Monday, August 18, 2008

Pain in a can

Last winter, I got an e-mail from a guy named Corey, who reads this blog in Chicago. He and his brother from Israel were planning a trip to Alaska that would involve some mountain biking, so we swapped a few messages and I offered whatever advice I could.

Shortly before their vacation, Corey asked about bear spray. What to buy, where to find it, etc. That’s when I reminded him he’d have to discard his unused canisters before flying home, and I mentioned how it sucks that people who come to Alaska have to spend $30 to $40 on the stuff and then toss it out at the end of their trip (unless they actually blast a bear with it first).

So Corey and his bro stopped by my house last night at the end of their trip, and handed over two new—and fortunately unused—canisters of Counter Assault. I’m using them to start my own little Capsaicin Co-op for mountain bikers.

If a rider—local or visiting—needs some bear protection for a few days, he or she can drop me an e-mail and arrange to pick up a canister. The only requirements are that you return it at the end of your trip and, in the unlikely event you actually have to hose down a charging animal (aggressive, unleashed dogs count), you replace it with a fresh canister for others to borrow. Oh, and your survivors can’t sue me if a bear still manages to eat you for lunch—I’m offering to lend you a free tool, not a guarantee.

The way I see it, this a little way of helping people carry insurance but requiring them to pay the premium only if they have a claim.

Try getting get a deal like that from Allstate.


Clay Perry said...

great idea!

Snakebite said...

Good on you for starting this type of co-op. Excellent idea.

Jeff Moser said...

Why not just save it to use on airport security? See them hassling someone's grandma, and you blast 'em!

Tim said...

Watch out, Jeff. The Homeland Security goons will be knocking on your door soon!

WheelDancer said...

Great idea, too bad we didn't get it together in time to leave ours with you. The lady in the restaurant was quite happy to take it off our hands but it would have been better to have donated the first can to the cause.

Anonymous said...

Great idea and an excellent way to stop the wasteful ways the TSA has imposed on us.

Funny commentary too. I like the "your survivors can’t sue me if a bear still manages to eat you for lunch" part.

Corey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corey said...

Thanks again for your advice.

Thanks also to Ben Jones of, who supplied the bikes and was flexibile about working with our schedule.

Pictures here: