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Hitchhiking: Have you done it?

Is it dangerous? Not really, according to an opinion piece in the NY Times:

"Hitching didn’t die a natural death — it was murdered. And there’s little evidence that it was as dangerous as we think. Our fear of thumbing a ride stems not from the facts but from a carefully calculated publicity campaign begun by the F.B.I. and continued by law enforcement agencies across the nation. The end result is that we have largely turned our backs on the obvious efficiencies — for our wallets as well as the planet — of ride-sharing. And we have lost a way to humanize the landscape of the road."

by Anonymousreply 6112/11/2014

Hippies did not invent hitchhiking. Before the Second World War, it was a common practice for people in all walks of life. Hollywood films often had cute hitchhiking scenes like the one in “It Happened One Night,” where Claudette Colbert flashes a leg to get a ride. Magazines like Sports Illustrated declared it fun to thumb a ride and, during the war, picking up soldiers was nothing less than a patriotic duty.

Even the etiquette doyenne Emily Post gave hitching a green light in the 1940s, offering tips on how to keep the conversation light and impersonal.

But it was the ’60s and ’70s counterculture that embraced hitching as an anti-consumerist, pro-environment celebration of human interdependence. Students were hitchhiking to antiwar demonstrations. Civil rights advocates thumbed rides to register voters in the South. The American automotive industry, by then, had gone into overdrive: there were more cars than ever on the road. Yet an entire generation of young people, it seemed, was on the move without buying them.

This, apparently, irked local police officials, as well as the F.B.I. First, in the late 1950s, the F.B.I. began warning American motorists that hitchhikers might be criminals. A typical F.B.I. poster showed a well-dressed yet menacing hitchhiker under the title “Death in Disguise?”

by Anonymousreply 111/12/2012

I only did it around the city during a transit strike

by Anonymousreply 211/12/2012

It can be very dangerous for young women.

by Anonymousreply 311/12/2012

Women, in particular, were said to be “asking for it” if they put out a thumb.

The news media took the bait, writing scores of articles denouncing the practice.

“In the case of a girl who hitchhikes,” a 1973 article in Reader’s Digest declared, “the odds against her reaching her destination unmolested are today literally no better than if she played Russian roulette.”

by Anonymousreply 411/12/2012

Did it once because I was desperate. NEVER again. Scariest experience of my life, almost raped but got out of car and got away.

by Anonymousreply 511/12/2012

I had a friend who hitchhiked across the US in the mid-90s (a guy).

Twice men tried to jump him. Otherwise he met cool, salt of the earth people. One trucker even let him crash at his cabin in Colorado for a few days while he went back on the road.

by Anonymousreply 611/12/2012

I hitchhiked a lot as a teenaged hippie in the 1970's - never had a bad experience. I did turn down rides from guys who gave me a bad vibe (I'm female). Usually it was the cleancut guys who creeped me out.

by Anonymousreply 711/12/2012

Can you believe that Mayor Bloomberg was basically condoning that people hitched a ride with strangers to reach the number of people to 3 to get into Manhattan after Sandy? Hitching a ride or picking up hitchhikers is not exercising common sense. There are just too many sick people in society. You'd have to be crazy yourself to take the risk. I have picked up young women in the past only because I know I can be saving them from a killer but I took a risk with my own safety. Would Mike Bloomberg suggest his daughters hitched a ride into Manhattan? No! But it is okay for the rest of the population to put themselves in harm's way. Moves like this just give him away.

by Anonymousreply 811/12/2012

I did it a few times in my late teens early 20s. Two things that always occurred were: I was picked up by a guy who was on the job (driving a delivery truck, tow truck etc) The other was inevitably the guy made a move on me or would throw the hint by constantly grabbing at his crotch.

by Anonymousreply 911/12/2012

r8, Bloomberg sent a helicopter up to Westchester for his daughter during Sandy. True story!

