preston, 66, was also jumped on the same trail.

Though his attackers were arrested, cyclists were deeply concerned. More, in turn, may be packing heat.

One cyclist who did not want to be identified said he always takes his gun.

“If you’re facing a situation, there’s nobody to help you, you have to help yourself,” he said. “What’s your life worth?”

Abigail Guidry rides with pepper spray in hand.

“You don’t have to be CHL to prevent situations,” Guidry said. “Know where you’re going. Know the areas you’re going into.”

From traveling with a buddy to holding blunt objects, cyclists are now in a fiery debate over how to best protect themselves.

Not one of them plans to give up their bike.

Yet in Stassen’s case, she believes a weapon would have been a risk.

“If I had a gun with me, it probably would have been stolen or likely used against me,” Stassen said. “Or likely would have escalated the situation.”

Like many cyclists she is open to deterrents, and hopes they make the bad guys think twice.

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