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City Boy Without A Clue
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Discussion Starter #1
I commute 50 miles, through rural Michigan, to and from work every day. That's a 60 minute drive each way in good weather; two or more in heavy snow. I work in an office so I wear a collared shirt, slacks, and oxford shoes. If I'm ever on my home and left on foot, in bad weather, I'm in real trouble.

I'm putting some ideas together for a Get Home Bag (or more accurately an Get Home Kit) to keep in the trunk of my little commuter car.

I've done some reading so I have a good idea about GHB essentials, but my question is about a small folding bike I can keep in the trunk.

I know that in heavy snow, a small bike is just about useless, but in all other circumstances it could be the difference between a 1 and 3 day hump back home.

Anyone address this idea yet? Any advice on type, size, quality, etc.?

I'm looking at the Citizen Bikes. They're pretty cheap. I consider it disposable. Once it gets me home, I don't have any real use for it. So it doesn't have to be top quality.

http://www.citizenbike.com/catalog.asp?product_category_id=1&product_id=1

Thanks for any feedback.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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You might also search "folding bicycle" on Amazon--lots of choices, including some that look just like a regular 26" bike.

I have to believe a larger-wheeled folding bike will ride better, assuming you have a place to store it in your trunk.
 

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While I don't necessarilly think carrying a bike is a 'bad' idea, I think the likelyhood of it being necessary is so remote, that it's hardly worth considering. I do agree with the idea of a GHB with a few essentials ( rain poncho,compass,flashlight,1st aid,etc.) but this is something that should always be in everyone's car trunk, regardless of their concern about some SHTF scenario.
But think about it, what could happen, severely and quickly enough that you'd have to resort to a bike to get home 50 miles away? A financial collapse wouldn't keep you from scooting home an hour away.
New Madrid quake,maybe ? That probably wouldn't bring bridges down way up in Michigan, I wouldn't think.
Yellowstone caldera blows ? ( wouldn't matter given where you are, you're toast regardless.)
Maybe an EMP attack? I think this one is the most likely, and still, how likely is that?
Like I said, I don't think it's a terrible idea, especially if the money's no object,but I think it's a bit of a reach,kind of an expensive solution to a non-problem. Just my opinion.
 

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City Boy Without A Clue
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88 Posts

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City Boy Without A Clue
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88 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
While I don't necessarilly think carrying a bike is a 'bad' idea, I think the likelyhood of it being necessary is so remote, that it's hardly worth considering. I do agree with the idea of a GHB with a few essentials ( rain poncho,compass,flashlight,1st aid,etc.) but this is something that should always be in everyone's car trunk, regardless of their concern about some SHTF scenario.
But think about it, what could happen, severely and quickly enough that you'd have to resort to a bike to get home 50 miles away? A financial collapse wouldn't keep you from scooting home an hour away.
New Madrid quake,maybe ? That probably wouldn't bring bridges down way up in Michigan, I wouldn't think.
Yellowstone caldera blows ? ( wouldn't matter given where you are, you're toast regardless.)
Maybe an EMP attack? I think this one is the most likely, and still, how likely is that?
Like I said, I don't think it's a terrible idea, especially if the money's no object,but I think it's a bit of a reach,kind of an expensive solution to a non-problem. Just my opinion.
I agree, an EMP attack is a bit less likely. I was thinking more like dealing with a car wreck in a SHTF, or a late night " Deer Encounter"on a back country road with no cellular coverage. Any situation where I need to get home to the family, I'm on my own, and my POS car is out of the equation. If a $200 folding bike in the trunk addresses the issue, than I feel its worth while.

I feel vulnerable and a bit helpless out here in the middle of nowhere. Having a vehicle of some sort to help me get home makes me feel better.

I do appreciate the feedback. Sometimes I need help keeping my feet on the ground.
 

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I think your idea is great, the difference between 3 days on foot and 1 day on bike is huge. Those who disagree need to grab their GHB and go walk with a purpose for 12 hours and report back. I can think of a few times a bike in my vehicle would have been a game changer in my life even when it wasn't hitting the fan. Good luck
 

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I think your idea is great, the difference between 3 days on foot and 1 day on bike is huge. Those who disagree need to grab their GHB and go walk with a purpose for 12 hours and report back.
Try and pay attention there, genius, I said (twice) that I didn't think it was a terrible idea, I just voiced some alternate views,too. Obviously, if it ever came down to it, riding would be preferable to walking. No kidding, thanks for the keen insight. My point was that a SHTF scenario serious and rapid enough to necessitate this is very unlikely,in my opinion,especially not likely enough to justify the cost. According to your reasoning, one might also consider pulling a trailer with a canoe and a hot air balloon in it, after all, if it ever came down to it, both those modes of transport would also be preferable to walking.

