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Sunday, June 7, 2020

pedal peddlers


PEDAL PEDDLERS
( warning: very poor Internet connection.  Please forgive delays in comments and e-mail )
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I mentioned a few days ago the huge bite out of my generous minions windfall I spent on bike parts, and I'd like to clarify and expand on that. I don't think bikes are essential for after the apocalypse. They are NICE, but they have a limited shelf life. Just like your deep cycle 12v batteries will die long before your solar panels, the rubber feet of your bike won't last as long as the metal above. Firearms and ammunition can in theory last several lifetimes, if its user isn't blasting away in orgasm inducing semi-automatic, sound and fury signifying nothing ( yes, yes, we'll agree to disagree ), and plastic might even come close to that longevity, protected from the sun.
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But some things you are just going to have to learn to say goodbye to sooner than you'd wish. You can still use a bicycle as a stationary machine, grinding flour or moving a metal grinding wheel or washing clothes ( one of the best parts of the movie Mosquito Coast. I haven't seen that one since it came out. I loved the book and read it several times, and the movie does capture some of that flavor ), but its use for transportation has limits. And no, you cannot use a hose or similar as a substitute. Lack of a cushion of air will break spokes and potentially crack welds. You can use improvised tires but that is just an End Of Its Life last ditch hack.
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It should also be noted that airless tires have had a hit and miss-mostly miss-history, but they CAN help keep your bike going past its normal expiration. In my opinion, however, you are getting a 20/80 trade-off ( 20% life increase for 80% more money. The reversal of the regular 80/20 Rule. I could be wrong. I just don't hold much hope after researching ). In short, for me personally, I feel a bike is one of those items to be used and enjoyed, a great tool, but not one that can be counted on for a significant period of time. It is firmly in the Oil Age camp, and sadly, the Consumable Replacement Camp like matches or Mylar bags.
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So why in the name of all that is good and holy and just have I put so money into bikes over the years, and just “wasted” my one off windfall on bike parts? Because while a bike has mostly down potential after a collapse, the odometer just ticking on its demise with every mile, DURING a collapse a bike just keeps saving you money and resources. With crap gas mileage and insurance, I was spending $20 each trip to town in my old beater pick-up, once a week. At the time bike tires were $15, front wheels $25 and rear $35. Tubes, even Green Goo ones, were about $7. How many bike parts could I buy, monthly, JUST from not burning gasoline ( over $4 a gallon, during the last economic crap storm )?
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Pedaling daily to work saved me $50 a week just in gas. And while the old workhorse did me proud and got the RV house up to where it needed to be, she was an old tired nag and was starting to need more work than the vehicle was worth. Just two relatively minor repairs and I was out more than what I just spent on years worth of bike parts. And the carburetor and clutch problems were meanwhile getting worse. No one is surprised that taking a bike costs almost nothing compared to running a motor vehicle. But a price comparison is the least of my concerns.
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My default setting has almost always been NOT owning a car. When I do get one, it hurts my budget far more than most people because I'm used to the savings. No, what had me concerned wasn't how much money I could save but rather, could I have a car at all? This is what most of you should be concerned with. It is why I bought the junk land I did-because cars will not be running soon. Bicycles will be the only option, and that option shrinks by the day. I have screamed and hollered at you incessantly to give up your car dependency. You looked at me as if I had a dingus growing out of my forehead. I said to that, hello! Anyone care to guess how long oil is going to last?
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Then the Fracking Fanboys grabbed their drums and sparkly unicorn glitter marching band uniforms and made lots of racket proclaiming Fracking Forever! Fracking Energy Independence! One Gazabillion years of energy! I told you years ago-YEARS AGO-that it was looking like 2020 was about going to be it for fracking, from its production history. Just as there was a tiny bit of fracking before it became our savior, there would have been some left, perhaps a million barrels a day, but it wasn't going to be enough to matter ( like ethanol, which did more to give us subsidized cheap meat than it did anything else. From that alone, meat price increases are not surprising ).
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What this economic depression means is that fracking isn't going to get a slow five year ramp down, but rather almost an all at once production crash. It also means overseas oil importation is going to be in danger, once the dollar inflates enough. The depression didn't kill the economy, fracking oil peaking last year in production caused an economy killing depression. Which kills fracking earlier. But it was going to happen anyway. Now, knowing all that, now that it is reality rather than a theory of mine ( “still a theory! Production resumes at a button push! Happy Motoring Forever!” I already hear you ), how do you feel about your auto dependency?
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But Jim, you Olympic god, 'Murica still has plenty of conventional oil, and it will be nationalized, and we can ration it and...Yes, yes, very good. I'm sure the most dire of dire scenarios shall not come to pass. Let us concede that. But now ask yourself, how am I going to AFFORD running a car? In case you missed it, government goods always cost more, and supply is disrupted and less produced oil means tar and asphalt shoot up in price and local states will be desperate for revenue, here in three...two...one...and bankers are desperate for profit as their derivatives holdings melt down and so jack insurance costs and car-jacking skyrocket from out of control crime which drives up insurance anymore and should I go on?
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Okay, I will. Tomorrow.
( .Y. )
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40 comments:

