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Old 08-18-2018, 09:36 AM   #1
Pride of Cucamonga
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Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikistan

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/w...ke-attack.html

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/31/63437...world-together


This just happened a few weeks ago...below is a link to their blog, which imo is A++ reading, the guy is a very good writer:

http://www.simplycycling.org/blog/?offset=1483813704208

RIP Jay & Lauren...I wish I had known you.
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:41 AM   #2
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

From his blog describing quitting his job:

Today feels like a really big day. I've spent almost seven years—seven years—going to the same place at the same time on the same days of the week. Those seven years have been pretty lovely, and I feel so fortunate to have had what was really a pretty great job. The people were wonderful, the work was service-oriented, the hours were flexible, the salary was good. I got health insurance and paid time off and a whole lot of autonomy. I had some patient bosses who put up with me taking three-month-long sabbaticals every year, who let me bend the rules just to their breaking point.

I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I'm anxious to turn my back on what was really a good thing. But getting too cozy is dangerous. Inertia is a stealthy predator. I've learned a lot from these seven years, and I enjoyed plenty, but with each passing year I feel I learned a little less. The days have blended into weeks, the weeks into months, the months into years. I've grown tired of meetings, of teleconferences, of timesheets and password changes and Monday morning elevator commiseration. I've grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige. I've missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed. There's magic out there, in this great big beautiful world, and I've long since scooped up the last of the scraps to be found in my cubicle.

I know there's another way to live. I've dabbled in it. But now it's time to commit. To go all-in. I'm thankful for this privilege. The privilege to commit. The privilege to walk away from a well-paying life of comfort. To charge headlong into indulgence, rough but ultimately temporary. To make this choice. I recognize it's not a choice everyone has. I don't intend to be flippant, ungrateful. I am deeply appreciative.

I quit my job today. I'm terrified. I'm thrilled. I feel like I felt when I stepped off a plane at ten thousand feet some years back, tumbling head over heels, plummeting toward the earth. I know there's a parachute. I know it will be okay. It's just going to take a few moments to get my bearings, to right myself.

Here we go.
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:01 PM   #3
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

RIP Jay & Lauren...I wish they had known to stay out of Muslim extremist countries.

I like to go scubaing and I know enough to stay out of Shark infested waters. Do not be shocked if I come back with one foot. same same
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Old 08-19-2018, 06:14 AM   #4
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

Damn, really sad. I was in Tajikistan last year and there were tons of cyclists doing this type of trip. Everyone agreed the locals were all very friendly and nobody I had met had any problems at all traveling the country with regards to safety, myself included. These two got horribly unlucky. So gtfo with the ‘they should have known better’ garbage.

And also lol at scuba diving and being afraid of sharks. Have fun living your life in fear UB’18.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

There is probably a degree of selection bias there though. Like obviously the people who decide to vacation in Tajikistan are probably not going to be the ones who are considering the dangers of the place, since they chose to go there.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:51 AM   #6
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

don't quit that stable day job.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:03 AM   #7
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

Just incredibly unlucky. If you do the numbers, you're much more likely to get shot by some rando while you're in the US
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:34 PM   #8
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

Here is Jay and his microhome, seemed like a pretty good dude.
The shirt he was wearing is eerie in hindsight.

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Old 08-21-2018, 09:22 PM   #9
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle . the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

I'd make a large wager that few of us are particularly knowledgeable about what life is like on the ground--and/or what the security situation is like--in Tajikistan. Oh, but wait--it's one of those "stan" countries...guess that's all we really need to know, right??

Hmm...but this is interesting:

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-...d-States/Crime
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:27 AM   #10
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

This is a wild scene from their blog that I could imagine appearing in a movie.



It is our fifth day in Kazakhstan and we are on the dusty outskirts of the city. We left our lovely hotel room a few hours ago and have since pedaled out of Almaty's glamorous downtown. We seem to have left the glamor behind, for out here there are no more shiny buildings and no more grassy parks. Out here, it's a rotten hellscape.

The air is putrid and thick. Our lungs feel tight and our nostrils burn and my eyes are tearing. We're enveloped by haze and diesel exhaust and smoke from burning piles of garbage in the gutter. The Air Quality Index, we learn later, is fifty percent above what pollution professionals deem hazardous to life.

The roadside is littered with dead birds. Every ten or twenty meters I swerve from the shoulder to avoid crushing a carcass under my wheels. Hundreds and hundreds of big, black birds who look like they've dropped from the sky just today. Like maybe this toxic air is, indeed, not conducive to life continuing to live.


Dead birds in the gutter, men fighting in the streets. We pull into a gas station for a break and watch two drivers scream at each other over who got to the pump first. They get out of their cars and puff up their chests while another petrol pump sits empty ten feet away. A little further ahead, back on the road, two groups of men are standing outside their cars in the middle of the highway yelling at one another. They have maybe had a fender-bender, or maybe one cut the other off. We arrived late, so this isn't really clear. We pedal by as one punches the other in the head. Once, twice, thrice, fist meets face.

It's a frenzy of horns and brake lights and mad drivers, this road. Russian I don't understand is shouted from cars. Vehicles swerve around potholes big enough to swallow our bikes. Half of the drivers operate from the left side of the car and the other half steers, British-style, from the right. No one can really see each other and no one really cares to look. The folks in their automobiles aren't so worried about hitting the dead birds in the shoulder and so bird innards splatter everywhere. I look down and I can see the corn they ate for their last meal and the eggs they weren't able to lay before dropping from the sky.

