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Thread: Bug out bikes

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    Bug out bikes

    A lot of people are starting to consider the concept of "bugging out" in times of natural, civil, economic or other disaster, preferably to somewhere else they know rather than just "on the road".
    Usually the recommended vehicle is a tricked out 4x4 but a few people consider bicycles for obvious reasons (freedom from fuel reliance and the ability to get past obstacles and traffic jams)
    You could see in Japan after the Tsunami that the first vehicles in use by surviving locals were their faithful granny bikes.

    What would you want in a bug out bike. Most of the recommendations are by people who are not particularly bike buffs and they tend to be a bit low end for my liking, eg discount store MTBs. I would aim for a midrange hybrid/MTB or a Surly style practical bike or in the UK, something by On-One.
    Personally I see the ideal vehicle as one that also serves as a daily commuter and tourer with dynamo lights, hub or derailleur gears, rear rack with front rack capability, possibly front basket. I would also fit a trailer hitch even if I didn't carry a trailer. You can always find ways of making trailers fit a non compatible hitch.

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    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Surly Pugsley. With racks.

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    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Wasn't there a thread discussing bikes for the coming Zombie Apocalypse not too long ago? Same concept?
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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Whatever bike I have with me. For many years I worked on the road as a construction superintendent/field project manager. Two rules of engagement...never let the truck fuel tanks get below half full, and always have a bicycle with me. Served me well in 2005 while working in Mobile, AL when Katrina came a calling. I parked my truck at the job site (secured) and rode my bike back and forth to work. Other people were spending up to 4 hours a day sitting in gas lines to get 5 gallons of gas. I just quietly pedaled on past. FWIW the bike at that time was my trusty, rusty old Raleigh 3 speed.

    Aaron
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    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    ooooooooo, post-apocalyptic stuff.
    gonna have to check the zombie thread.

    other forums and magazines cover other bug-out kits: firearms, and amateur radio.

    as far as bicycles go (pun), you'd have to ride in a pack to keep an individual or two
    from pulling you off and taking your ride.

    and what are you going to take along? gotta have chow and water, water filter, maybe
    bartering material, tube repair stuff (at least). how large a pack can you carry a long distance? saddlebags best?

    a trailer would make you a desirable target. you'd have to buddy up, wagon train style, with outriders scouting for hostiles. and are they willing to die to protect you? you can create a trailer from bungee cords and a freight dolly.

    gotta ride through wide areas that give you plenty of time to see and react to a threat.

    this might not work for families. singles go farther, faster.

    what i covered is hardly even the tip of the survival iceberg.

    got complicated in a hurry, didn't it?

    a female friend and i have been discussing this for a couple of months. we're looking at creating a neighborhood bartertown (mad max: beyond thunderdome).
    now if we could get some pigs for methane....
    Last edited by ka0use; 01-11-12 at 08:17 AM.
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    of Clan Nrubso ChrisO's Avatar
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    I agree. While being free from gasoline has a definite advantage, in a SHTF/bug out situation you'll be quite vulnerable to predation from the bad guys.

    Post-SHTF, now that's another story entirely. A good sturdy, utilitarian bike will become invaluable. So long as it's still operational. Gonna need to have a good supply of spare parts for the bike on hand before things get bad in case supply chains break down and our LBSes are no longer an option.

    Even cheap department store bikes and parts may become barter items.
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    A bug out bike, IMO, is just a good touring bike for the conditions you expect to encounter. If you plan to stick to paved roads, a good road touring bike will work. If you anticipate going off the beaten path, then something with fatter section tires may be called for. Beyond that is the ability and capacity to carry all the gear you feel you need. That is probably the camping gear you would need for self-contained camping, with extra food and water and whatever else you feel you need. Panniers front and rear, and perhaps a trailer as well if you like to carry everything but the kitchen sink. You might also consider what you might need for your own protection.

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    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I'll need to consult Wiki. Where, exactly, does one bug out to? I'll need to enter the destination on my Garmin.

    Regarding which bicycle to take - we have horses so problem solved. where I live most folks will "bug in" and make sure their S&W is loaded.
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    of Clan Nrubso ChrisO's Avatar
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    Bugging in is probably a better solution for the vast majority of people who think that they will bug out.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...bie-apocalypse

    Here's the previous thread about this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyStickman View Post
    Surly Pugsley. With racks.
    +1 ^ This

    I'm with Stickman!

    - Slim

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Here is a blog from a guy that has a good handle on what to do in a disaster situation. There are several others out there, the best bet? Be prepared.

    I travel for a living, my number one priority is to have a way home, I also plan way ahead when working in zones that are prone to natural disasters, I also have no qualms about leaving ahead of the crowd.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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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?"
    _krazygluon

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I believe that BF member JoeyBike escaped from Katrina by bicycle.

    I'm guessing that what you really need are sufficient water to make it 150 miles+, some food, plenty of tire patches and whatever clothes, documents, and a small computer you can stuff in your panniers.

    I'm guessing that the biggest obstacle is gridlocked traffic. Odds are that you will be little noticed in the chaos.

