Bikes : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A year ago, I rode a pushbike from Sydney to Canberra, picked up a backpack with contents weighing about 20 kg, stayed the night at a motel and rode back. Total return distance maybe 800-850km. I did it thinking it would be reasonably easy. When I got home I staggered two feet into my room, collapsed on the floor and passed out dead for three hours.

Some people think bikes will be a great way to get around without power. The fact is that, if you plan to do any great distance, they are NOT. They're great for running around your neighbourhood, adequate for going between suburbs (or, I guess, in the country between properties). But if anyone is even considering going more than 150km or so on one, then forget it. Bikes are *not* a viable long-range transport unless you're desperate.

Then again, given TEOTWAWKI, everyone *would* be desperate. And there'd be no real alternative, since walking 150km+ would be even harder. And a cyclist can manage 400km a day on roads, even an unfit amateur like me. And if there was no traffic on those highways..double that.


-- Leo (, December 05, 1998


I'm buying a horse......a really fast horse!!!

-- More Dinty Moore (Not @this, December 05, 1998.


I just had the weirdest visuals while reading your post.

"Mad Max" on bikes. Leo, legs spinning wildly as he trys to out pedal a band of crazed y2k bike bandits who are after his backpack.

Every time I think of the exodus from the cities in post y2k chaos I see the road scene in "Deep Impact". If this is the way it will be then I can't see getting too far on a bike before someone decides they "need it" more than myself and my family.

Mike ========

-- Michael Taylor (, December 06, 1998.

I've thought of buying a horse, there's a horse stable a mile from my y2k retreat, the kind you rent a horse for an hour tour. I'd like to buy one of his horses and pay monthly upkeep fee, just in case I ever need it. Plus, I love horseback riding, I'd have it for my own pleasure in the meantime. How much do horses like this cost about?

-- Chris (, December 06, 1998.

After the military police fun out of their backup supply of fuel...they will probably confiscate the four legged creatures.

Texas Terri

-- Texas Terri (, December 06, 1998.

Have you ever read accounts of how the Viet Cong used bikes on the Ho Chi Mihn trail? They weren't ridden, but were loaded with a couple hundred pounds of cargo and pushed along. Maybe on downhill segments the biker would climb on and coast down. But the norm was to walk along pushing on the seat, steering via a long stick tied to the handlebars. If you've been to any of the developing Asian countries, Phillipines, Thailand, Malaysia or Korea, you'll recognize how bikes will best be put to use in a post Y2K-world. Check six! WW

-- wildweasel (, December 06, 1998.

Bikes, definately. And possibly a "little red wagon" for hauling things like water buckets, food, etc. At the very least a collapsible luggage rack on wheels.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 06, 1998.

That's what I like about this forum, just when I think I have my list of supplies completed - and feel comfortable about progress, etc. - I find one (or two) more items to add. This time, the little red wagon or collpasable luggage cart.

Can't resist this one...

The little red wagon would make a perfect base for a fruitcake cannon! Picture one of those extremely large slingshots permanently set up on wheels!

-- Christine A. Newbie (, December 06, 1998.

And the fruitcakes can use them for firing grenades ;)

-- Leo (, December 06, 1998.

Chris, I actually think a horse would be a very good purchase. The first thing I would do if I were you would be to buy a couple books on psychology. Horses are very unusual animals and most people think they are like dogs but they are not. They have very strong heard instincts and to get along with one you must understand their way of thinking. This will save you alot of trouble in the long run. I also have a very good list of video's /books if you need them. Find you an older horse that has been used on trails, preferably not owned by alot of people. Don't go with one that has done trails for a stable. Too many handlers that don't know what they are doing ruins a horses mouth and they are usually barn sour. There are alot of horse traders out there who will take your money and give you nothing in return. You don't need a registered horse either. Depending on your location you should be able to purchase for for anywhere from 1200 - 1500 dollars. Remember you get what you pay for too. A well trained horse is worth a couple of extra dollars. If it sounds like too good of a deal it probably is. Remember they can drug horses and make them very quiet. If you have a friend that knows horses take them with you. If you have anymore questions on horses feel free to ask...that is the one thing I know something about!! They will be worth their weight in gold and good barter material.


-- More Dinty Moore (Not @this, December 06, 1998.

Sorry, bad spelling of herd...thinking to fast for my fingers.

-- More Dinty Moore (Not @this, December 06, 1998.

100 miles a day, no problem with enough food/water.

-- Andy (, December 07, 1998.

Food isn't too much of a problem for horses. Unless someone flames the grass. Many wild horses survive quite well hard winters. They do have to have water, so would suggest access to pond or stream etc. They can be used for numerous tasks....and are very loyal creatures when treated right.

-- More Dinty Moore (Not @this, December 07, 1998.

I've got a horse. I've also got a bike. There are pros and cons to each.

My horse eats - a lot. I spend about $4000 per year now to keep him fed, sheltered, shod, vetted, etc. That doesn't include costs for emergency vet care, gas for the truck/trailer to haul him around, etc. However, he can carry me a lot faster and farther than I can go on my bike, I can (and have) ride half-asleep, and his senses are much keener than mine, so he'll see and hear stuff long before I will. Also, people give me a lot more room when I ride the horse vs the bike on trails. Intimidation factor may count for a lot...

Regarding the bike, it's relatively cheap to purchase, and it won't run away back to the barn and leave you should you fall off of it. You can put a bike into storage and leave it until you need it. A horse will require daily care, especially if you plan to ride/travel a lot.

-- Melinda Gierisch (, December 08, 1998.

Bikes will work just fine for ALL regular (less than 6 mile/10 Km) routine tasks. We were a 1 car/3 kid family for 10 years - it worked fine, leaving car in garage most of the time.

Couple of tricks learned from years of commuting on bikes -

Get a snowmobile-type overall suit if you ride in winter. GOOD gloves essential. Hood or face covering if less than 30 degrees, other wise only a head covering. Helmet essential - size your warm clothing to fit under the helmet.

Use a shoe cover if in snow or wet weather, otherwise forget it.

Don't try the skinny (road or racing) tires, if you are looking at a new bike, get a mid thickness (not off road) tire. these are good for dry weather, for average snow (less than 6 inches), or partially melted ice mixed with wet roads. The skinny tires tend to bust easier, leak/get holes easier, and skid much easier. The fat off-road tires are too inefficient (too much rolling resistence.) They look cool only to teen-agers.

Get a covered "basket" or better yet multi-pocket touring setup with a saddle frame over the back wheel. Carrying things in a front basket is tricky and tends to create balance problems, particularly if in ice or wet weather.

Railroad tracks are slippery - particularly if wet. Always try to cross them at right angles to the track. Watch fot the "crack" - it will twist your tires.

Want to haul kids or groceries or "stuff"? Get a clamp-on trailer - kids love it (Y2K or not !) and if sleepy, they fall asleep during the ride. (Of course you're working harder, but you can take them a long easier than in a kid basket seat - those tend to cause you tip over as the kid leans and twists, creates balance problems.) Most trailers fit two kids plus four to eight bags of groceries. Load limit around 125 lbs.

Lights? I use use a battery halogen light - if you worry about recharging batteries, get a generator, but it will increase rolling resistance after dark.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, December 08, 1998.

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