Thunder cracks and the hellscape pulsates light. The mountains to our left disappear behind thick grey clouds. We rush into another gas station just before it starts pouring. The road runs iridescent as motor oil lifts up from the tar, and a strong gust blows dust and debris into our faces. We cough on the irritants and look at each other through the haze.

Welcome to Kazakhstan, and excuse me, but why are you even here?
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:14 PM   #11
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle . the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

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Originally Posted by Pride of Cucamonga View Post
I'd make a large wager that few of us are particularly knowledgeable about what life is like on the ground--and/or what the security situation is like--in Tajikistan. Oh, but wait--it's one of those "stan" countries...guess that's all we really need to know, right??

Hmm...but this is interesting:

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-...d-States/Crime
ehh something tells me you can't trust all the numbers the Tajik government is dishing out. 55x more rape per capita in the US? Hmmm.

That being said it did seem very safe when I was there last year. Is that selection bias? maybe. Every tourist in Tajikistan assumed the real danger lay across the border in Afghanistan, where ISIS camped only 15-20km away. And of course your average Tajik is certainly very anti-ISiS and very protective of their tourists.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:34 PM   #12
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

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Originally Posted by FWWM View Post
Just incredibly unlucky. If you do the numbers, you're much more likely to get shot by some rando while you're in the US
It's an ethnically homogenous country, 98% Muslim with little tourism, the numbers will mostly apply to the locals. It could be much more dangerous to be a westerner there

Apparently from their blog this couple got rammed off the road / pushed off their bike even before the murder, and were hassled relentlessly by touts and people rudely chasing them for photos, called racists for refusing to buy stuff

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Old 09-11-2018, 06:46 PM   #13
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

People tend to overestimate some risks and underestimate other risks. Being killed by ISIS is akin to being killed by a shark. They were in much more danger cycling the streets of Philly but somehow we have normalized the idea of road accidents and don't fear them nearly as much.

That said, there are tons of people going to pretty dangerous areas and proclaiming them perfectly safe because they did not get robbed/stabbed/killed during their weekend stay in X. They don't realize what per capita risk is and how long it takes stats to catch up in even the most dangerous parts of the world.

In my experience, attitudes can quickly change when some locals realize you are not useful to them (money/entertainment/etc.).

People are people everywhere but social norms skew in different directions. Some regions - even poor regions - are very safe for tourists and some are particularly dangerous. It can be hard to research this because people always argue about every area and to some extent it can depend on the person (skin color, look, dress, language, etc.)
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:22 PM   #14
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

People tend to overestimate some risks and underestimate other risks. Being killed by ISIS is akin to being killed by a shark. They were in much more danger cycling the streets of Philly but somehow we have normalized the idea of road accidents and don't fear them nearly as much.

I find arguments like this to be disingenuous and illogical

You arent likely to be killed by a shark on land but you go
skinny dipping in the ocean and the odds go way up.

You MAY be more likely to be in more danger biking streets of Philly
but this wasnt just about the dangers of biking.

These folk were actively skinny dippin in the ocean, got stung over and over by jellyfish while pretending sharks dont exist. Yeah they pet a few dolphins but their luck ran out.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:30 PM   #15
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

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[
You arent likely to be killed by a shark on land but you go
skinny dipping in the ocean and the odds go way up.

You MAY be more likely to be in more danger biking streets of Philly
but this wasnt just about the dangers of biking.
.
Tajikistan is not ISIS territory. They were not exactly skinny dipping with sharks.

A lot of people seem to care about how they die. But to me, it's really the overall risk that matters and by that standard they were likely safer cycling rural Tajik roads instead of Philly traffic.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:04 AM   #16
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

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Originally Posted by magking1 View Post
People tend to overestimate some risks and underestimate other risks. Being killed by ISIS is akin to being killed by a shark. They were in much more danger cycling the streets of Philly but somehow we have normalized the idea of road accidents and don't fear them nearly as much.

I find arguments like this to be disingenuous and illogical
They are. It's the consent to risk fallacy. We consent to using roads in our cities, for the benefit we get out of it, and spend a much higher % of our lives on that activity that so the probability of dying during it is higher.

We don't consent to our governments not doing proper vetting leading to more terror attacks as in the EU since the refugee crisis. And if you or a loved one gets unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing a tiny % of your life activity, like a Christmas Market or an Ariana Grande concert...

This couple consented to ride very near to ISIS territory, where they rode was close to the border of Afghanistan. So their risk went way up.
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:26 PM   #17
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Re: Two Americans quit their jobs to bicycle around the world, murdered by fanatics in Tajikist

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Originally Posted by dc_publius View Post
Tajikistan is not ISIS territory. They were not exactly skinny dipping with sharks.

A lot of people seem to care about how they die. But to me, it's really the overall risk that matters and by that standard they were likely safer cycling rural Tajik roads instead of Philly traffic.

Did you even read the blog?
There was much more going on than just biking in a foreign land.

Yeah sure if you could run a simulation where each of us has to bike 1 hour
in either place and then immediately portaled to safety of our home then
the Philly scenario is likely to be more dangerous.
That is not how it works though.

Last edited by magking1; 09-13-2018 at 06:32 PM.
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