I have had a bike sitting in a corner of my garage for some time, since I no longer ride. It is something that I have been reluctant to get rid of because I always thought it could be useful in an emergency. Even if I couldn’t ride maybe, I could load gear on it and move it like the Viet Cong did. It could also be traded or loaned to others.
Well a friend of mine recently needed a bike and I though he can use it. So we got it out and tried it. Now I figured it has been setting for over 10 years without being rode. But it has always been kept out of the weather.
So we got it out, first the tires were flat and needed airing. The gears were stiff and needed a bit of oiling and adjusting. After about an hour’s work we got it functioning. This was not a big deal in today’s world. But in an emergency an hour could make a big difference. Now the tires still seem good, but time takes a toll. I suspect it won’t be long and it will need new tires and tubes.
Now I don’t have any spare tires, although I have one spare inner tube. If you are going to store a bike and are thinking about using it for transportation after TEOTWAWKI, you better have the supplies to maintain it. In addition to the supplies you need to ride it once in awhile so you know that it is still functional, plus this keeps your skill up.
Here is a list of parts and tools to maintain your bike
- Spare tires
- Spare tubes
- Spare cables
- A inner tube repair kit, get a good one
- Screwdrivers, hex and other wrenches needed on your bike
- Oil and other lubricants
- A good hand pump
- A chain tool
- Extra spokes
- Extra brake pads
Now for people who are still capable of riding a bike I would strongly recommend that you get one. They are easy to find used in garage sales and are quite cheap. I often see them for between $10 – 30. One solution may be to buy an extra bike or two for parts. Bike parts may be very good trading materials.
When I lived in a 3rd world country, bikes were commonly used for transportation and moving supplies. After an EMP incident or a gasoline shortage, bikes could easily become quite valuable.