  1. WARNING: terrible Internet connection lately. Expect delays

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  2. If you planned properly, you could probably have bicycle transportation well into the apocalypse. As with all things post apocalypse related, the key is maximum simplicity, and the fewest moving parts as possible. Think mag rims (The one’s with 3 or 4 huge spokes. i.e. unbreakable) spare chains, airless tires, etc.

    That Penny-farthing bicycle of the late 19th century, was probably one of the best designs of all time.

    https://maas.museum/app/uploads/sites/7/2012/09/penny-farthing-IS-4527-0137.jpg

    Few parts, no chain, gearing was the huge wheel, and integrated crank/wheel assembly. Add a top-hat and frock coat, and that completes the ensemble. Sure, you’d look like an enormous:

    https://images.fordaq.com/p-17950000-17945192-1-M/Lemn-foc-deseuri-fag---320.jpeg

    But you gotta do, what you gotta do :D I remember this dude that used to cruise around town on a bicycle. The bike was really old, and had one of those banana seats. He wore a glittery top-hat, and suit, and the bike was outfitted with multiple sparkling whirligigs. This dude definitely took too much LSD in the 60’s. He also had a built in social distancing app. For everywhere he went, he created a wide berth :D (People fear crazy, so this might come in handy in the future).

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    1. Social distancing app; crap yourself. Stock diaper rash cream.

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    2. Too much bum exposure for you Jim. Your mentally corrupted, which is handy post apoc.

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    3. Though less efficient than a beach cruiser type bike, the BMX bikes have strong frames, large spoke poly rims, and are designed for more abuse. Slower for sure but still faster than walking and maybe 20 mph if you push it. Could still rig some cargo and more off road capable than a cruiser. And change the seat out. lol 20" tires and tubes are cheaper too. The rims may last forever. Am I to far down the bicycle rabbit hole? Yes you may look like a fool but I saw a homeless guy the other day on a BMX and had this thought.

      And of course I have always supported the small motorcycle idea. Heck my Sportster gets 50 mpg. A small street trail dirt bike is rated at 75-80 mpg. I could make 2 round trips to big town walmart on a gallon of gas or almost 3 to the smaller grocery. Carrying a fair amount of supplies. So $5 a trip at $10 a gallon gas? Granted I can do monthly trips with a vehicle, likely more trips needed on a bike but still a great transition vehicle. Insurance is about $7.50 a month or $90 per year. My paid for Tacoma gets about 23-24 mpg and insurance is about $70 a month. It will get unaffordable. Maybe one trip a month.

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    4. Actually, very strong points on the BMX. I'm too heavily invested in the cruiser, but for new folk...

