Thoughts of a Third Wheel

So. Bicycles.

I’m going to be right up front about this: I don’t care what you’re driving on the road.Car, truck, bike, tractor, whatever. If you’re on the road, you need to obey the rules of the road. Full stop.

So technically the problems I have with bicycles are more a problem with bicyclists. Seriously, guys, you’re not helping your case of “cars should be more careful!” when you ride far enough into the lane that it’s impossible for cars to safely pass you, dart into traffic, drive at night without lights, or run red lights in front of someone who’s making a right-hand turn. Not. Helping.

That said, under certain conditions a bike can be a useful survival tool.

For one thing it builds endurance. Though this may not translate directly into, say, running for your life from the slavering zombies. The muscles you build up are different. Still, exercised lungs are always a plus.

For another, it’ll generally get you around places you want to go even under less than ideal conditions. Road flooded? Depending how deep it is, a bike will still get through, without shorting out or trapping you behind steel and glass if you make a tiiiiiny misjudgment of how deep it is.

(Seen on a local news report some months back: “Sir, you can’t go that way. See that white spot under the water? That’s the top of a pickup just like yours….”)

For a third – it may up your chances of survival by forcing you to pay attention to your surroundings. After all, if you wouldn’t leave your bike there, maybe you shouldn’t be there either.

Though I make no promises that a bike is less likely to attract zombies than your average car. It all depends on how the zombies are tracking prey. If they’re going by sound? Sure, a bike can be quieter, if properly maintained. But if they’re going by scent, and you just got off a long uphill climb… well. Oops?

16 thoughts on “Thoughts of a Third Wheel

  1. Bikes can be picked up and carried over bad enough terrain, and still provide mechanical advantage over walking. Heck even just pushed they allow you to carry far more than you can on your own.

    For historical examples checkout the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam or the Imperial Japanese Army campaign to take Singapore from the landward side. In both cases bicycles were used not just to move troops, but as major parts of the logistics transport.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of these days I will finish designing my super tricycle with trailer.

    Probably end up being an electrically aided bike, since it’ll need it to have lights and such on it anyways, depends on local laws.

    DEFINITELY a “nothing over 35” vehicle.

    Something for folks who can’t drive cars.

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  3. So Zombie Apocalypse, It’s Argo’s Guide to Transportation!

    Obviously, the best choice is still a Skylark. However, not the DuQuesne. No offense to Blackie and Hunky, but them and all that crew are much more of an infection risk than just the other six.

    The thing to keep in mind is the impact of transportation interruptions on just in time inventories. Typical automobile models have huge variations in suitable part options, and are fed by suppliers drawing from a wide range of manufacturers.

    Electronics depend on battery supplies, or on electrical generation, which is limited by mechanical parts. Mechanical parts depend on feedstock metals, machine tools, lubricants, and power for the machine tools.

    I couldn’t tell you how to use those to keep yourselves in a supply of parts, hence repaired vehicles. But bicycles have lots better commonality of parts than automobiles, and there are a lot of them, so scavenging can work in a case like this where scavenging is an option.

    Yeah, that may wind up being the voice of Argo from my WIP. Which is not a Skylark cross, her father was nerd enough to name her Norlamin. Hammer from Aria of Sorrow was likewise, very different father, named after Alois, and likewise prefers using the middle name.

    I may have still wrote it too much from my knowledge base, and not enough from what Argo would have.

    And now I have a stupid punning bunny going on about a certain Arisia of the Sorrow. And another one making an attempt at making the case for a Log Horizon cross, especially at this late date, based on ‘a certain Akatsuki of the Sorrow’. *head desk, head desk, head desk*

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  4. Bicycle can also get into other areas that a car can’t simply because it’s smaller than the car. Places with a lot of trees, for example. Through one might want to grab a trail bike or something along those lines – some bikes have tires that don’t do well off paved surfaces.

    Of course, off-road or on-road being better for survival would depend one whether or not if it was safer to stick to the open road (easier to see the monsters coming) or in the woods and therefore out of the open (’cause standing out in the open is asking to be monster chow . . . also the woods might have more food than many stretches of highway) . . . or maybe you need you do the combination, sometimes open-road, other times duck into the woods.

    Zombies that track you by scent have got you pretty bad regardless of your method of transport. Even if they cannot smell you specifically over the smells of say, the big train, the monsters might be smart enough to learn that the big, noisy train has the food (aka humans) in it.

    Hopefully, your method of transport during the monster / z-poc is more help than hindrance to your survival.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. One problem is your sense of distance is off when your in a car or outside it.
    I know that when I’m driving, people on the sidewalk can seem too close sometimes, but when I’m walking it feels like there’s plenty of space.
    So a biker might think there’s plenty of space when no sane driver will want to zip by at 35 mph.

    There is a residential neighborhood near my apartment that had a 4-lane (2 each direction) road with light traffic.
    The problem was it also had parallel parking, and it wasn’t quite wide enough for a parked car and two driving ones at the same time.
    The cities solution was to turn it into a 2-lane road (1 each direction), with bike lanes and parking lanes.
    This works decently well, the bikes have plenty of room near the center of the road, the parked cars have space, and the drivers are less twitchy since there is no passing for the ~1 mile stretch.
    On the other hand, I’ve never seen someone biking in that area…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve done a fair amount of biking. Not in a while since I don’t have my traditional bike up here (and boy do I miss my 27 yr old mountain bike!). But I could go a lot of places walkers (not Walkers) can but at a much faster speed. Good times.
    But I just want to yell at bikers when they are going against traffic on the side of the road. Walk against traffic and jog, run, of bike with it. It isn’t rocket science. Those times I was “against” traffic, I made darn well sure I was in the grass and as far from the road as possible.
    My complaint about drivers is when they don’t look at intersections. I trust NO ONE when I bike. Even if I have the right of way, I’m still going to lose against a car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The off-the-road-facing-traffic is just good sense when you are a wheeled pedestrian; of course, there’s the huge issue of the folks who want to drive like a vehicle but play pedestrian to dance around traffic.

      Liked by 1 person

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