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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a lot of conversation surrounding bug out vehicles. What is the best? What is the most powerful? Which is fastest? Do you use gas, diesel or multi-fuel? Do you go big, small or in the middle? All of which are great topics for debate. But what happens when the fuel runs out? When the oil pan gets punctured and you throw a rod through the block? A softball sized hole gets punched through your radiator? The logistics and support for keeping that vehicle running is extensive. Parts, spare tires, tools, fuel, oil, water, belts, hoses etc. In a true bug-out situation, you could feasibly need a small parts store to maintain it. And you need an extensive know how to fix it.

Better yet, your bug out plan met unforeseen issues that caused serious delays and now the roads are so clogged, you can't get anywhere to begin with. Now what? Ever try to conceal a large vehicle "johnny on the spot"? I don't know too many diesels that are all that quiet either. I am not discounting the value of these vehicles by any means. I'd love nothing better than to have a Ma Deuce sitting in my back yard ready to go. But what about an alternative? Maybe even a primary BOV.

The bicycle has been used by the armed forces of the world since at least the late 1800's. Bicycles have been used in each World War, and Vietnam. The Danish, the Finnish, British and even Americans used them. In Vietnam, the Viet-Cong used them to ferry supplies down the Ho-Chi Minh Trail. Of the most famous, are the Swiss Army Bikes, still in use today.

So why not a bug out vehicle? As I had posted in another thread regarding the benefit of a bicycle for exercise and why I like them, I also posted the following regarding their value as a BOV;

Bicycles for bug-out have a lot of flexibility. You can tow things with them; the little carts you see people pulling their small children around in make great supply trailers. They can be outfitted to hold weapons; Hunters outfit bikes all the time. It allows them to quickly and quietly get into areas that motor vehicles aren't allowed to go. You don't have to worry about fuel. They're easily concealable behind bushes, in ditches or wherever you happen to be. They are easy to work on with a few simple tools and, with a couple of specialized tools, there is nothing you can't do to them. Bikes are everywhere and spare parts, such as chains, tires, wheels, inner-tubes, brakes, bearings etc., are easy to come by, or, a whole 'nother bike if that's what it takes. They're great for quickly and quietly moving through, or, in and out of areas that you don't necessarily want to attract attention, especially at night. And, if you really need it, you can buy a kit for less than $250 and mount an engine on it for emergencies (creating distance) or those really steep hills that you just don't feel like climbing. These engines get about 150 miles to the gallon and, depending on overall weight/load and gearing, you'll see speeds of 15 to 30 mph. As I said, my top speed is about 15 mph, maybe a little more. My cruising speed is about 10mph, at a nice gentle pace I enjoy. I can only maintain that for so long. Lance Armstrong I am not. But that little engine can maintain that 15 mph as a minimal speed until it overheats or runs out of fuel. Once fuel becomes an issue/non-existent, simply remove the engine and it's other components and go. So bicycles not only provide me with the exercise I need, and make it mostly enjoyable, but they also meet my "get the hell out of here" needs.

It is not much more effort, as long you have trained for it some, to haul a hundred, even two hundred pounds of gear between your bicycle and a trailer. You make much faster time on a bike than on foot, especially a vehicle stuck in deadlocked traffic. And, if you choose to bug out in a motor vehicle, bicycle's make a great secondary means of escape. Load necessities in the trailer(s) and go.

Whether a primary way to bug out, or as a back-up, bicycles should not be discounted as part of the overall plan. Fuel will only last so long; both in quantity and quality/usability, no matter how much stabilizer you add. A bug out survival plan of any merit has redundant back-up plans. A bicycle should be one of them. And a legitimate one at that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have 2 decent mountain bikes, thanks for the reminder, I was going to pick up some extra tubes.
And that is a fantastic start! Wikipedia has some great write-ups on Military Bicycles and there are lot's of photo's on Google to start getting ideas for set-ups.
 