In the early 80s my cousin and her friend were about 13-14 and started hitchhiking for a thrill. One time a 20-something year old guy picked them up and was creeping them out by telling them all sorts of things that perverts and sociopaths could do to them. They got out of the car and ran. Turns out the guy worked for the friend's dad, and recognized her which is why he picked her up. He intentionally wanted to scare them, but ended up telling his employer because he was so scared they'd end up getting raped and murdered by someone. Dilemma of a position to be in. Do you tell your boss his daughter is endangering her life and have him find out you were being weird and creepy with her?

by Anonymousreply 1011/12/2012

It happens in the SF Bay Area every single day, as what's called the "casual carpool": commuters needing a ride to work gather at designated spots, and drivers needing passengers to use the HOV lanes come by and pick up total strangers to drive them into the City and drop them off at another designated spot. I've been doing this (as a driver) for 3 months or so (as a single woman) and have never felt unsafe, despite the fact that I'm picking up folks from one of the higher-crime Bay Area cities (Vallejo).

by Anonymousreply 1111/12/2012

In Northern CA, I see a lot of pot heads hitchhiking around the harvest season.

by Anonymousreply 1211/12/2012

I'm female and hitchiked quite a bit in the 70s. Twice across the country.

Did get dumped at a truck stop and lost all my stuff when I refused to put out for a pair of truckers.

Got put out of another truck because I wouldn't pay with a bj.

Lucky to have survived unscathed, but I was very young and too dumb to be afraid.

by Anonymousreply 1311/12/2012

I did it, in Ireland 1995, totally culturally accepted. I was offered a ride with my bf WITHOUT asking on a cold night in Montreal by a woman driving alone. Culture shock!

by Anonymousreply 1411/12/2012

I'm 55 year old female and might hitch hike a few times next summer while hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail. There are a couple of places where I might have to exit the trail and hitch into a small town to get supplies. I think it would be fairly safe as the locals are aware of the trail and the tourists are pretty safe. I'm still not looking forward to it though.

by Anonymousreply 1511/12/2012

I did in the early 80s from Idaho to Montana and Wyoming with a friend fromNew Zealand. We got our first ride from a trucker no problem; were minor celebrities with the local young girls in this tiny town-- they wanted to touch real live hitchhikers!

We slept at the base of a sign behind bushes in a railroad yard one night. Got lucky with our next couple of rides because we got to sit in the back of the pickups (no small talk and people); flipped a coin who had to sit next to the driver most if the time. One guy tried to take us to his place until my friend threatened him.

One guy was creepy in his karate outfit and headband but overall harmless; one middle aged woman picked us up because she wanted to know what it was like go pick up hitch hikers and we seemed like a safe bet. All in all, it was a great experience.

by Anonymousreply 1611/12/2012

I used to hitch-hike quite a bit when I was a teenager back in the '70s. Never had a "problem" but it did lead to my first gay sex experience—when a handsome man in his thirties asked if I wanted a BJ.

by Anonymousreply 1711/12/2012

Yes r14. The people of Montreal will not let you suffer if they can help it. I've never seen such caring by total strangers like it anywhere. They're really caring about stray animals because they know they can freeze to death if left outside. Lots of them quietly came to the rescue of NYers after 9/11. I've been all over the world. I was amazed at how good looking most of them were. They don't realize they're hot because everyone from there is also hot. The men in the gay bars were over the top. I've never seen so many gorgeous men in one place ever. Munich was a close second but the people there will not help you and would leave you for dead if you were in danger. The accents and the French food, the food! There seems to be a higher standard there-for everything. Too cold in January.

by Anonymousreply 1811/13/2012

R18, a friend of mine lives in Montreal, and I can back up what you say, not just because of her, but when she tells me about how her whole circle of friends look after one another - including HUGE favors done without even the bat of an eye - it astounds me. Never heard of anything like it about anywhere else (although I have had big favors done for me by a particular friend in NYC).

Also, my Montrealer friend came by her cat by adopting him when he'd been left outside in freezing temperatures after his owners apparently moved away without taking him with them.

Apologies for the off-topic reply. Please return to the hitchhiking tales.

by Anonymousreply 1911/13/2012

Did it once in college in the 70s, I would never do it again if I can help it. Otherwise, picking guys up can be fun sexually (a smack on the ass as he gets out of the car) although you have to feel the right vibe about that sort of thing. That said, I doubt if I would ever pick up a hitchhiker today because it is a risky business for the driver and the rider. An old saying: "It's not smiles for miles, it's ASS FOR GAS".

by Anonymousreply 2011/13/2012

Sorry to hijack. Is there a thread on these people or can someone start one so we can figure out why Montrealers are like this so the rest of us call follow suit?

by Anonymousreply 2111/13/2012

[all posts by right wing shit-stain # a removed.]

by Anonymousreply 2211/13/2012

Best time I ever had. I can remember almost everyone who picked me up, and their stories. I made it back and forth country on $2.55. I was a hippie. It was the 70s.

by Anonymousreply 2311/13/2012

I did it NAKED amateurs!

by Anonymousreply 2411/13/2012

Used to hitch regularly in Ireland in the 1990's as a student. It was quite acceptable as a means of transport for a student. I never had any trouble. I had sex with 1 guy who picked me up, but that was entirely voluntary.

