Incorporating the Simple Living Review, the Preparedness & Self-Reliance Review, as well as the Outdoor & Survival Review

The Bicycle as Transport for Survival and Backwoods-Living

>One of the best modes of locomotion in the backcountry is on a bicycle. I'd be where I was going, settin' in the shade while someone else was still chasin' their horse across the pasture or gettin it saddled up. <

Is the bicycle, the bike, whether mountain bike or other, a viable option for survival transport and for transport in the backwoods? I should say so. More than viable even, in my view. It does neither use fuel nor does it require fodder. Requires no catching in the morning in the pasture or taking out of the stable, currying, feeding and saddling. Can be maintained by anyone with a wrench and a few other tools… The bicycle also has quite a load carrying capacity (depending on how well the bike is made) in itself with the right kit and with a trailer for it you can carry still more. Although often laughed at by other units, the bicycle corps of the Army does have a much greater ability than it is often charged with. No snorting horse to accidentally give your position away (unless your bike ain’t maintained and squeaks) and there is no need to tie or hobble the bike when you have to get down into position to observe an enemy or such. All that is probably also a reason why many police forces and ranger services and such once again are using bicycles in patrols.

Okay, I admit, you do not have the range with a bicycle than you would have with a car or truck but then you hardly ever hear of a bike getting stuck somewhere in the mud or running out of gasoline. Yes, there is much less speed with a bicycle and it all depends on you pedaling and your stamina and such. But then you get exercise, which is good for the cardio-vascular system. A horse is even faster than a bicycle, you say. Sure it is, on short spurts but generally its sustained speed unless you have staging posts where you can change horses is just a little faster than a person walking. So, the bicycle probably wins again. There is one advantage with a horse and that is that you can go thru mud with it where probably you would have to go round it with a bike and that you may be able to swim a river while holding on to your horse swimming. Bit difficult with a bicycle, I know and admit.

He who gives his child a bicycle give him the best toy ever and one that they will not grow out of. It will keep him occupied for hours and gives him good exercise at the same time. It also gives him some mobility with which to explore the “world”. And he can also range further in the pursuit of some kind of economical activities, such as earning money by going door-to-door sharpening knives and scissors or selling goods, such as recycled knives or even such humble goods such handmade clothespins.

© M V Smith

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