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The big thing to remember about bikes is balance, if your BoB is 50 or 60 lbs or more that is going to make you very top heavy, you would defiantly want to practice with your bike with that kind of weight. would not be so hot getting half a mile down the road and let your bag take you down and break something. another special reminder to lighten your load.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The big thing to remember about bikes is balance, if your BoB is 50 or 60 lbs or more that is going to make you very top heavy, you would defiantly want to practice with your bike with that kind of weight. would not be so hot getting half a mile down the road and let your bag take you down and break something. another special reminder to lighten your load.........
A great point. As with any two wheeled vehicle, it is super important to balance your load. Saddle bags are great as they keep the center of gravity low. A luggage rack is good too, but you really have to watch the weight that high up (top loading). That's when it can get weird and you find yourself just kind of leaning over until you hit the ground. A lot of that can dealt with by simply hooking up a cart to the bike and towing it behind with your gear.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Bicycle Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Crankset


This is the "Apocalypse Bike". Other photos are of some Old School Swiss Army Bikes and one a little more modern...

Wheel Bicycle Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Crankset
Bicycle Tire Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle wheel
Bicycle Tire Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle frame


As you can see, there is a lot of potential.
 
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A bicycle will work when traffic is paralized by gridlock. A bicycle will go any place a jeep will and places it won't. A bicycle will go almost anywhere you can walk . . . but much faster. A bicycle requires very little in the way of maintenance. Probaby the only supplies you would need to stockpile to last for years after TEOTWAWKI is a couple of tires and tubes, maybe a spare chain. Bicycles are fun. Bicycles are cool.

Bicycles can also be very expensive. They are like any other high end toy. Folks decide they will get into bicycling and go out an buy a high end bike. They ride it a few times and then it sits in the garage with the exercise machines. After awhile it will end up on ebay or Craigslist for half price. Watch ebay and Craigslist.
 

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I think a bike is an excellent alternative mode of transport to have for shtf. I bought a used Diamondback Override like in the photo below for this and only spent about a $100 and change on it, buying it used. It's a good bike and will get me around when shtf to do tasks, and I'll use it for bugging out when my truck is a no go. I don't think a person needs to spend a lot if they don't want to. I replaced the tubes with puncture resistant tubes and have some work to go on it, but it will give me lots of use for the money I know. I've been wanting a recumbent trike having rode them and fell in love, but haven't gotten around to the purchase yet. It's not a priority compared to other preps so it waits.

Bicycle Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle wheel rim
 

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Saddle up..:)



The zombs may take the cities and the main roads and the gas stations, but they'll never take a cyclists FREEDOM!
The bike will be King..;)
Random pics from the net-


Bypassing zomb roadblocks on the main roads-


The wheels take all the weight, not your knee joints-


Walk up all the hills, never push the pace and you can go on forever-






Just pull off the road and set up camp anywhere-
 

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I live in a super populated/congested area. Bugging out is my only option, and in any SHTF scenario, I would not want to have to rely only on a vehicle to get out. My husband and I each have a mountain bike, just something simple we could afford lol And we've been looking into getting a cart to pull along behind one of them and saddle bags for each. I think it's a great idea, because a vehicle would no doubt be stuck in traffic with everyone else, a bike could get around the jams (hopefully!).
 

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A bicycle will work when traffic is paralized by gridlock. A bicycle will go any place a jeep will and places it won't. A bicycle will go almost anywhere you can walk . . . but much faster. A bicycle requires very little in the way of maintenance. Probaby the only supplies you would need to stockpile to last for years after TEOTWAWKI is a couple of tires and tubes, maybe a spare chain. Bicycles are fun. Bicycles are cool.

Bicycles can also be very expensive. They are like any other high end toy. Folks decide they will get into bicycling and go out an buy a high end bike. They ride it a few times and then it sits in the garage with the exercise machines. After awhile it will end up on ebay or Craigslist for half price. Watch ebay and Craigslist.
Agree with most of what you say. Bikes Achilles Heel is soft sand but even then your walking the bike and it carries the gear.
 

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If you "need" bicycles because vehicles are not feasible you best limit your ride time to safe time. I'd plan on about 3:45 AM to maybe 6:30 AM and not much more depending on the location. If a bicycle is truly the best available you can easily ride up on someone who will be glad to take it off your hands at gun point and get caught with your guard down. The above time frame is 2 hours and 45 minutes and my wife and I ride bikes quite often on the weekends - usually about an hour or maybe 75 minutes. In a crisis I think we could rise 2 hours plus pretty easy. I'd hope to cover about 25 miles a day and simply hunker down between rides. It might be feasible, depending on the location, to walk the bike during day light hours if I could view the terrain ahead and knew it was safe.
 