Of course it's a risk but I doubt it's as dangerous as legend would have it.

by Anonymousreply 2511/13/2012

Once, on my way home from school, I was having a bad day, and an NYC taxi stops to offer me a free ride home. Really gorgeous woman in a bikini in the front seat (his wife), and they go me home without incident

Once, at college, I hitched a ride from a taxi because I had no money and there was no late bus home, at 3am. Nothing happened either time.

I'd never recommend doing this, and the one time I was a passenger in a car that picked up one, I couldn't believe it. Guy was an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 2611/13/2012

Picked up hitchikers in the 1970s in Florida, I was very careful to only pick up the hot looking, youngish guys.

Shared pot with 90% of them. Sex (voluntary) with maybe 2/3 of them.

Good times.

by Anonymousreply 2711/13/2012

When gas hit $4/gallon, I decided to try hitchhiking to work. It did not work well. I had plenty of offers, but as soon as I opened the door to get into the car - they would take off. Go figure!

by Anonymousreply 2811/13/2012

I hitched all over Europe, the UK, and the US the year I turned 18 (1984). The UK was the best - friendly people all. Never the slightest hint of a problem. However, I'm 6/3" and played football, so maybe that had something to do with it.

The US sucked compared to British Isles, Ireland, and Europe. I could spend half a day being passed by, cops would harass me, etc. but also the US was the only time I was propositioned. Three times in the US hitching led to sex; one time I thought I'd been picked up by a creepy predator and I took off when we stopped for gas. The other times were some of the hottest encounters of my life.

by Anonymousreply 2911/13/2012

I have given a few people lifts, but stopped after picking up a young guy who looked to be walking home from after knock-off at the refinery nearby. Once he was in the care he started this quiet yet unsettlingy earnest monologue about people he disliked in the world, including gays. Was happy to see him get out the car.

As for hitching, I won't ever do it: too many stories here in Australia where people have come to grief. The Belanglo backpacker murders and others just hit too hard to ever put them aside and try it.

by Anonymousreply 3011/13/2012

[quote]As for hitching, I won't ever do it: too many stories here in Australia where people have come to grief.

It's a wonder that anyone ever gets to their destination when they all drive on the wrong side of the road in Australia.

by Anonymousreply 3111/13/2012

It seems crazy to me now that I wasn't scared, but I started hitchhiking when I was 14. This was the early 70s. I would take the subway to the end of the line in the Bronx, walk to the nearest highway entrance, and thumb rides to random places upstate. It turned into a full-fledged obsession throughout my teens and twenties and even my early thirties. Up and down the Eastern Seaboard, coast to coast, and eventually all over Mexico and through much of Europe. Sure, I had a few hairy experiences, but most of all I remember how kind and generous most people were - feeding me, letting me crash with them, or just talking to me about things I'd had no idea existed. It was also how I got my earliest sexual education. Still, today, I get goose bumps when I recall grabbing the fattest magic marker I could find and an old scrap of cardboard to make a destination sign. I'm envious now of how free I was then and what a risk taker I was.

by Anonymousreply 3211/14/2012

Anyone remember that show The Hitchhiker on HBO,there were two "Hitchhikers"and both were hot!

by Anonymousreply 3311/15/2012

R18 must be the French genes because Victoria BC has some of the most homely people I have even seen. Nice city but fug central.

by Anonymousreply 3411/15/2012

Interesting stories, LoneRanger.

by Anonymousreply 3511/26/2012

Yes, this year in fact. But we (my best friend and I) did it this way- I got the idea from Doug Adams- we used Craigslist rideshare and adam4adam to post ads. We said where we were and asked for lifts. It took us ten days to get from South Carolina to Texas but we did it. We got stranded a few times and got off track a few times. We roughed it one night in the woods but overall it is a memory that will always stay with me.

by Anonymousreply 3611/26/2012

Yes, hitched all the time into NYC from school in the 70s. I was always with someone so we felt safer. We did have one scary experience with a biker looking dude in a Cadillac convertible who had to "just stop off at this house to get some stuff." We got a little worried but we ended up fine.

