Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Getting Around - Alternative Transportation

Have you ever thought about how often you use your vehicle to accomplish daily tasks? We are an automobile (that includes trucks and SUVs) intense society. Not many among us walk very far. Of course there are exceptions, but most of them do their walking for recreation, not to obtain the necessities of life.

So, what would happen if, for whatever reason, it was no longer possible to use a car for your daily activities? Could be a fuel shortage (or maybe it just becomes too expensive) or some kind of disaster that breaks up the roads so they're not passable. How about an EMP that knocks out all electronics, including what it takes to keep an engine running? What then?

We need to be thinking in terms of alternative forms of transportation.

  • Walking — it's slow and takes more energy (read caloric consumption) that some other options, but it's reliable as long as you're fit and have good shoes. Getting fit is simply a matter of practice. Walk every day. Begin with a distance and pace you're comfortable with, and every 10 days increase your distance by 25%. You'll know when you're ready to increase the pace. The important thing is to not overdo it and cause an injury that lays you up, because then you'll lose the fitness you've built up. Wear shoes that are supportive and comfortable enough to allow you to walk for 5 miles or more without foot fatigue. 
  • Bicycle — much easier and faster on level ground and going downhill. You can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time. My average cruising speed on my fat-tire mountain bike is about 15 miles per hour without too much exertion. To cover 15 miles on foot would take 5 or 6 hours and leave me very foot weary and tired, as well as depleted of caloric energy and hydration. Granted, not all of Earth's surface is level or downhill — When traveling uphill, if it becomes too difficult to pedal, hop off and push the bike. The bike becomes a mule, able to bear a fair burden on a rack or in panniers supported by racks across front and/or rear wheels. Add a day pack to your back and you can carry a lot of supplies pretty easily. A fat-tire bike with at least 21 gears is best, especially if the path is rough or strewn with rubble. My advice is to get used to riding now, so it isn't a new and challenging experience when you need to use the bicycle as your primary form of transportation. 


  1. I have a little 35 cc four cycle gas motor off of a scooter, and mounted it on a couple of bikes a few years back.

    I think with the proper gearing it will make a bike go as fast as I would want one to go, but the way I set them up I got 18 MPH, and that was going up most hills also.

    And they get over 100 MPG.

    But I prefer a riding mower with a cart so I can pack stuff, in dire times I think I would want to pack stuff out to my hideout.

  2. I'm not into 21 gears but I still have my old three speed that I've put a lot of miles on.