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Old 05-29-11, 02:21 PM   #1
Nightshade
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Bugging Out using Bikes

"Walking by foot is a rather slow way too evacuate during an emergency. Bikes are one of the most energy efficient ways to travel by muscle power. An individual can normally travel many times the distance one could by foot per day using a bike. Another major advantage is that equipment can be loaded either directly to the bike using special bags or be drawn behind the bike on a trailer, this mean that much more equipment can be brought than would be possible if an individual would have to carry the same amount of equipment. There are many different models of bikes specialized for different tasks like being used in the city or off-road, find a bike that suits your specific needs. There are also bikes thats especially designed to carry heavy loads like the Transport from Trek. If you are on a budget it can be worth checking out the second hand market. "

http://sibitotique.blogspot.com/2010...ing-bikes.html
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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Old 05-29-11, 02:42 PM   #2
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Might depend on the precise nature of the emergency. If it comes to civil disorder, I can't imagine anything more vulnerable than me on a bicycle. Faster than walking, but I would hate to evacuate Farmington and start riding to Albuquerque. I mean, it is really a long ways from one drink of water to another, not to mention a few other possible problems.
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Old 05-29-11, 05:20 PM   #3
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I would think a commuter style bike would be excellent for these sort of scenarios. Such as the Globe series by Specialized. Tires that are 700x35 would be ideal. Not sure if going the mountain bike route would be necessary because most of us are city dwellers. Pavement is ubiquitous. 700x35 tires with a good solid commuting frame should handle heavy loads and rough bumps nicely. The bumps would come much later on when the roads come into disrepair and maybe having to roll over random litter.

I think the guys that routinely do randonneuring would have a good idea how to go about this. Thats kinda how I would pack anyway.
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Old 05-29-11, 05:36 PM   #4
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This thread reminds me of the one asking about the best bike for the zombie apocalypse.
Nothing wrong with that. The Centers for Disease Control has been thinking about zombies, too.
http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp
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Old 05-29-11, 05:38 PM   #5
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Might depend on the precise nature of the emergency. If it comes to civil disorder, I can't imagine anything more vulnerable than me on a bicycle. Faster than walking, but I would hate to evacuate Farmington and start riding to Albuquerque. I mean, it is really a long ways from one drink of water to another, not to mention a few other possible problems.
Rather than list reason to not use a bike consider all the postive reasons to use a bike rather that walk if the situation calls for it.

It goes without saying that a bike is not a be all way to travel but it is a perfect way to shorten your trip if roads are clogged or blocked. Depending on a car for a way to get away from an emergency is not really practical most of the time.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 05-29-11, 05:43 PM   #6
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A bike would probably be a pretty bad choice for escaping a zombie hoard. And unless you don't want to take any supplies a bike would be a bad choice for an evacuation overall.

However if the choice was biking or walking I'd take a bike for sure. Especially if I had a trailer. It would just be so hard to defend against muggers.

However I could probably get pretty far riding off the roads on my mountain bike without seeing too many people. I've always thought that people in the wilderness during an emergency usually means they are probably more self-sufficient AND more civil. That might be a fallacious conclusion though.

If in the event of a pending natural disaster where we have some time but all the roads are clogged up, then a bike would be a good choice again.

In any event, water would always be the biggest concern. Especially here in the desert.
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Old 05-29-11, 05:46 PM   #7
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I would think a commuter style bike would be excellent for these sort of scenarios. Such as the Globe series by Specialized. Tires that are 700x35 would be ideal. Not sure if going the mountain bike route would be necessary because most of us are city dwellers. Pavement is ubiquitous. 700x35 tires with a good solid commuting frame should handle heavy loads and rough bumps nicely. The bumps would come much later on when the roads come into disrepair and maybe having to roll over random litter.

I think the guys that routinely do randonneuring would have a good idea how to go about this. Thats kinda how I would pack anyway.
Perhaps, but remember, depending on the situation (Tsunami, Hurricane, Tornado, Earthquake) that pavement may be in rather poor condition.

When I first read this, I thought a rigid MTB with racks and trekking tires (26 x 2-ish) would be the preferred ride. True, this would not be the rig if there was civil unrest, but if there was civil unrest, defend in place might be the preferred option if you did not have a car to escape in.
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Old 05-29-11, 05:51 PM   #8
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"Walking by foot is a rather slow way too evacuate during an emergency. Bikes are one of the most energy efficient ways to travel by muscle power. ...
Sounds pretty silly to me. At least, if you've got any other possible way out. And if you're smart, you will.
The writer sounds like someone who has never had to escape a regional emergency.

