Monday, September 9, 2013

sbj-abob, random chapter


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 ).

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SBJ-ABOB

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  You will probably disagree with me at first, clinging to your outdated thoughts and dreams, but soon I’m sure you will be worshiping me for my wise council, the men requesting pictures so as to emulate my hair, the ladies writing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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

END

 

 

 

15 comments:

  1. All good points, but I'm going to stick with my bike, hand brakes and all. The ability to shift into low low gear to climb my monster hills trumps the hand brake problem.

    I'm not one of those who think bikes will last much past a hard collapse. Take away tire imports and good roads and there's not much use for them. Yes, there are work arounds and it might even be worth it for a short while, but I'd be surprised to see bikes in much use a year after a hard collapse.

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    1. As Vlad was talking, his airless tires lasted a good seven thousand miles. It would have been more but he replaced as soon as the quality of the ride suffered. So, your bike can last a good while afterwards. But regardless, this article was a chapter in a book on a bug out plan. So long term is of little regard. And of course, what you like and are familiar with is more important than other factors- I just think no-speeds are better. My preferance, if not everyones. I can see by your hat wearing picture wanting to emulate my hair is not a factor, so you don't need to agree with me on this one :) Be cool.

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    2. Now I've got to look into airless tires . . .

      Your hair wins, but you knew it would. Fortunately, I've a very good looking head. My hair seems to slowly be slipping off the front and down my back.

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    3. Thank Vlad. He's preached airless for years until he beat it into me how silly it would be to not have them. At least for during/after the collapse. And, hey, you got the beard thing going for you. at least. Those ZZ Top beard guys hunting ducks have made it groovy again.

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  2. Lord Bison of the Great Basin and King of Coiffure;

    Since Elko is considered to be rural Nevada, what's up with the Wasp Spray? I'd reckon that since open carry of handguns is completely legal besides the crapholes of Las Vegas and Reno/Sparks, why wouldn't you carry a Judge .410 pocket shotgun and call it a day when the idiot canines come for their pound of flesh? Even if said carry was illegal on the person, since a bicycle is considered by the US DOT to be a vehicle, then you're covered under Nevada Law again anyways. Point being being the King of Coiffure, you shouldn't take crap from any of the Good Lord's creatures, especially when trying to wreck your day. Keep keeping it real James!

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  3. All I'm doing by NOT open carrying is avoiding a problem at work. You know, since I can't lock a firearm in my car before I head into the property. Believe me, I would pay good money to get a dedicated dog shooter. I would love to wipe out the humps.

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    1. You should look into getting one of those ultrasonic dog repellers James. They work surprisingly well, up to I believe 20'?

      I know that the one that we have works surprisingly well on our pesty, and very needy cat, "Obama Kitten".

      http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=ultrasonic+dog+repeller&tag=hydsma-20&index=aps&hvadid=33326200554&hvpos=1t2&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4187530121917772405&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_8zvx9phw0p_e

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    2. I thank you for the idea. I was focused on deadly force, but this sounds much better ( with spray as back-up of course ). I'll check it out.

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  4. Ah yes....The pedal powered royal chariot. I don't recall how far you commute, 7 or 15 miles? What if for about an ongoing expense of $40 a month you could greatly reduce the dog problem, make better commute time, drag the wife to town on a whim and not get beat up the kids on the corner.

    Yes I'm talking a cheap motorcycle. I realize Lord Bison is not of the mindset but perhaps this will give a minion something to consider.....

    I priced insurance for a bike and it ranged between $10 and $20 a month. $20 was for high speed crotch rockets and $10 for midrange cruisers. Depending on the bike you can push 70 to 80 mpg. On a shorter commute like yours it would be lower due to warm up time ect. Used street legal dirt bikes and small 250-500 cc bikes can be found used for a grand or two. The initial investment is your main expense.

    I have a pretty good paying job but my commute is almost 80 milesround trip. Not bicycle ready. With the right bike I could make it on about a gallon of gas. You could commute for about 6 gallons a month. I like where I live and do not want to be closer. The Gulf of Mexico is 20 plus miles south of me so the masses will have to go east, west, or north to me. Like I said, Im close enough.

    If your not close enough for a bicycle to be practical, consider a small motorcycle. Even post event if you hade a few gallons in reserve it could come in handy or if gas goes to $10 a gallon , you could still afford to work. Dont wait though. Gas goes up and bikes are scarce.

    OK, that is my rant on motorcycles.

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    1. I had a motorcycle license two years before I ever got one for an auto ( the military required I get one before they granted my MOS quarentee ). Had a Honda Passport- to this day you can't say one bad thing against that company. Got back to Cali from the military and bought a crotch rocket and almost made myself road pizza. When I moved to the mountains from there I let my license go. After my dad dumped his bike in town on a oil slick and had a heart attack, I REALLY decided I had no regrets giving up on bikes. That being said, a putter bike IS wonderful. My first insurance was $70 a year. Since almost all are rice burners the quality is great. I swear by mopeds because of lack of insurance, but a bike lasts a lot longer and gets you places faster and can carry two people. If you do wait too long though, I imagine prices will go up 100% for mopeds and who knows how much for bikes. And beware old bikes and the parts issue. If it is your only transport, better a newer bike so it isn't down two weeks waiting on the slow boat from the Orient.

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    2. I think that the moped sounds like a good idea Jim. As you've mentioned, no insurance requirements in most areas, as it's almost viewed as a sort bicycle/motorcycle hybrid, and if I recall correctly, you need nothing more than a class c learners permit to operate? Seems like a good compromise to what you have now? Can't imagine repairing or building one would be all that difficult either? 100 miles to gallon last I checked?

      Wayne

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    3. Motorcycles are decent, I prefere hybrid motorized bikes, and both have the ability to drop the motor and become a two wheeled push cart for all your BOV cargo, and can even be converted to a regular bike the same way. Loosing the motor might hurt but it is far more doable on the bike than the motorcycle.

      You might really want to look into those options as one becomes older and/or becomes ill, motorized assistance becomes more usefull.


      -Grey

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    4. Vlad is like 103 years old and still bikes. He just had top go from two wheels to three. Come on! Let's not puss out now!

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  5. Any bike during a bugout is great.it has one goal to get you out of a city quick.If a bike last after a bug out its just a bonus.

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    1. I think for under a hundred bucks ( discounting the airless tires ) a bike can last years and years after collapse-two chains, a few sets of bearings, two replacement wheels ( the back lasts half as long as the front-plan accordingly ) should about do it for a single speed. I've yet to replace the rear wheel innards to see about the brake mechanism. I usually just replace the whole wheel once a year since that seems to be right before spokes go ( around 3k miles ).

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