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    5. My brother had a few of those BMX style bikes. They are very tough. Also agree on the small displacement motorcycle. Safety issues aside, it’s tough to beat em, pre-collapse. Really, by the time that you factor in the travel times, as well as the cost of your own time, the motorized option beats the pedal option, hands down. If you’re that concerned about petrol reliance however, go with the hybrid option. Meaning, the friction drive on a bicycle (You can get one pretty cheap at bikeberry.com, Jim) I’m that minion, and it was a good choice for me. My only mistake was not going with a girl’s, step through bike, since my tall 29” bike requires swinging your leg over the tall frame, resulting in nearly falling over every time you mount/dismount. Eventually, I’m going to switch though. I suppose I’ll have to get used to the taste of tomatoes, various other tossed objects, and homosexual slurs :D

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    6. Yeah, the ration of crap you get from your buddies for using a girls bike is pretty intense. :)

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  3. The no gas/crazy cost issue had me fantasizing about
    getting a mule/horse to go back and forth to town, LOL

    Rather I see the possibility of Uber style "taxi" rides
    in a buckboard subsidized by all riders. It could happen
    in very rural enclaves/consider the Amish, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just remember, pre-oil conveyance, our transportation ate 20% of the cropland here. Is that repeatable with our overpopulation?

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    2. also, it seems whenever someome bringd up four legged transport they forget about the waste aspect.

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    3. Waste HAULING aspect is bad, the waste itself is good

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  4. repeat: very rural enclaves
    Everyone can contribute a bit of food for "their"
    horse-mule mix animal. Is that communism?

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  5. Bison, why are you having internet problems? Is it just your house or neighborhood or all of Elko?

    Internet in my very rural location is very slow compared to big cities. And rumors are that the internet provider is letting the system fall apart around here.

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    Replies
    1. All over the local area, as reported by NOL going by her Facebook buddies. I think I'm beginning to believe the rumors

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  6. Right, and following. Stock a few >heavy duty< spec tubes and set aside sets of tires. I vacuum sealed the box of tubes with bold date and data info tags. The tubes I used a roll of saran wrap type food wrap (pallet wrap rolls give off too much oils or residues, don't like them for deep storage merch product contact) and wrapped up the back up set of tires like a mummy. Dry ass Nevada requires environmental measures like the swamp rat chaps back east oiling their erotic flir guns daily. Storage methods will make Bison kit last like egyptian tombs treasures. The bicycles mode is the best cost effective mobility option in intermediary collapse scenarios, highly valued equipment. Think of occupied europe, not total collapse but with fuel high costs, rationing, conflicts within resindency zones, the bicycle mode of transport was probably the tits for the spry chaps that were wise and had bicycles and kit. I would put it in equipment importance as solar panels, battery banks, and generators, as equipment that can be a suck ass money hole in gravy days, but are dandy to have in spicy times. Minionites that go deep in bicycle kit and own no other quaint beard boy queer gear is happily accepted onto encampents. Demonstrates thicker skin and moxie thinking.

    Stay peddaling and frosty.

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  7. Internet has been playing up here in Dingoland as well.

    I suggest it has something to do with the ongoing insurgency in the US (oh boy. I just watched a video of an Antifa chick getting vanned.) https://mobile.twitter.com/MAGAChronicle/status/1269512399393972225

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    1. Watched it, not sure what I was seeing. Anyway, I imagine the Internet is Next Shoe Dropping. As one might imagine, this has been a stressful day. Wondering about my job security now.

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    2. Your job security?
      Better have a mirror site, or better yet, get off these 'free' blogsites altogether and set up your domain presence elsewhere.
      Also, have ready the option to do mailed weekly subscriptions. Readers can contact you via email (now) or snail-mail (later if/when the Internet is pulled). Interested readers should get your mailing address NOW. As it stands, the Leftards need the Internet to do their comms, so they won't destroy their #1 need. But I wouldn't put it past mil ops.
      MT

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    3. What type of internet do you have? DSL?

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    4. Yes. NOL was on the phone an hour or two. Got them to do their magic, reset passwords and crap. Pretty sure the issue was on their end.

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    5. 4:18-which is why I have a web site and a paid for e-mail site, as back-ups. I get a whole 77 subscribers to my FREE e-mail newsletter, out of 1500 blog readers. How many do you think would pay for a snail mail letter? I'm going forward with plans anyway-I need to stock CD-ROM blanks and a dot matrix printer. That is my next major purchase. I hate to have to do it, but I have to keep writing. It is the only thing keeping me sane.

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    6. I went to your site ages ago and forgot about it. I have your email written down -- didn't know it was a pay-to-play, but that's great.
      You may only have 77 on record right now, but when things worsen, your subscriber base will increase unless/until those folks can't afford their monthly 'net charges. 'