The Chainlink

Hypothetical Scenario-Bike as Vehicle for Escaping Disaster

Having gotten into the Zombie genre of late, I've been thinking that a bicycle would be a great escape vehicle to get away from the undead.  So many stories focus on cars getting stuck in freeways and survivors becoming zombie fodder while trapped in the traffic or after running out of gas and being stranded as the ravenous hordes come closer.

 

A bike would likely be able to navigate around many traffic jams and the engine (rider) could utilize flexible fuel sources.  Heck, as many of us know, you can even cary quite a bit of stuff with a properly loaded bike.

 

I was quite happy to see a bike used in the pilot of The Walking Dead, but haven't really seen them in other books or movies.

 

As long as the scourge doesn't involve the very fast or very smart Zombies, you could probably get by okay.  Plus, the quiet nature of the bike could mean for stealthier travel than a motorcycle or scooter.

 

Any thoughts?  Any other disasters where a bike would come in handy?

 

 

 

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I would have thought that any bicyclist who's been riding and working on bikes for more than 6 months would know that you can simply stuff a tire with grass, straw or even wadded newspapers and get by like this for many miles.

Tubes are cheap and available online. I've got about 3 sets on my shelf for each bike I own and carry a spare tube with me everywhere I go.

It's not like you have to invent fire here...

S said:


James Baum said:
Sheldon Brown (RIP) has a lot to say about airless tires...

/div>

All of Sheldon Brown's arguments presuppose that you can get new tubes readily and that flatting won't result in a chance of dying to zombie hordes. I'd take the harsh ride with a rubber airless tire if it means that I don't have to worry about trying to find new tubes 5 years after all the factories have closed.



James Baum said:
I would have thought that any bicyclist who's been riding and working on bikes for more than 6 months would know that you can simply stuff a tire with grass, straw or even wadded newspapers and get by like this for many miles.

Tubes are cheap and available online. I've got about 3 sets on my shelf for each bike I own and carry a spare tube with me everywhere I go.

It's not like you have to invent fire here...

Wait, I thought we were debating bikes and their utility in the event of the apocalypse or zombie uprising. In either case, online ordering wouldn't be a viable option. You'd be scrounging for tubes as you end up flatting or running out of patch kits.

Right now, I'm fully in favor of using tubes and wouldn't go with airless at all.

my co-worker and i used to discuss this ad nauseum. one great benefit, in addition to those you listed, are that a bike is also fairly silent, enabling one to travel less detected. one danger would definitely be that someone would shove you off your bike and take it for themselves.
I also believe that with the population decimated, that there would be a large amount of pre-produced innertubes ready to loot. If survivors are few and far between, then you stock up on tubes. I know that I have had very few flats with my bike. You could also use material to reinforce your tires...perhaps even make metal thorn strips.

Plus, you can always use rubber cement or other less ideal patching mechanisms. Finding safe places to patch one's tire is always important, but at least with a bike you could carry it into a fortified building, unlike with a car.

If you did have to ride quickly to get away from the occasional mob, you could always ride on a low tire, or simply abandon the bike and run. I do think cross training would still be applicable.

The silence of a bike is certainly key, though do you think that could be counter acted by increased physical activity and thus increased pheromone production?
I thought this was going to be about robbing banks.
Get a big jar of rubber cement. It will last for years. Hang on to some old tubes and you can cut them up to make patches.

On a more somber note...bikes certainly do seem to be getting their fair use in Japan following the earthquake/disaster.

 

http://www.theurbancountry.com/2011/03/japan-earthquake-tsunami-rol...

 

 

Here is an article from San Francisco about bikes in disasters:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/bicycle/detail?entry_id=86636#i...

 

Are your tires inflated?

A bike would only be useful at the start of a slow zombie outbreak and outside of an urban area.  Shortly after the outbreak in urban areas and after more time in out lying areas zombies will begin to consolidate into giant herds which would very probably make travel quite hard unless you were willing to take MASSIVE detours to avoid the herds or have a vehicle (tank, Bradly, large military truck, off road wrecker, etc...) that is capable of mowing down the walking dead. 

 

The only really good way to ensure survival in the zombie apocalypse is to be well armed with small arms, understand the 'enemy,' and stay mobile and well provisioned.

 

Trust me, I think about this stuff a lot...

Excerpt from "The Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks

“B. The Bicycle
In a class by itself, this vehicle offers the best of both worlds. The common bicycle is fast, quiet, muscle-powered, and easy to maintain. Add to this the additional advantage that it is the only vehicle you can pick up and carry if the terrain gets to rough. People using bicycles to escape from infested areas have almost always fared better than those on foot. For optimum performance, use a mountain bike, as opposed to the racing or recreational model., Don’t let your speed and mobility go to your head however. Wear standard safety gear, and choose caution over speed. The last thing you want is to end up in a ditch, legs broken, bike trashed, with the shuffling of undead feet growing louder with each step.”
The IGH hub was made for the zombie apocalypse.  You don't want to get random zombie guts fouling your derailleur do you???

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