    Personally I'd grab my 20 year old streetified Specialized Hard Rock. I also have a Bikes at Work trailer, but I think I'd have to leave it behind so I can get through tighter places and go faster.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    Surly Troll with Rholloff,dynohub,racks and lighting. Travel armed in the dark. As far as where to bug out to that really is a decision made at the time of said "bugging out". I live where people will bug out to so more than likely the bike will be for scouting missions and supply runs. If I have to bug out the **** has truly hit the fan and it's most likely useless.
    I owe-therefore I am.

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    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisO View Post
    Bugging in is probably a better solution for the vast majority of people who think that they will bug out.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...bie-apocalypse

    Here's the previous thread about this.
    The very definition of a Zombie thread! BTW, all those high-end roadies with DI2 and no backup bike will be out of luck after a bit.
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    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Last edited by Nightshade; 01-11-12 at 03:33 PM.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    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?

  16. #16
    Roll Model krustyone's Avatar
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    I am of the opinion that the Pugsley will do the job, I was told in the zombie thread that it will be hard to find parts for if need be but have been getting anything extra I would need to keep on the bike. With racks I can carry everything I need including my wife, the nice racks are wide enough and strong enough, not that my wife is big at 110#, to take care of everything!! And the Pug can get through anything!!
    "Science has proven that if you have one flat on your bike, you will have another one, sooner or later. This is the reason that you should always buy a new bike when you get a flat." Mr Grumpy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    I'll need to consult Wiki. Where, exactly, does one bug out to? I'll need to enter the destination on my Garmin.

    Regarding which bicycle to take - we have horses so problem solved. where I live most folks will "bug in" and make sure their S&W is loaded.
    Where you bug out to, or if you leave at all depends on what the threat is, and where you live.

    Bugging in when you live below sea level in NO and a Cat 4 hurricane is coming may not be the best idea. If you live in any city and a medium to long term failure of services occurs, getting out may be a good idea. If you live in the exosuburbs, then staying put may be the best bet.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    I'll need to consult Wiki. Where, exactly, does one bug out to? I'll need to enter the destination on my Garmin.

    Regarding which bicycle to take - we have horses so problem solved. where I live most folks will "bug in" and make sure their S&W is loaded.
    Where from and to comes in to play... I typically work in hurricane zones, I live just outside of them. According to the local authorities we have no plan if there is a pre-emptive strike, other than to put your head between your knees and KYA goodbye. (I live on the fringe of a very large military base that I am sure is on the first strike list of any country that thinks they can hit it). As a general rule I have always been one of the ready for anything people without being out on the fringes. I firmly believe that I am my best resource when it comes to survival of most things.

    Aaron
    Last edited by wahoonc; 01-11-12 at 07:34 PM.
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    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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    It would depend on the situation for me. In Kamloops, the worst that is realistically to happen, is something major happening at the tank farm by the airport. Probably a major fire. My road bike is more than sufficient to get me out of the evacuation area.

    For a truly major disaster... Probably the same (I could use my mountain bike if I had to use primarily gravel roads, but that would be a lot slower), though there would be a lot of other factors to consider. The type of event (natural disaster, threatened nuclear attack [Kamloops was/still is a secondary target for said attack], impending asteroid impact). In any of these scenarios, It comes down to what route I would use to get to safety, as well as the fact I can easily lift it over vehicles. There are five major routes out of town, plus a few well used secondary routes that aren't the most bike friendly if there was to be a mass evacuation. Still, I know them and where the bottlenecks will occur.

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    The survival guy on tv said that people often get an urge to bug out when they would be better off staying put. I've got everything I need at home. I keep a bike at work in case I need it to get home because that is where I'm headed if anything happens. I keep a tent, sleeping bag, knife, and matches in the car. I could make it from work to home on foot or on bike even if it took a day or two.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  21. #21
    of Clan Nrubso ChrisO's Avatar
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    Very interesting, Thanks for sharing that one.
    Wouldn't do a darn bit of good following a large solar flare/EMP attack though.
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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    A bike for getting away from disaster is only as good as its engine.

    for someone why has not been riding it is a fools solution, for someone who has the answer is obvious, teh bike you normally ride.

    Me? I'm staying put. Not leaving the dogs behind and not leaving my mom behind. If things really go downhill it is get Mom and head to my Brother in laws with mom and the dogs.

    In Southern California it is not a question of outrunning a storm. There really is no where to go.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    A bike for getting away from disaster is only as good as its engine.

    for someone why has not been riding it is a fools solution, ~snip~
    Maybe, maybe not...Unless a person is in horrible shape, they should be able to get on a bike and make 50-100 miles in a long day depending on terrain. Also adrenalin will carry you a long ways.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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    i don't think anything i have would make a good all around bike. maybe if i finish one of the utility bike projects.

    if i could just go out and buy something that would hang in the underground shelter with the canned goods and piles of guns and ammo, i guess a yuba mondo would be my choice.

    my other thought (in some real disaster/zombie apocalyspe type deal) would be if i could get to a walmart, or even a good lbs that still had bikes in it, grab several of the same model bike to have backups and spare parts that all match.

  25. #25
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I hate to spoil the mood, but whenever I think of zombie/EMP/SHTF scenarios, I think of the consumable parts of the bike. Without a functioning economy, parts like tires and ball bearings will get scarce quickly, rendering our bikes useless after a couple of years at most.

    - Scott
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
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