As promised long ago, the Bug Out book. Yesterday I wrote the last chapter in the Three Phases book- 25k words was enough ( I’ll add the first version in the back as an addendum which will put it at almost 30k words ). I have to give it a final read, clean it up, put it together and eventually I’ll put it up on Kindle. You won’t have to buy it, as you’ll have read it completely on the blog ( the last chapter will be up in a few days ). It’s for those that wish to support me through buying my books. This following chapter is going to be something like #5 or six in the book. I’m just writing this first because that’s what came to mind ( plus, I have yet to write the book outline ).
SWEET BABY JESUS-ANOTHER BUG OUT BOOK
What Kind Of Bug Out Bike?
Generally I would tell you that if you already had a bike to just use that with some modifications. Being frugal ( or, so tight you squeak when you walk ) almost demands it. Yet, please allow me to present a case for buying a certain type of bike which you might not have. You will probably disagree with me at first, clinging to your outdated thoughts and dreams, but soon I’m sure you will be worshiping me for my wise council, the men requesting pictures so as to emulate my hair, the ladies writing me love letters offering to have my children. Don’t worry, I can handle the pressure. You do not want a mountain bike. Yes, they are great for zipping up hills and flying over gullies and in general looking like a real cool forest Super Ranger Ninjas. But, besides being overly mechanically complicated and not being designed to carry baskets or racks ( and if you tow a trailer you are negating all the design features anyway ), there is one very critical aspect that just might get you killed. You need your hands to brake.
Please follow me as I treat you to the spectacle of my follies so as to illustrate my point. During the winter when you are on your bike and so friggin cold that you curse Odin for being a prick about the weather ( I mean, really, how cold does it really have to get? Isn’t 15 degrees Fahrenheit bad enough? Why must we have fifteen below, or worse? ), you need thick wool gloves or mittens and over that thick leather mittens. I have hands pretty sensitive to cold ( and feet-ruining them one winter of my youth ), so the typical skiing mittens made of synthetic materials don’t work especially well. With all that bulk, it is hard to both grab the handle tightly ( to keep control of the bike whilst skidding about merrily on ice ) and then to quickly grad for the brake if you need it. Far better to do away with the need to shift or brake with your hands. But even more critical than winter driving, there is the matter of trying to save your life, or of braking, but not both. I’ve been long distance ( well, to me an hour of biking is long distance-I’m in good shape but that is quite enough for this old guy ) commuting for five years and it is rare to go any length of time without some unsociable asswhore along the way allowing his dog to try to chew on my angle like a teeth whitening bacon flavored toy. Dogs hate me on my bike and take every opportunity to express their displeasure ( evidently, after three solid hours of vigorously lapping at their own anus, they grow bored enough to be on the watch for me ). You usually can outrun the ones with six inch legs, but those can’t reach your feet anyway. The big ones who can eat you can put on a burst of speed to catch you if you didn’t see them first and already had a head of steam up. Best to step on the brake ( they are incited by the motion, stopping temporarily confuses them ) as you reach for your handy can of wasp spray out of your handle mounted water bottle holder and let rip into the Devil Dogs hateful mug ( helpful hint- after the first shot from a can, which is pencil lead thin and about a dozen to fifteen feet, all subsequent shots are more of a spray than a stream and have a shorter reach. Best to buy a three pack and replace with a new one for maximum efficiency ). You can’t do this if your hands are busy braking.
As with dealing with dogs, so too with humans. You can’t draw your pistol as quick if you use your hands first to brake, but you can reach for your firearm WHILE you are braking with your legs. Also, if you ever find yourself in the rain and going down a hill, hand brakes blow. A single speed pedal brake works much better under wet conditions. Then there is the matter of broken spokes. When a spoke breaks and you don’t have the tools or time to fix it, with a hand brake you must loosen the pads or the rim keeps hitting the pads each time around. This really degrades your stopping distance. With a pedal brake there is more room for the rim to be wobbly and still be functional. Once in the winter when my local bike shop was closed ( I don’t have the interior heated space to work on my bike in the winter ) I went for over a month with one busted spoke after another and made it handily. With a geared bike, no such luck. After the first spoke breaks you had better pay attention to its neediness.
You needn’t buy a new expensive bike. If you can find a used one ( don’t be fooled by a $10 bike. If it needs tires and a chain and a pedal crank it might be cheaper to buy new ), great. If not, just buy a China Mart special. Immediately replace the chain, re-lube all bearings and replace the tubes with an airless tire and you will have a decent ride for under $200.
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