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Good thread the Switzerland army is well know for their use of bicycles especially because of their citizen army. A small engine would be a great help and could be removed when necessary, and I was surprised just how cheap they were.
KingsMotorBikes.com - 2 Stroke Bicycle Engine Kits - 2 Stroke Gas Bicycle Engine Kits

After years of trail riding I came to the conclusion that one of the best vehicles to get you around in almost any situation is a small trail bike like the Honda xr-80 especially if you are with a few other riders. It is light enough that it can be lifted over downed trees get up to 50 mph on the road 100 puss miles to a gallon of gas, 5 gears for different situations ( I would put a bigger sprocket on the rear wheel). But a bicycle with an engine would be good as you could just remove the engine if it went out in the middle of a forest.
Now the question: do you want a 2 cycle or 4 cycle engine.

PS: You can buy foam filled or air free bicycle tires so you would never have to worry about getting a flat.
 

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One of the reasons I'd choose bicycle is noise. Those little engines can be quite noisey and can make it impossible for you to hear, but more importantly they can make you an easy target heard for some distance. I would think if I could use one of those I could probably use my pick up as well and would prefer the later. How loud are they? I have no experience with them and had thought about the electric kind that charge up as you pedal? I realize they have little power but being able to ride and not pedal for some distance would be helpful.

Good thread the Switzerland army is well know for their use of bicycles especially because of their citizen army. A small engine would be a great help and could be removed when necessary, and I was surprised just how cheap they were.
KingsMotorBikes.com - 2 Stroke Bicycle Engine Kits - 2 Stroke Gas Bicycle Engine Kits

After years of trail riding I came to the conclusion that one of the best vehicles to get you around in almost any situation is a small trail bike like the Honda xr-80 especially if you are with a few other riders. It is light enough that it can be lifted over downed trees get up to 50 mph on the road 100 puss miles to a gallon of gas, 5 gears for different situations ( I would put a bigger sprocket on the rear wheel). But a bicycle with an engine would be good as you could just remove the engine if it went out in the middle of a forest.
Now the question: do you want a 2 cycle or 4 cycle engine.

PS: You can buy foam filled or air free bicycle tires so you would never have to worry about getting a flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One of the reasons I'd choose bicycle is noise. Those little engines can be quite noisey and can make it impossible for you to hear, but more importantly they can make you an easy target heard for some distance. I would think if I could use one of those I could probably use my pick up as well and would prefer the later. How loud are they? I have no experience with them and had thought about the electric kind that charge up as you pedal? I realize they have little power but being able to ride and not pedal for some distance would be helpful.
They're 2-Stroke and about as loud as a chain saw at full throttle. The last time I checked, there were sound deadening baffles available. If I were to attach an engine to my bicycle, it would be strictly for emergencies where it was crucial (life may depend on it) that I created as much distance as I could, as quickly as I could. They can maintain a higher speed for a much longer time than I can. For me, stealth is one of the top factors for owning a bicycle. I want to keep it that way if at all possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Good thread the Switzerland army is well know for their use of bicycles especially because of their citizen army. A small engine would be a great help and could be removed when necessary, and I was surprised just how cheap they were.
KingsMotorBikes.com - 2 Stroke Bicycle Engine Kits - 2 Stroke Gas Bicycle Engine Kits

After years of trail riding I came to the conclusion that one of the best vehicles to get you around in almost any situation is a small trail bike like the Honda xr-80 especially if you are with a few other riders. It is light enough that it can be lifted over downed trees get up to 50 mph on the road 100 puss miles to a gallon of gas, 5 gears for different situations ( I would put a bigger sprocket on the rear wheel). But a bicycle with an engine would be good as you could just remove the engine if it went out in the middle of a forest.
Now the question: do you want a 2 cycle or 4 cycle engine.

PS: You can buy foam filled or air free bicycle tires so you would never have to worry about getting a flat.
I would prefer a 4-Stroke for noise reduction and longer rides, but weight and size wise, a 2-Stroke is more practical, less expensive and overall, easier to maintain. The drawback to 2-Strokes however is the noise, the need for mixed gas and you can only run them so long before you have to shut them down and let them cool off. Which in my case, would be exactly when I needed it most. However, I have a 3 Horse Briggs and a 3 Horse Tecumseh I'm in the middle of re-building that are destined for use on motorized bicycles that will have an early 1900's replica "board track racer" look.

