RAMBO KILLING MACHINE*
note: be a good minion and sign up for this guys e-mail notification for new posts. Bison Seal Of Approval. I've told you about him before, but if you'd sign up already I wouldn't have to bother informing you each new article. This last one was darn skippy great, the cargo bike. Makes me want one if I knew I wouldn't burn off my junk trying to weld ( shop class experience leads me to fear for body parts ). Green Mountain Dude
Sigh. Sometimes you don’t necessarily want to write an article but people force your hand. Here I was all innocently looking through my normal mail, a weeks worth consisting of two pieces of junk mail and either a doomer catalog or a gun magazine ( the mags dwindling away to nothing as I shan’t waste money renewing subscriptions. I got lucky the other week and got a huge score of gun mags at the library free rack, some of which were the Shotgun News survival rag “Be Ready”. I haven’t read in depth but it sounds like a bunch of product placement BS. We’ll see. I also got 9 issues of the old Soldier Of Fortune’s “Fighting Firearms” from the mid-90’s. If you want to deal with trying to sell them on E-Bay, pay for shipping and they are yours ), and I thumb through my Sportsman’s Guide catalog expecting nothing much new but an e-bike catches my eye. An off road fat tire multi gear mountain bike with motor assist. Named “Rambo”. Could I make this stuff up? I try to look away but like a car accident involving a bus from an orphanage, small doll size limbs strewn about, I became hypnotized by this printed piece of perversion. Five grand for an electronic bike, presumably for a silent escape and evasion during the zombie apocalypse. Jesus weeps.
Look, I can ALMOST see paying a thousand for a military surplus Swiss army bike. The old one, obviously built around the time the Nazi’s are stockpiling gold teeth in Swiss bank accounts ( I’m no fan of Nazi’s, but biohazard genocide practitioners shouldn’t be so quick to judge a sovereign nation uninvolved in the fighting choosing to appease a giant well armed neighbor ), not the newer ones looking like they were just freshly shipped from China. I love Sportsman’s Guide and they are one of the best companies around, but sometimes they play a little too close to the line. Their genuine military surplus shaving brushes became so popular they kept the product, but substituted a new Chinese product. Used four times a week, mine lasted about a year. One assumes the new Swiss “surplus” bike is somewhat similar. For the military collector, what could be cooler than a genuine, in working order-although good luck finding replacement parts unless they were made to American dimensions-war surplus bike to tool on down to the gun store in? But five grand for an electric bicycle? How insane do you really have to be? A FLIR scope would be preferable, and you all know how I feel about those retched hunks of vile crap.
The ad proudly displays the name, RAMBO ( one wonders if the author of “First Blood” is receiving a royalty, or if it all goes to the movie studio. Never cared for that authors work. But I wonder how much they did pay in royalties. It brings to mind that old Rambo survival knife with all the crap stuffed in the handle, cheaply as cheaply could be made ). It then wastes no time explaining to you that it incorporates a “specially designed frame to accommodate many different rider sizes”. I’m not sure if this is just the way my brain is wired, but to me what they are actually saying is that Fat Humpers can safely use this bike. Okay, I get it. Fat is most of the population. You need to “tap in” to the fat market to make money ( get it? Tap in. Tappin that big ol boody. No? ). And to be fair, if you forego the extra shocks, the version with 25% less power does ONLY run you $2600 rather than $4600. Wow, be still my heart. And front and rear racks only add on another $100. $2700, $2800 if you get the cool, radical camouflaged motorcycle helmet, and you can zip along at a robust maximum speed of 19mph. And that is while NOT pedaling. Such a deal!
Hoymal! Hoymal! Come over and take a look at this! Five Cents Off! You know, if you also start pedaling, you get to go an extra ONE mile per hour. The thrill of twenty miles an hour, while looking Tacti-Cool, for under three grand. Barely under three grand, but if you order now you can “empower yourself and push your adventure to the limits”! Oh, did I happen to mention the fat cool to the max radical tires? The ones that cost $100 each for replacement ( verses $15 for a normal 26 inch beach cruiser tire )? Spending that extra on mere tires should jack up your street cred. If any of you homo’s buy this bike, I’ll kill you ( “Stripes” reference ). The most expensive version, the one two thousand dollars more, besides the extra shocks, has enough extra juice for another FIVE miles per hour, by the way. Do you see where my hate and discontent is coming from? How about you build your own for $600? It isn’t as cool, and I’m sure you can’t get up to twenty MPH ( although I imagine if you are pedaling at 9 mph taking it easy, going ten or fifteen without pedaling is going to be just as practical ), but come on! $600 verses $2600?
What could you do with that extra two grand? Quite a bit, in the Frugal Prepper universe. If you upgrade a Wal-Mart single speed 26 inch bike for $200, then buy a $200 front wheel electric motor for $200, add in $100 in motorcycle size batteries and $100 in racks, you’ve got yourself an electric bicycle. You can even substitute a mountain bike for about the same price ( just far more cheap parts to break ). You take three 12v batteries and wire them up together to get the 36v motor running, and those don’t look as cool as the specialty battery attached to the frame, but they are cheaper and easily replaceable. Everything, being built by you from available parts, is easily fixed by you. Could you easily fix this $3,000 turd? Perhaps. But if you could fix it, why not build it yourself for 25% of the price? These are the kind of boy toys creeping into the doomer market I despise. Granted, it is sold as a fun alternative to an ATV or whatever ( which themselves go for 50% more than what a imported car went for twenty years ago. Good thing inflation is only 2% officially. Don’t get me started on resource contraction inflation ), not survivalist gear. But they are a good source of equipment for preppers, so you know a few are going to think about it at least.
I understand that my version is more urban tactical than wilderness zombie evasion, or even a-hunting-we-will-go ready ( the deer cart is available for the Rambo for only another $200 ). Three batteries wired together is going to tend to attempt escape unless you can weld a good retaining bar to hold them. But shouldn’t you be trying for urban e-commuting rather than fun off-roading, anyway? If you are so old a regular bike scares you, you’ll be needing a trike bike anyway ( pretend you are the old guy on the motorcycle club TV series ). Which is perfect to electrify. Even if you are still using your bike for much needed exercise to alleviate early death or hospitalization ( but then, I repeat myself ), using the motor as an assist rather than a replacement for manual labor means you can travel far distances as a matter of course, and add a trailer. Add a trailer and you don’t even need to own a car. You’ll be the envy of all your friends ( damn, Ethal, he done got himself a $900 car! Trailer and solar panel included! ). If you buy the Rambo, you will probably be mocked and ridiculed ( you spent $3k on a Chinese piece of crap? ).
Or at least you should be. You just had to spend $15k on an ATV. Next up you’ll buy a $5k bicycle. Really? Would you get even half if you sold the ATV? The bike, perhaps a fifth? These are money pits. Toys. Am I wasting an article talking to my loyal minions about the obvious? I don’t know. You would like to think so. Well, like I said, I had to write this. I couldn’t allow such marketing buffoonery to stand. And it did give me a chance to mention an electric bike again. Which I think is a perfect compromise between Bike Only and Car Only. Much cheaper than a moped, unless you get the Chinese one with the Chilton manual to repair yourself, then most likely the moped is a better buy ( except you can’t pedal that one home if the motor breaks, nor power from the sun. Okay, never mind. Go with the e-bike instead ). If you are going to get run over on a bike, do it cheaply. But also remember, biking was way ahead of the curve a few years ago, very soon it will look like a smart bet, and not too long after that it will be the only way you’ll be able to travel.
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