We usually got rides from middle-aged, middle class looking folk - we were 2 young females. Now that I've seen and read too many horror stories, including nice looking couples who turned out to be serial killers, I think maybe we were nuts. But it was a fairly common practice back in the day and not everyone's parents bought them cars then. Maybe fewer serial killers had cars then as well.

We hitched to Woodstock summer 1969.

by Anonymousreply 3711/26/2012

Did you have any hook-ups along the way R36?

by Anonymousreply 3811/29/2012

Tell us more 36.

by Anonymousreply 3912/01/2012

I hitched back and forth cross country 4 times in the 70s and remember all the different characters like it was yesterday.

A trucker took me up the northern route through Idaho and then down to Salt Lake. I remember he shyly asked me if I wanted to continue with him for a while, saying we could make it an adventure and sleep in the truck. I was a gay teen and he was in his 40s so I said no, politely, and he let me off.

I slept with a couple of my rides. It was a different time back then. Real different.

My best friend made it the first time with a hot guy who picked him up in a Mustang convertible. They had sex on a cliff overlooking the Pacific.

by Anonymousreply 4012/01/2012

In the 1990's when I lived in Ireland. I was a student. It was a very popular means of travelling about and quite accepted. I wouldn't do it now - I'm older; and I live the US - too many guns here.

by Anonymousreply 4112/12/2012

Did it in the 1970s in New England , and on the West Coast. It was great. My longest trip: Vancover to San Francisco...took four days.

Yes, some of the drivers were weird, but hitched for a day and night with a younger guy from San Diego who was cool. Good sex. Usually two guys together do not get rides, but we did...we were so cute I guess!

by Anonymousreply 4212/12/2012


by Anonymousreply 4302/10/2013

I did it in college all the time, 1970-73. Lots of people hitched up one of the two main avenues leaving campus for the more residential areas where students lived. If you stood at one of two particular corners near my school, if you got a ride, it was almost guaranteed you'd get (and give, if so inclined) a blowjob. Or more if you wanted.

It didn't occur to me to be afraid. People did it on lots of (most?) urban campuses at the end of the hippie era. By 1973, hitchhiking disappeared. The cynicism created by Watergate trickled down to all areas of the culture.

by Anonymousreply 4402/10/2013

Hitchhiking isn't entirely gone. When I was in far-northern California, the hippie-intense area around Eureka, I saw lots of young hitchhikers on the road with their thumbs out.

Maybe we'll see more of it in the coming years, with the economy being what it is.

by Anonymousreply 4502/10/2013

I didn't bother getting my driver license until I was over 20. I was cute, the world was my public transit system. From the time I was 15 I hitched everywhere. School and back. Visiting friends. Even long (300 mile) trips I could hitch, arriving only an hour or two later than I would straight-up driving.

by Anonymousreply 4602/10/2013

Honestly, today's kids should be required to hitchhike 30 miles to get a HS diploma.


by Anonymousreply 4702/10/2013

I got my driver's license late, too, R46. Hitchhiking was a lot of fun, and I got around all over the place that way. A great way to get laid.

by Anonymousreply 4802/10/2013

I only fooled around with my driver once or twice, but I would almost always get stoned. Sometimes, if I was broke but wanted to smoke, I'd just hop on the highway. It seemed the roads were filled with guys who didn't like to smoke alone, and they'd share...

by Anonymousreply 4902/10/2013

It is absolutely NOT worth the risk, especially for women.

In California in 1979 two extremely sadistic serial killers named Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris would pick up female hitchhikers, tie them up, take them to a remote place and rape and torture and kill them. That's just one example of what can happen.

DON'T hitchhike.

by Anonymousreply 5002/10/2013

r50 = your mom

by Anonymousreply 5102/10/2013

In '92 in took a cousin to the Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. There were a couple of dozen young guys hitching to and from the base. After I dropped my cousin off I spent the next 5 hrs picking up some of the guys. Out of the 16 I picked up only 2 of them wouldn't let me give them at least a hand job. I picked them up at the same time. Had I picked them up separately they might have said yes. I still pick up guys hitching or even just walking.

by Anonymousreply 5212/18/2013

For me, in the 70's it was the only way I could get from place to place. I hitched to and from college, sometimes being picked up by the same people. Once I left library books in a couple of guys' car, only to get them back again when I got picked up by them several days later. I hitched to work, to the mall, wherever. I didn't have a car and hardly any money. I can't believe how much I did it. I am so glad nothing ever happened. I also became good friends with someone who had picked me up. She was in my wedding party and I was in hers. But, God, I would never do that again, and I can't believe how much I did it. And I do not recommend it.

by Anonymousreply 5305/31/2014

There were two times I needed rides and tried hitchhiking, but I never got picked up. I guess I was too fat and ugly.