And by the way, as a former bike racer, I can tell you that unless they're regular riders, in good shape,very few people are going to log anywhere near 50 miles in a day, with a pack,in street clothes, on a cheesy little folding bike.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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My son has been about 5 hours away at college, has an older car but also a bike. In the event of, well, an event that would "encourage" him to get home, he's starting out by car, but will attach his bike to the back of the car (bike rack).

That way, should he have issues with the car, he can still make time by bike. I'm thinking of an extreme event, an EMP (I have more concern over that than many as I see it as the great equalizer for countries or terrorist groups that cannot stand toe-to-toe with the US military), grid down for whatever reason, something like that.

He starts by car, gets as far as he can (maybe home). If need be, switch to the bike. And if that can't last, then on foot.

He's roughly 250 miles from home. Five hours by car, perhaps 3 days by bike (maybe 4). We want him on foot as little as possible, so getting him as close to home as possible, as fast as possible, is the goal.

It is my belief that in any type of breakdown it'll be 24-48 hours before things go to hell, when people figure it out, and start either ambushing people or putting up roadblocks, etc. Thus moving in a hurry is paramount. I think having a folding bike in the trunk is a great idea, and one's view of the necessity of that all depends on whether one believes breakdown scenarios--EMP, grid down, computer crash, whatever--have more than trivial probabilities.

I think the OP's idea is a good one.
 

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Just be sure that when you get a folding bike it can handle the area you intend to ride it through while in less than ideal conditions. Consider the potential for blocked roads, bad weather, debris on the road, etc.

Also make sure it is something you can comfortably wear your GHB while riding, or that you can strap the GHB to. A lot of the less than full size bikes make doing so difficult.

While I agree with MikeK (as usual) about the bad weather clothing and such, make sure that for SHTF scenarios you include a helmet, gloves and at least elbow pads. Post SHTF, a tumble from your bike is a far more likely (and potentially serious) event so you want to make sure you are protected.
 

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learn to change a tire tube. all other bike issues are important, but nothing is as easy to do, happens often enough and can ruin your day like a flat fire without a spare tube or five.

I'd recommend solid rubber tires but you don't really need to spend the money.

a comfortable pace on a bike is a lot faster than foot. if you have fifty miles, and start early enough in the day and there's no critical reason to stop for more than a few minutes at a time... ride the 50 in one day. if you're not a regular rider, 25-30 miles on day one will make you not want to ride on day two. you won't hurt that much more from 50 than 25 and at least you'll be home
 

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I have one in my car, just in case. Doesn't matter what it is, if it gets me home faster than walking the entire way. Besides it could come in handy if you have a mechanical failure in the care assuming it is in the car.

They're fun to ride too.
 

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It's Survival Of
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Carless catastrophe's happen more often than most people think. While the scenarios that render the actual automobile useless are limited, a large number of reason may cause you to leave your vehicle and head out without it.

A major car accident, riots, chaos/anarchy, financial collapse, a flood, earthquake, hurricane, supervolcano, EMP, Asteroid collision, pandemic, etc...

Anyone of these may limit your abilities to get through traffic to your destination. You are limited to your vehicles capabilities (such a distance and/or offroad) and to the amount of gas you have. Many cars get around 300 miles per tank, but thats a full tank, and optimal road conditions.

A bike is a great idea. Also, keep gear on hand that you may need. Other than the standard GHB gear, think about the needs of your bike. Tirepatches, airpump, tube sealant etc. You may want to replace the air tube tires with solid ones so you don't have to worry about them. It's a rougher ride, but you don't have to worry as much about what you go over. Also, you may want to bring a multi tool, and a spare chain or at least a few links. It doesn't happen often, but chains do break. Especially when you are riding them hard with an extra 50lbs on your back.

Either keep a basket for the bike, or get a cart to pull. The make carts that can be pushed as well so that might be an option. Or you can use a carrier on the top of your car to carry the bike, and convert it into a pull behind cart as well.

Lots of options, and the last thing you want to do in the event of a catastrophe is limit your options. You can always leave things behind that don't suit your particular needs, but you can't magically make them appear if you need them and dont have them :thumb:
 

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Good lord, now we're up to carrying extra chains and links, and a trailer, on solid rubber wheels ?? OK, now I KNOW I'd rather just walk,LOL !!!! :D:
 

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I have a single-speed bike with (obviously) a heavy duty chain and solid tires. if I'm not going anywhere hilly, I love to ride it as it's light, eventho steel, and I don't bother bringing any tools, tubes, pump.

im not saying its right for this scenario, just saying that a maintenance-free bike is fun.
 
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