Special thanks to Barb Chamberlain, chief strategic officer of Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes, for permitting us to repost this blog—originally published on the Washington Bikes blog on Oct. 25, 2014. (It has been published here in an edited format.)
Just in time for Halloween, your list of 13 reasons bicycles make the perfect vehicle for the zombie apocalypse.
1. In every disaster movie ever made, everyone fleeing the city in a vehicle ends up in a huge, hopeless traffic jam, AKA zombie smorgasbord.
2. Bikes let you dodge around not only that big traffic jam but all the other debris left by the looters.
3. By the time you realize things are getting serious, your neighbors have taken all the gas and diesel, and you can’t refill your car’s tank.
4. Zombies are drawn to noise, and bicycles make for much quieter travel than the internal combustion engine. (Sorry, electric vehicle owners, but the grid is going to let you down about the same time people realize the petroleum fuel distribution system isn’t ever going to work again either.)
5. Bikes will retain their value as an item of barter in the post-apocalyptic economy.
6. You can carry more on a bike than you can if you’re walking/running.
7. Bicycles are the most calorie-efficient form of transportation. When you’re scavenging for food and eating cold canned beans, every calorie you find has to go a long way.
8. See them coming! No constraints on your field of vision caused by the vehicle’s body.
9. When you need to stop for the night, you can climb a tree and pull the bicycle up with you or bring it into the building you’re barricading yourself into. Either way, you have a vehicle you can hide from passing zombies.
10. You’re not limited to roads for your travel; you have a wider range of escape routes from which to choose.
11. Mechanically a bike is pretty straightforward, and you can learn to repair it yourself and keep it running.
12. If your plan is to hunker down and shelter in place for a while and you own lots of bikes, bike frames make good bars for the windows.
13. In a really tight spot, you can keep the bicycle between yourself and the zombie as a barricade. Use it to push your attacker away and buy time while you draw your sword.
With all this in mind, maybe your next bike purchase should be one with the attributes you’ll need for a quick getaway:
- Hauling capacity
- Sturdy tires
- Quiet mechanics—ditch those spoke cards and buzzing freewheels
- Standard tire size so you can find parts
- Heads-up posture so you can see the zombies coming and fire your crossbow
Meanwhile, costumed bike rides let you add one more factor to consider: What if it’s true that you never really forget how to ride a bike and the zombies come after you on two wheels?