Spring is, eventually, approaching. Montana has a few nice things going for it but short winters and early springs are not among them. We refer to spring as ‘mud season’ around here and with good reason. However, since we live in the ‘city’ here the problems arent mud as much as it is just the detritus of an entire winters worth of road sand and gravel. The point, though, is that it is rapidly approaching bicycle season. Bicycle season, by the way, may accelerate it’s arrival in direct proportion to the arrival of $4/gallon gasoline.
I’ve said it before, mountain bikes are a lovely way to move from point a to point z in a crisis. I’ll bet you a whole buncha yen that if you look at pictures from whats left of northeastern Japan theres far more bicycle traffic than private vehicle traffic. Even in the best of times, which these arent, bicycles give you a bit more mobility in a crowded environment. This isnt theory, you can see it proven if you live in a large city and have bicycle messengers. Sure, they ride with the same sense of self preservation as the typical Japanese Zero pilot, but the results speak for themselves.
For general preparedness, a decent mountain bike beats the crap out of walking. Can’t haul huge amounts of gear beyond a backpack or two, and if its raining or snowing youre probably going to be miserable, but when the gas pumps are locked up, the roads are jammed, and its time to head for greener pastures youre going to be glad you have one.
Like guns, you’ll need some reference manuals, tools, spare parts, and a small amount of mechanical knowledge. In my town, which is a college town, theres literally free bicycles if you scavenge around the dumpsters and such. Heck, the local police auction of lots of them from time to time…some cheap ones, but some good ones in there too.
I’ve been riding the same bike for a number of years now. I can be at my shop, from my house, in about six minutes if I really work at it. For a very long time all I had was a mountain bike and I never felt terribly inconvenienced by not having a vehicle. I wouldnt recommend having just a bicycle and no vehicle, Ill take internal combustion over infernal pedaling any day of the week.
I’ve been meaning to modify my bike and just havent gotten to it. More than anything else I want to strip the frame and have it powder coated a nice subdued color. Although, really, I could also just pick up a couple rolls of camouflage tape used for bows and guns and just wrap it around the frame when the need arises.
As it gets warmer perhaps me and the dog will head up some of the riding trails. Be good to tire him out and get some exercise.