No matter how much you may dislike the idea of owning a motor vehicle, remember that Katrina/New Orleans was reality, not a pretend scenario.
The people who had their own way out (with their own vehicles) got out safely. It was only the poor people who had no way that got left behind, and suffered the most.
Even the police saved themselves first. Even the worthless mayor saved himself first, and then bravely "took command of the situation" from a "command center" in another city.

The most valuable equipment you can have in a large emergency is a motor vehicle + 300 miles of fuel.
In the last 100 years there has not been one single disaster or event that you could not escape by driving 300 miles.
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Old 05-29-11, 06:18 PM   #9
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In the U.S. +1 on the car. Good luck navigating a large metropolitan area where all traffic is clogged, civil unrest is in the air, and all drivers are pissed out of their skulls. Chances are your bike will end up belonging to anybody bigger than you or with a gun.

In Japan, bike all the way. I was in Tokyo when the earthquake hit. All metro and train stopped, buses became nearly impossible (hour/two hour lines, multiply by the number of stops you needed to take), taxis, you could not find one. We got stranded walking and eventually on a McDonnalds until 3:30am, that's how long it took to get a taxi. Other than that the streets looked normal and people on bikes just went about their business.
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Old 05-30-11, 12:57 PM   #10
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It's interesting to read the difference in view points on how best to escape and survive an emergency compared to what I've read on some survival boards on the net.

Most here discount the bike as a valid method of transport in an emergency whereas on the survival boards the bicycle is considered a valid ,and valuable, transport to escape the hordes of other people on their way out.

I'd think cyclist would see the value of using a bike to but they don't. ??????????
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 05-30-11 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 05-30-11, 01:45 PM   #11
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If it was a case of an end of the world scenario with people fleeing aimlessly, I think I'd stay well clear of the major roads. Most people would be likely to jump into the car and go, then shortly stop as they hit an immense traffic jam, particularly in the areas around London like where I live. For those who don't know, the M25 around London can become a circular carpark at busy periods anyway, so would be completely stationary with everyone with a car going nowhere in particular. I'd load up the bike with survival gear and head out over the countryside through fields and woods, staying away from the general horde.
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Old 05-31-11, 02:41 AM   #12
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Most of the flood events have advance warning so you have 24-36hrs to evacuate. If you have a bike, but not a car, it seems a perfectly valid way to get to higher ground, unless you live in Bangladesh and higher ground is 500 miles away.
For more rapid-onset emergencies such as the London terrorist bombings of 7/7 or the Tokyo earthquake, experience shows that bikes are one of the most reliable and useful ways to get around, and bike shops tend to sell out their stock within hours.
I'm not sure if bicycle evac is safe for forest fire or volcano.
Also its not very useful of you have less mobile dependants, old people, children, pets etc.

The idea that there will be armed gangs of ruffians holding you to ransom at gunpoint and you are safer in a car is not really bourne out by experience.

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Old 05-31-11, 03:24 AM   #13
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I would throw a bike in the car. If traffic gets blocked I would park it and ride.
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Old 05-31-11, 06:56 AM   #14
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I'd think cyclist would see the value of using a bike to but they don't. ??????????
A car gives you a place to sleep. Better cargo capacity. Protection from the elements. If you have family, wherever you stop you are set.
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Old 05-31-11, 09:20 AM   #15
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when the zombies come I'll be on my bicycle with a m4 and other pistols strapped to my legs and the tomb raider.
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Old 06-01-11, 02:09 AM   #16
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The key issue in the short scenario I'd say is the amount of gridlock/congestion you're looking at. As long as traffic is moving, cars will have the advantage for all the reasons already posted, shelter, carrying capacity, speed etc etc. But it doesn't take more than a few stalled cars to bring traffic to a complete standstill, and then you're pretty much stuck for an indeterminable amount of time.
But what's an impenetrable mass of stationary vehicles to a car, is a readily negotiable slalom course for a bicycle. It can be lifted over bonnets and trunks, even median dividers, should it come to that.
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Old 06-01-11, 02:46 AM   #17
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A car is still better, for security, cargo, shelter, speed. I have my radio, lights, and a phone charger in my car, not my bike (yet). I would not try and bike away in adverse weather if I had a car.

