Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Prepare: Cycling for Survival

Cars run on gas.

Horses run on oats.

Bikes run on you.

That's the beauty of the bicycle. It is people powered meaning as long as you can pedal, you have the fuel needed to run the bike.

Now how does a bike work in to your emergency preparedness plans?

We have a working bicycle for each member of my family as well as one bike trailer. The trailer can hold an infant or toddler or supplies. We also have a jogging stroller with bike tires which can be attached to a bike as well.

With that in mind, we have an alternate form of transportation we can use just in case. For instance, we can take the bike and trailers along in and on the truck. If the road is blocked or we run out of gas, we can still move much faster with more gear than on foot. If vehicles have been disabled by an EMP burst, again, we have a viable form of transportation.

Some things to bear in mind. Learn how to fix your bike yourself. My bike store offers an "emergency bike repair and maintenance" course for $20.00 or free with the purchase of a bike. Great deal if you ask me.

Also, stock up on spare parts. Sure it would be nice to have everything, but just having a couple of extra tubes, a good quality pump and a patch kit is a good start. Don't forget the tools specific to bikes - they have those multi tools which are handy.

Get a mirror for at least one bike so you can see if anyone comes up behind you. All bikes should have a light, but the ability to disconnect them is a plus. The lights which can run off a generator on the wheel are handy for saving batteries.

Panniers are those special bags and racks which fit over the rear and front tires. Long range cyclists say these are a godsend along with a small handle bar bag for odds and ends. A backpack should not be worn while cycling.

A good bike can be found at yard and garage sales so you don't have to get a new one. But good deals one bikes can be found at big box retailers at the end of summer but before Christmas when sales heat up again.

I have a Trek which I purchased at a bike store. But good bikes can be found at big retailers as well so there is no reason to be a bike snob. Get the bike which works best for you. I ride my bike occasionally to work so I get some long distance (about 7 miles) riding in regularly. Take a long ride once a week to stay in shape and get used to riding.

A bike comes in handy even if you don't have to bug out. Consider a low gasoline situation or simply the ability to travel quietly from place to place. Plus a bike can go places a car or truck cannot go.

Get food, water, and guns/ammo first. But a bike, along with your current bug out vehicle and a plan is a good part of a complete survival situation.


Kellene Bishop said...

Bikes are a great back-up plan in the event of an EMP which, in my book, is the most likely attack on our nation. Being physically prepared to use a bike during an emergency situation is critical.

newrider3 said...

I have to disagree with the statement about purchasing a bike at a 'big box' store. These are made with VERY crappy components and workmanship, there is a reason they only run $80-$200. On top of that, they are put together by people who also put together furniture and BBQ's; they have no idea how to properly set up a bike (and most bike shops won't touch the things should you need maintenance). They are low low quality; I wouldn't trust a bike from Walmart for a kid to ride to school, let alone a survival situation.

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