The following warnings occurred:
Warning [2] Illegal string offset 'birthday' - Line: 105 - File: inc/plugins/imagebirthday.php PHP 5.5.38 (Linux)
File Line Function
/inc/plugins/imagebirthday.php 105 errorHandler->error
[PHP]   imagebirthday_profile
/inc/class_plugins.php 100 call_user_func_array
/showthread.php 394 pluginSystem->run_hooks
Warning [2] Illegal string offset 'birthday' - Line: 105 - File: inc/plugins/imagebirthday.php PHP 5.5.38 (Linux)
File Line Function
/inc/plugins/imagebirthday.php 105 errorHandler->error
[PHP]   imagebirthday_profile
/inc/class_plugins.php 100 call_user_func_array
/showthread.php 1245 pluginSystem->run_hooks





 We have received 33% of our goal
Server costs


Forum Affiliates

Your banner here / Tu banner aquí

Post Reply 
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
[SurvivalBlog.com] Bicycles for Bug Out Drayage, by Light Dragoon
07-28-2011, 12:35 AM
Post: #1
[SurvivalBlog.com] Bicycles for Bug Out Drayage, by Light Dragoon
0
0
Bicycles for Bug Out Drayage, by Light Dragoon


There have been plenty of essays written on the art of “Bugging Out”, many of them concerning the various vehicles which the authors are fond of for every specific condition which one might face.  In particular, there are several good essays on the use of bicycles as “bug out”...


There have been plenty of essays written on the art of “Bugging Out”, many of them concerning the various vehicles which the authors are fond of for every specific condition which one might face.  In particular, there are several good essays on the use of bicycles as “bug out” vehicles.  This note is going to be a bit different, for I’m not going to even consider the use of a bike as a mode of personal transportation, but rather as a “mule” for transporting one’s kit instead.

There are plenty of bike options out there, and plenty of experts more than happy to discuss with you the pro’s and con’s of each particular style, but from my perspective (at least the one I’m presenting here) such things don’t really matter.  It’s the fact that you have a reliable two-wheeled vehicle which can easily support the weight of several hundred pounds and be pushed with relative ease along paths and trails which would otherwise be available only to the people using their feet as their sole mode of transport.

To really get a feel for just how much weight and what varied cargo can be carried on a bike, I would like to give a few short history lessons.  To begin with, when the bicycle first began to be mass-produced in the later decades of the 19th Century, it gave the working class an enormous boost in personal mobility.  Remember the old song “Bicycle Built for Two”?  Carriages (and more importantly the horses to pull it) were expensive luxuries which only the rich, and those posing as the rich, could afford.  Mass-produced automobiles were just a dream in Karl Benz’s mind, but the bicycle became the affordable transportation for millions, and has continued in that venue for a 125 years.  Even though countries like China and Vietnam have begun to abandon their bicycles for automobiles as their economies improve, they are still a primary mode of transportation in many Third World countries such as India.

During the course of the French wars in Indochina to keep their colonial possessions in the post-World War II period, they came up against the very, very determined forces of the Viet Minh (the direct antecedents of the equally determined Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army which gave us such grief in our own attempts to subdue the area).  They were a very low-tech army, in complete juxtaposition to the French who were for the time quite high-tech (using primarily American equipment).  In order to remain unseen by the French Army and Air Force which patrolled the main roads, the Viet Minh responded by using the most common vehicle in Vietnam at the time, the bicycle, as their primary mode of transportation.  However, since the established  roads were well patrolled by both French Air and Ground forces, the Viet Minh responded by taking to the jungle trails which crisscrossed the countryside.  They didn’t use the common bicycles to ride, but rather to transport an enormous amount of food and materiel from their safe havens in China to the battlefields of Vietnam.  The best example of this is that during the Siege of Dien Bin Phu in 1954, the Viet Minh managed to transport and supply an entire battery of artillery which was sited in a position which the French military engineers had concluded was impossible to either transport or supply. They did this by using bicycle power to provide 100% of their needs.  Cannon barrels, carriages, wheels, engineer’s tools and an enormous amount of ammunition was moved completely by bicycle, much to the dismay of the embattled French forces in Dien Bin Phu, who suffered mightily from the accurate fire from these guns.  In point of fact, this specific battery was one of the causes of the ultimate defeat of the French forces at Dien Bin Phu, which led to the ultimate defeat of the French Union forces in Indochina, which led to the American involvement in Vietnam.  “For want of a nail”, etc.