If someone should choose, or decide they absolutely had to have an engine on their bike and it had to be a 4-Stroke, I highly and absolutely recommend a 3 Horse Briggs or Tecumseh engine. They are cheap to come by; I got mine at a thrift shop for $5 each (they were on a couple of donated lawn edgers). There are a billion You Tube videos showing how to work on or build them (donyboy73/honeybunchickens). The parts are cheap and available (E-Bay), specialized tools (not many) are inexpensive and they are actually very easy to work on. Other options for 4-Stroke engines are gas powered pressure washers. The pumps on these things go out way before an engine does and people are looking to just get rid of them. This is a good way to get a Honda engine with OHV's.

And as I stated in an earlier post; Absolutely. When that engine is no longer of any use, away it goes. I don't need or want the extra useless weight. I might consider tossing it in the trailer for trading stock, but I wouldn't hang on to it for long.
 

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Bicycle riding is GREAT for fun, for fitness, and possibly as a viable Bug Out Vehicle strategy … for some. However, if you have visions of using your mountain bike as a genuine ALL TERRAIN vehicle, and taking it anywhere and everywhere, in SHTF and or TEOTWAWKI scenarios, you had better be EXCEPTIONALLY fit, and have had lots of experience.

YES,
a very good rider on a mountain bike or a down hill bike can do some amazing things in rough terrain, and make it look easy. But a not so good rider, or one who is out of shape and/or out of practice, can just as easily kill or seriously injure himself pretty quick.

I got my first mountain bike, a Specialised Stump Jumper, wayyyyy back in 1980, while I was living in Jasper National Park. I got into some fairly serious riding there … back then, back there, you had not really qualified as a TRUE mountain bike rider until you came around a corner on a mountain trail and surprised a Grizzly.
BTDT more than once.

Back then, all my riding buddies were younger and fitter and better riders than I was, but I tried to keep up … and paid the price for riding too fast, and above my level of ability. I have had more than my share of scrapes and bruises [and a broken hand that still bothers me when the weather changes ] from riding too fast, hitting some unexpected hole or bump, and doing a face plant on the dirt, gravel or asphalt. Once again, if you are young, and fit, and skilled, then a mountain bike can be a viable part of your bug out strategy. But if you ain't all of the above, then you might do yourself more harm than good if you tried to pedal your way out of the apocalypse.

I have had a mountain bike [ actually about a dozen different mountain bikes ] ever since those days in beautiful Jasper, wayyyy back in the 80s. These days, as a "Retired Gentleman of Leisure", I live on a small Gulf Island in the Pacific North West, I bike almost every day, and I love it. My regular route takes me from an isolated acreage, through some serious single track [ usually muddy, with Blackberry bushes and THORNS just waiting to snag you and drag you into their clutches, and with roots and rocks waiting to throw you off.] If fresh and just starting out my ride, I some times run this gauntlet riding on the bike. But if tired, and/or coming back, I usually push the bike along the trail. I have enough scratches and bruises as it is without adding more. Once I hit the gravel and pavement, the riding gets better, and circumnavigating my little island is a joy ... and good exercise too. But even the good roads have their hazards.

While riding my bike down a steep hill, at speed, I was hit by a car that underestimated my velocity and tried to make a left turn in front of me. The ^&&**(* driver left me staggering around on one leg in the middle of the intersection, and drove away. Fortunately I got his license plate #, and he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident. HIS insurance covered my physical rehabilitation [ 6 weeks ] and paid for a new bike. Now remember … this incident occurred during a calm, civilized time, so imagine what riding a bike through any kind of traffic could be like in a panic scenario … where calling an insurance agent after a crash is NOT an option.

Also, BE VERY AWARE THAT LOSING TOO MUCH WATER TOO QUICKLY CAN KILL YOU IMMEDIATELY, OR KILL YOUR PANCREAS AND TURN YOU INTO AN INSTANT TYPE A DIABETIC. This warning is NOT theoretical … a good friend of mine went from super fit to type A diabetic overnight because she failed to hydrate. YES, bikes can be a great way to travel and possibly to bug out with a decent load. I once did 100 miles on a hot summer with 40 lbs of gear … BUT I USED 6 LITERS OF WATER ALONG THE WAY TO KEEP HYDRATED. So plan on bringing lots of water with you [ the small hydration packs are great].

