Transportation could be very important in a SHTF scenario. Each person and each group has different transportation needs and capabilities depending on a number of factors. We have discussed the aspects of selecting a Bug Out Vehicle, but would a bicycle be a practical alternative or addition?
Many people, including myself, have dismissed the bicycle as a viable form of bug out transportation in the past. But I started thinking about expanding my capabilities to be mobile if I had to bug out in my 4WD Jeep and I needed to extend my fuel use, or as a backup if my jeep were inoperable. So what are some of the circumstances where a bicycle might be a useful addition to your SHTF preps? You are in an urban area and bugging out is not immediately feasible: A bike would allow you to get around without the need to use limited fuel. This would be especially useful in riding out a martial law situation. In addition, a bicycle would not look out of the ordinary as many people would be using them. Having one in your vehicle or stashed at work would get you home much quicker than walking. Your normal bug out vehicle is inoperable do to breakdown, lack of fuel, or wont run because of an EMP: A folding mountain bike would give you the capability of continuing to be much more mobile than being on foot. You have bugged out to a remote location and you need to make short forays away from your bug out vehicle: A folding mountain bike would allow you to travel a bit for hunting game or for reconnaissance. You can cover more distance than on foot and be a lot more silent than your normal bug out vehicle. Primarily, you will be conserving precious fuel.These are just a few of the scenarios where a folding mountain bike would be useful as a primary, additional, or back up mode of transportation.
Are you in good enough physical condition to bike? Keep in mind that if your bike becomes your primary transportation, your cargo capacity will be limited. You need to plan on what “bike bug out” kit will go with you ahead of time. Having a small folding bike trailer will be useful, IF you have room for it. You are also going to want to plan how you are going to carry your kit: Rucksack on you? Bags attached to the bike? Bike trailer or not? Make sure you have knobby tires on your bike for off street use, and don’t forget a spare parts kit and basic bike tools.
What Type Of Bike?
Any type of decent bike is better than walking, but a good folding mountain bike would be the best choice. They are lightweight, and can be folded to fit into your bug out vehicle. Here are a few that seem to be reliable.
The Paratrooper is one of the many folding mountain bikes that Montague offers. Its patented folding design was developed to allow airborne soldiers to drop out of airplanes and helicopters and into combat. Folds to 36″ x 28″ x 12″ in under 20 seconds without the use of tools. 24 speeds with front and rear mechanical disc brakes. Stand over height of 31″ (20in frame) or 30″ (18in frame) , approx. 29lbs, 26″ wheels. suggested for riders 5’11” – 6’4″ (20in frame) or 5’3″ – 5’10” (18in frame).
The Schwinn Hinge 20-in folding bicycle is easy to store and carry with a frame that folds in front of the crank assembly and at the handlebar stem above the head tube. It includes a convenient rear rack for lashing a bag or other gear and has front and rear V-brakes. The Schwinn Hinge measures 30 by 32 by 11 inches (W x H x D) when folded. Handy rear rack; adjustable seat post.
Folded dimensions: L 39″ x H 35″ x W 23.5″, 36 lbs fully assembled. Left shifter: Microshift 3 speed grip shifter, Right Shifter: Microshift 6 speed grip shifter.26″ steel Stowabike folding frame. Zoom steel suspension 26″ fork. Alloy body spring shock, 750lbs/in. 18 speeds total.
These are just a few examples of the folding bikes on the market that may be usable SHTF bikes.
Whether a bicycle of any kind fits into your SHTF plans, only you know. As in all areas, do your research and buy carefully.