The successors to the Viet Minh, the Viet Cong, also were quite adept at using the bicycle as a mode of transporting military equipment, and did so quite successfully throughout the years of war between North and South Vietnam between the partition of Vietnam in 1955 and the conquest of South Vietnam by the North in 1975, though they were able to make use to a greater degree of powered transport vehicles along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.  Nevertheless, the lowly bicycle remained a standard mode of transporting equipment and food though areas with difficult terrain.

What this means for 21st Century Americans is that there is an available, affordable and very low-tech method of moving fairly large amounts of gear over fairly long distances, through fairly rough terrain at a minimum of cost and effort.  If a bike will carry a 200 pound person and 100 pounds of gear, it will carry 300 pounds of gear if you are pushing it.  (This is not to imply that you can in fact push that heavy a bike over all terrain, but it ought to be able to carry it.)  Even if it is only carrying 200 pounds of gear, that’s a good four times what you can be expected to carry on your back, and as much as a good mule can be expected to haul for you over the same sorts of ground.

(Speaking of which, here’s another history lesson. During the 19th Century, the British Army in India expected an Elephant to carry some 800 pounds of baggage, while in the US Army at the same time, General George Crook in his experiments with packing mules while chasing the Apache in Arizona managed to get his mules to carry 300 pounds of gear.  That’s a lot of baggage!  And having spent the past 25 years researching and playing Cavalry in reenactments and films, I have a pretty good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of equines.  This is one reason why I recommend a bicycle!)

One of the very nice things about using a bicycle as a mode of transporting your gear rather than yourself is that you can get away with a much lower tech bike than you might otherwise find acceptable.  Most folks these days in looking for a bicycle for transportation would look for the latest mountain bike, complete with shocks and every bell and whistle and titanium sprocket on the market.  However, it’s not necessary in the least.  If you can’t find a good bike at the local Goodwill [thrift store], you can always just go to Wal-Mart and pick up their old-fashioned one-speed bike for all of about a hundred bucks.   The only modification you should make is to fit an extension to the handle bars so that you don’t have to walk too close to it and bang the back of your calf against the pedal every step of the way.  Make sure that you make it adjustable, so that you can change sides of the bike that you’re walking on depending upon your trail, but other than that, it’s pretty simple.  In a pinch, a shovel handle and some duct tape will do. [ JWR Adds: Installing folding pedals--such as those used on some collapsible bikes--would also help considerably.]

Of course, you’ll probably also want to make up some sort of pannier arrangement of bags to fill with your “BOB” gear, but that can be extraordinarily flexible.  Just strapping a couple of back-packs on either side will do, and you have the option then of ditching the bike and humping one of the back-packs yourself if need be.  On the other hand, if you chose to you can become quite imaginative in how you are going to organize and fit your kit on to a bicycle due to the fact that you’re not intending to actually ride the thing. This gives you a lot more places to carry things, and the ability to stow a lot more of it besides.  You can also somewhat more inconspicuously carry a long-arm (or two) near at hand, but still ready for action.

Among the advantages of using a bike for transporting gear rather than people is that when pushing a bike you can follow trails (or even non-trails) that someone trying to ride a bike isn’t likely to want to traverse with a heavy load.  Likewise, if accosted by malcontents during your travels, it’s significantly easier to drop the bike and go to a defensive mode while standing on your own two feet than it is to do so while mounted on a moving bicycle.  Besides this, you can always use the bike as a temporary cover/concealment if need be (though I don’t recommend it, as your gear probably isn’t going to make very good cover in the long run, but it beats thin air).  Furthermore, if you find that you have to abandon your bicycle for whatever reason, well, then you do so.  Load up the absolute necessities (just grab the BOB and whatever else you can carry from it’s resting place) and it goes from being a bike-borne kit to a back-borne kit.  At least you got whatever other supplies you’re carrying further down the road than you would have just on your back, and probably at a lower cost to your body as well.

An added bonus to this of course is that you can use routes otherwise not available to your road-bound fellow travelers. Overgrown railroad right-of-way, dirt tracks and even game trails are your rightful highways, and though you’re likely going to take up a bit more space going over a trail than a person hoofing it is, it’s not by much. This is one of the arguments against using a single-axle two-wheeled cart with the same carrying capacity as a bike, in that they take up too much room on the trail.  By taking “the road less traveled” you will there-by be able to avoid most of the issues of dealing with your fellow man, a.k.a. “The Golden Horde”.  There are always “issues” that can arise, but the more you can avoid them, the better off you are.  By being off the beaten track (in other words not on the main roads) you are right away avoiding most of the issues of a mass exit from the cities.  There will likely still be plenty of people on foot to deal with, but the chances of them being dangerous (and operating in a pack) is at leased somewhat lessened. 

