According to scientists out there, everything's going to fall apart soon no matter how hard you try to cut your carbon footprint to kid-size. So it's best to know now that when the world does come to a screeching halt, you're better off on a bike than in your Prius or your Tesla. And you're definitely better off in anything but a Land Rover.
But you want to be on the right bike when the time comes -- right?
We broach this topic only because it seems every time we pick up a newspaper, someone's saying we're headed toward an Apocalypse of some sort. With that in mind, we decided: :What better way to ride into the nuclear winter after peak oil than on a human-powered bike?"
Think about it: A bike is the perfect end-of-the-world vehicle -- they're self-propelled, they can traverse rough terrain, and they're relatively easy to repair.
The latest doomsday prediction is The Minimal Model for Human and Nature Interaction. This is a rare academic paper that made headlines because a.) it predicts the collapse of civilization and b.) it is funded partially by a grant from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Usually, doomsayers aren't funded by such reputable government organizations.
Per the study:
Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.
Since there's probably not much chance of that happening, my advice is to buy an Apocalypse bike. Luckily, the "prepper scene" has long been pro-bike as bug-out vehicle. Preppers -- if you don't know -- are those people who live their lives preparing for the kind of apocalyptic situation that they eloquently call a S.H.T.F. (Shit Hits The Fan) scenario. This could be anything from nuclear attack, to ecological cataclysm, to zombie apocalypse. It's always a little vague.
If that nebulous end-the-world scenario comes to fruition, the thinking goes, that you'll want to head to the hills, get away from population centers, and defend yourself from the ravening hordes. Good thing that somebody thought of a bike that will be able to do that:
Cogburn is making "hunting bikes" on the relatively new fat bike platform. You get "massive 3.8-inch wide tires" to roll over obstacles like human skulls, piles of worthless currency, and first generation iPads. RealTree Xtra® camouflage paint helps you hide from the roving bands of cannibals. It's also got three standard water bottle cages because potable water will likely be scarce, and of course, a gun or bow mounts.
This insane race is the bike version of the Iditarod:
I would also make sure that you get a generator with something like The Plug from Supernova, if you want to keep your smartphone or other gadgets running after the power grid fails. Even if the wireless data network falls apart, you may still want to use a calculator, or keep track of when the last time was you saw another living person.
You may listen to some comforting music, like this Godspeed! You Black Emperor track. And don't forget to charge up your Kindle so you can read The Road on those long lonely nights in the wilderness.
Leif Haven is a writer and cyclist living in the Bay Area. He's can be spotted dragging himself up a hill -- literally and metaphorically.