IMHO, bicycles might nor be the best choice as a BOV for most people and most scenarios. However, even though I am well aware of some of the hazerds of bicycling … even on the good days … I still have given considerable thought to bicycles as one part of my BOV strategy for both short term SHTF and definitely for long term TEOTWAWKI scenarios. Bottom line for all my Prepper planning is "nesting" or "layers" or "back up plans". Eg I carry a belt sized BOB that fits into a small DAY pack BOB that zips on to a Full Sized Backpack BOB that fits inside a BIG duffle BOB bag [ which can be turned into a monstrously huge back pack ] that fits inside my van or boat. And most of the time my BOV is a storage unit for all my recreational and survival gear, so it could be considered as just a bigger bug out box … self propelled .. with wheels.

As part of this "layered strategy" I carry a FOLDING bicycle on or in my BOV … van or motorhome or boat and also a FOLDING kayak. Possibly better than a spare tire in an emergency failure of the primary, and also usable independently from the primary. And both usable every day for FUN!!
[;{)

The Montague folding bikes are some of the best of the folders. The Montagues are full sized, and the Paratrooper model was designed specifically for the military.
Montague Folding Bicycles and Folding Bike Accessories | United States
These bikes have the advantage of taking regular mountain bike components, and they are almost as tough and solid a ride as any other good quality mountain bike. There is even a model [ cloned from the Montague design ] that takes an electric motor and built in battery,
cyclelution - Electric Folding Bikes

or kits to add electric motors to a Montague.
Biontague - Bionx electric motor and Montague folding bicycle
Neat stuff.

I currently have two folding bikes and one that started out as a regular mountain bike [ rigid rear "hardtail" with decent front suspension forks and disc brakes ] that I set up for long distance "adventure touring". By "adventure touring", I mean a bike that is capable of taking me and a load of camping/survival gear [ 40 - 60 lbs ] comfortably down the highway, down a dirt road, or through some EASY single track trails.

The difference between a serious touring bike and a serious mountain bike can be considerable. But if you start with a good mountain bike, and modify it properly, you can end up with a bike that will do both tasks fairly well. Depending on your bug out terrain and strategy, choose your bike and the components properly to match. I would not recommend that you start your BU/adventure touring bike build with a "hybrid" or "comfort bike", as these will not have the strength in the frame, suspension, or brakes to carry you and a heavy load reliably through rough terrain. Pick a good quality brand name mountain bike, and start there. Mine started out as a KONA Cindercone. The rigid rear allows mounting a sturdy rack and panniers, and I also have front racks attached low to the front suspension.


PS: if you want to consider a gas motor bicycle, and if you can afford it, rather than looking at add on kit motors, you might want to look at the MOTOPED. While the add on motors do have the advantage of being removable if gas runs out, the MOTOPEDS are just about the best blend of bike and motor anyone could come up with.
http://www.motopeds.com/

At one time I was the gear editor to MOMENTUM Magazine, which is dedicated to SELF MOTIVATED people. And by self motivated, they meant self PROPELLED. I wrote some articles for MOM magazine about folding kayaks, bike trailers, and folding kayaks. These articles were from a recreational user perspective, but some of the concepts translate over well to prepping. In fact, I see very little difference between most of my outdoors recreational gear, and my philosophy for prepping. To me, accumulating top quality outdoors gear and knowing how to use this gear is both recreation and serious prepping.

One of the worst things a serious prepper can do is live too much in the future, accumulating gear for "THE BIG ONE", never practicing with the gear, and leaving it in the closet for "just in case". I choose to live mostly IN THE PRESENT, and taking my bike for ride, with the panniers loaded down with recreational camping gear [ aka SURVIVAL GEAR ] is fun as well as good for me in so many other ways. Just like the so called prepper who stocks up on guns, without proper training on how to shoot, getting a bicycle and not riding it is probably more dangerous to your health than not having the gear. Remember, just because you bought a guitar, that doesn't make you a rock star or even a decent musician. And just because you have a bicycle, it doesn't mean that bike will take you very far if you haven't ridden it regularly.

Practice, Practice, PRACTICE.
That's how you get to where you want to go … EVEN ON SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS A BICYCLE..
[;{)
LAZ 1
 
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