That blog post also presumes that you have a touring capable bike with all the equipment, ready to go on a moment's notice--with a cyclist that knows what he's doing. Not all bikes can be loaded, and some will not function reliably if they are of suspect quality.

The only reason I would go out of my way to use a bike is if there was a gasoline apocalypse, the general roads were impassible by car for some reason (e.g. massive earthquake damage), or a car in general would be impractical (not likely).
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Old 06-01-11, 03:53 AM   #18
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A car is still better, for security...
Well, kinda. It'll offer decent protecion against collision with another vehicle, which the bike won't. But for anyone capable of swinging a rock, the only thing preventing them from helping themselves to what's inside is their morals, and maybe the passengers of the car. Theft will be a bit more obvious than someone helping themselves from something sitting in a bike basket, but not particularly more difficult.

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A car is still better, for.., cargo, shelter, ...
With you so far.

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A car is still better, for .. speed...
You've gotta be living somewhere rural. If the object of the exercise is getting away from something, how many MPH do you think the fine folks in these pics are making?

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...all bikes ...will not function reliably ...
Ditto cars.

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The only reason I would go out of my way to use a bike is if .., the general roads were impassible by car for some reason (e.g. massive earthquake damage), or a car in general would be impractical (not likely).
Somewhere close to a dense concentration of population - very likely. Once traffic comes to a stop it doesn't take long before people start filling the full width of the road in an effort to get by. As soon as they leave the designated lanes, bringing in recovery vehicles to clear the road becomes pretty much impossible, and there you sit. It really doesn't take much to bring it all to a halt.
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Old 06-01-11, 05:37 AM   #19
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Evac orders are given in advance for a reason--selectively using images under the search term "gridlock" is disingenuous. You argue like they have never been issued before, but they have, and been managed without too much incident. It's usually the people stuck behind without cars that get into trouble.

If a disaster occurs without warning, or short warning, then there is little to no escape with any method. On short warning (say a tornado), there will be no artificially induced traffic and a car should be faster, should no storm shelter offer escape.

A car is certainly better for security. Just as with several bikes locked on a bike rack, a thief goes for the easiest, most promising target. A bike is much harder to secure than a car in the middle of nowhere, and a cyclist on the road is a much easier target without a wall of metal and glass to get though.

People here in the US usually have at least one working car, capable of easily going for 100-200 miles on a partial tank, within hours, on a moment's notice, in poor weather. Usually far enough to get to another area that is not an evacuation zone to resupply and seek semi-permanent shelter options. I just don't see a bike doing this as good.
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Old 06-01-11, 05:41 AM   #20
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This has been at the back of my mind. So I got the Long Haul Trucker and am ready. But in the mean time it is my all around whip.
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Old 06-01-11, 05:42 AM   #21
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I would throw a bike in the car. If traffic gets blocked I would park it and ride.
+1 to that!
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Old 06-01-11, 07:51 AM   #22
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In the U.S. +1 on the car. Good luck navigating a large metropolitan area where all traffic is clogged, civil unrest is in the air, and all drivers are pissed out of their skulls. Chances are your bike will end up belonging to anybody bigger than you or with a gun.
Maybe my opinion is different because I'm a big guy with a gun?
Also, do you drive a bullet proof car? Not planning to make any stops?

Why has no one mentioned motorized bikes?
For a person traveling alone a pickup truck and a dirt bike would seem like a good idea.
I don't have a dirt bike, but I have a truck and a rigid mountain bike with an electric hub motor. If I need the batteries would take me 40+ miles without pedalling (two sets of batteries, assuming flat pavement). I can grab a different front wheel on a moments notice and ditch the motor and batteries beyond that. It's not ideal, but it will be in the truck if I need it.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:56 AM   #23
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EXCELLENT!!! now I have an excuse to not only buy a tourer and panniers but also a trailer.

seriously: I do agree that in some places a bike may be better than a or car depending on the reason for evacuating. however I think if I was asked or needed to evacuate and had time I would load my MTB and gear in the car (maybe a bike or two to barter or sell) when bugging out
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Old 06-01-11, 04:12 PM   #24
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I live in Los Angeles. In the event of an evacuation, traffic will most definitely not be moving, heck it barely does on a normal day, so yes, I would be on my bike.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:42 PM   #25
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Reports following the tornadoes and large thunderstorms causing heavy damage in western and central Massachusetts indicate large numbers of people using bicycles to navigate tree blocked roadways. People are desperate to check in on family members and many communities are currently impassable to cars.
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