Friday, January 22, 2010

Today's BOV: Trek 520 Loaded Touring Bike

A Trek 520 Touring Bike Loaded for Long-Distance:


3 comments:

  1. When the last big hurricane swept through Houston and thousands 'evacuated' only to be trapped on the Interstates without fuel, water or restrooms how very helpful a bicycle would have been. You would have passed all the traffic jam in a few hours.
    100 mile days are common using bikes, and extra weight, 50 pounds or more, is handled easily loaded on the bike. Trailers are available - think 100 pounds-plus of food and other supplies. No worries about fuel.
    You need some basic tools and skills, changing flats, etc.
    I could go from Houston to the Texas Hill Country or beyond in a couple of days. 1000 miles - two weeks, tops, with days off. AND carry my own supplies, excepting water.
    People usually are tolerant and helpful to cyclists - they know you are passing through - while those on foot are looked at suspiciously.
    Big drawback - very young can be taken with trailers, but old and/or infirm folks can't go on bikes!

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  2. I have a 1986 Trek 620 which I got for $40. I didn't know what a Touring Bike was before I got it, but I found out that although old, I was 4 when she was new, this is a good one. I started to look around at all of the different bags and equipment that fit on a bike, and I immediately started thinking of the possibilities that a Touring Bike would have in SHTF scenario. In the event that all the fuel is run out, or more likely, too expensive for use, a bike makes a lot of sense, with a cravat: Bikes require training to use properly, just like any other tool.

    I decided that if I was going to be dependent on a bike as a possible survival vehicle, I'd better start using it like it was my only vehicle. First, I planned on riding it to work, but the day after my first ride, I got laid off (Thanks Obama!). So now, I'm going back to school full time on the GI Bill, and I plan on riding my bike, which is about 20 Miles a day. I figure that if you were actually gonna try to escape a disaster scenario, 20 miles is reasonable distance to expect to get in one day, and if I can do that in a couple of hours, with a break in the middle then in a year, I should be able to do 50 or so miles a day easy.

    The biggest problem I've encountered so far is tires and tubes. I've gone through 6 tubes and two tires, and I've done less than 500 miles so far. Those first new tires I got were to blame, and the lesson is that you need to research your tires THROUGHLY before you purchase them. Don't just buy the ones off the rack at the local bike store and assume their worth a damn. ALWAYS have a spare tube and pump. I had a spare tube and NO pump once, but fortunately was VERY near an autobody place that had an airline that could get to the 100PSI those tires needed. Pure luck.

    Road Bikes need VERY high pressure to be ridable, so you need to be prepared for the inevitable flat. Your equipment needs to be TESTED (as in ridden extensively) and you need to be prepared PHYSICALLY as well as mentally for the worst case scenario. I haven't ridden regularly since I was a little kid, and I forgot how much I like it. This is one form of disaster planning I've come to really enjoy.

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  3. Matt,

    Thanks for bringing out some good points about the viability of bicycles as post-SHTF vehicles. I will be writing more extensively about preparing bicycles and the physical conditioning necessary to use them in my newest book that is in progress.

    Regarding tires, I've had good luck with the Panaracer Pasela Tourguards, which are Kevlar reinforced. Most bike shops can order them or you can find them online. I have yet to have a flat while running them on my touring bike.

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