I did pick someone up once, 20 years ago. Driving along in pouring rain, saw a teenage boy limping along the road, without a jacket and missing one shoe. I pulled over, and he got in. I asked if he needed a hospital, and he asked me to just drop him off near his house.

Turns out he was at his girlfriends house, and her mother came home while they were fucking in the living room. He was chased out of the house and twisted his ankle trying to jump the backyard fence.

by Anonymousreply 5405/31/2014

I did, in the mid to late 70s and only a few times did I run into guys who suggested I should blow them for the ride. Like someone up thread mentioned, these guys were the clean cut family type.

by Anonymousreply 5505/31/2014

I did it in the '80s. Never had a problem but, looking back, I was just lucky.

by Anonymousreply 5605/31/2014

Hitchhiked all the time during the 1970s, locally around town and all across New York State. When i lived in the City and wanted to visit my old college roommate who lived in Rochester, I'd take a bus from Port Authority to Nanuet Mall and hit the Thruway.

Sometimes in the summer I'd get picked up in the Catskills by a group of Hasidic Jews in full garb. They were very nice, but with all that clothing they were sweating like crazy.

In the rain once a group of three old ladies were retiring from their lunch - with hats and gloves on - and picked me up to drive me only about 4 miles. They were sweet and and told me to go inside until the rain stopped.

Got picked up once early in the morning by a stoner who kept rolling the window down and sticking his head out while we were on the highway. I finally asked him what he was doing and he told me "Trying to keep from fallen asleep at the wheel."

And got picked up by a Cornel professor, who asked me if I wanted to stop at his house for a sandwich and watch a stag film. I was in no hurry that day, so I said fine and told him it would save me from buying lunch later. Well, the movie on a reel to reel projector was grainy, but had a decent fucking scene. He kept commenting on how "hot" the girl was and said "I bet a great-looking guy like you fucks girls like that all the time." I told him i got my fair share, which was true, then he asked me if I was getting horny. I told him I was and he asked if he could touch my cock through my jean shorts. I hesitated, then told him sure. He was decent enough guy for giving me a ride and lunch. He then asked if he could take my cock out and suck it. I told him no and that I needed to get on my way. He asked if he offended me and I said no, but that I wanted to get back on the road. He then said if I let him blow me he'd drive me an hour further down the road and give me $20, which in the 70s was good for a night out. I politely declined. He then offered me $50 and said he would drive me to my destination. That was a deal I couldn't refuse.

by Anonymousreply 5705/31/2014

done it lot;s in 1975 -75 era,i was 15-16 and hitchhike just about every night to get home,some times during early afternoon when i skipped school,nothing wrong with it at least back then,most drivers just gave you a ride and some you could feel they wanted more,lot's of men hit on young boys that's for sure,sometimes at night it was a little different,you had less choices and normally they took you to a spot,i knew what they wanted and it was better to give than to not for safety reasons,most where decent but some were real perverts and would do what ever they wanted,you were safe as long as you didn't fight back at least for me,there was always a element of risk but it was small,i got it in the back seat,in vans,in station wagons,and on the hood,i just learned to go with it,guess for me i didn't mind so much,the black men were the ones you had to worry about,they really did i hard and for a long time,the whites were quick and the browns well some were rough and some the time i was 16 i had my own car but for two three years i got what i deserved for hitchhiking at night but then again i knew it.i always carried lube in a small tube made it less painful but i never got beat up or even close to that,i knwe it was better to let him touch me,or suck im and anal was quite common. my side of it from montreal.

by Anonymousreply 5812/10/2014

[quote]He then offered me $50 and said he would drive me to my destination. That was a deal I couldn't refuse.

That was generous for the 70s.

by Anonymousreply 5912/11/2014

Did it in St. Petersburg, Russia about three years ago. A few times. Cab drivers were so nasty. All you do is put two fingers down and somebody will pick you up and take you there. For a price. Otherwise, Russia sucks.

by Anonymousreply 6012/11/2014
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