Last but not least, having a bicycle when you get to your final destination is going to just be a handy thing to have, be it for transportation, setting up a generator, or what have you.  A bike is a pretty darned fancy “low-tech” vehicle, and when they came out 100+ years ago in mass-production, they changed the face of the world.  They still have the capacity to do the same work today and tomorrow, for that matter.

All in all, for someone expecting to have to Get Out Of Dodge on a shoe-string, or is anticipating driving as far as they can and then going on foot the rest of the way to whatever haven they have in mind, using a bike as either a primary or auxiliary mode of transporting their gear can make an enormous amount of sense.  While you are not gaining any speed whatsoever over the other foot traffic, you are gaining a significant amount of carrying capacity.  The difference between 50 and 200+ pounds of kit is enormous, and can mean literally life and death, especially if you’re expecting to be burdened with someone who is otherwise unable to help out with “carrying their own weight” (such as an aging parent/grandparent, or small children).  If they can provide their own locomotion, you can provide the “horsepower” to carry not only your own equipment, but theirs, too.  If you have no such burdens, you can simply carry more and carry it further than you would otherwise be expected to do, and do it over some pretty intimidating terrain as well.   After all, if the Viet Minh could transport and supply an entire Artillery Battery by using nothing but bicycles for the task, then you should be able to use one to get yourself well on your way to your destination.

The use of the simple, old-fashioned bicycle as a mode of carrying your gear is an option which, in my humble opinion, makes an enormous amount of sense. If I’m caught in an urban area in a SHTF scenario, the first thing I’m going to do is plop down a check  (always carry a few spares.  Even if they do cash it eventually, it’s still worth your while to purchase whatever you may need on the spot) on a bike at whatever store I happen to be closest to, and head for home, in the sublime knowledge that if nothing else, my back and feet won’t hurt nearly as much after the first 20 or so miles as they otherwise would if I were carrying my kit all on my person.

Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  [CandlePowerForums - Blogs] Best 1 x CR123 Light bot 0 655 07-28-2011 12:49 AM
Last Post: bot
  [CandlePowerForums - Blogs] 7 light CCT/CRI Comparison bot 0 435 07-28-2011 12:49 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] OPSEC When Traveling Abroad, by Picaro Actual bot 0 402 07-28-2011 12:35 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] Letter Re: Body Armor Bans in Australia and Canada bot 0 400 07-28-2011 12:35 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] Three Letters Re: COMSEC: One Time Pad Generation bot 0 295 07-28-2011 12:35 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] Letter Re: Physical Fitness for TEOTWAWKI Preparedness bot 0 278 07-28-2011 12:35 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] Economics and Investing: bot 0 354 07-28-2011 12:35 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] Odds 'n Sods: bot 0 274 07-28-2011 12:35 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] Jim's Quote of the Day: bot 0 297 07-28-2011 12:35 AM
Last Post: bot
  [SurvivalBlog.com] Jim's Quote of the Day: bot 0 277 07-27-2011 11:47 PM
Last Post: bot

[SurvivalBlog.com] Bicycles for Bug Out Drayage, by Light Dragoon
Current time: 12-15-2019, 12:52 AM
User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)
Author: bot
Last Post: bot
Replies 0
Views 313


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Welcome, Guest
You have to register before you can post on our site.

Username
  

Password
  





Links
Budget Light Forum

Search Forums

(Advanced Search)

More
Gearoo - EDC Shop
Gearoo - Tienda EDC

Latest Threads
Does anyone here use disc...
Last Post: JakeSim
09-24-2019 06:48 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 0
Happy New Year
Last Post: tam
01-03-2019 10:57 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 0
Caravan Designs Brand Sug...
Last Post: Caravan-Designs
11-05-2018 09:34 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 0
Hello From Caravan Design...
Last Post: Caravan-Designs
11-02-2018 01:54 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 0
Hello Everyone
Last Post: KenkoyCreator
10-07-2016 12:21 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 0
Hello everyone
Last Post: eirselloo
03-08-2015 05:57 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 1
Greetings fellow EDCeers
Last Post: tam
01-02-2015 07:17 AM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 4
Greeting from Virginia
Last Post: Gsd2012
07-08-2014 10:14 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 4
Wenger Evolution ST 10 mi...
Last Post: tam
03-07-2014 05:10 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 10
Which one from Maglite li...
Last Post: tam
03-05-2014 04:52 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 7

Online Users
There are currently 20 online users.
» 0 Member(s) | 20 Guest(s)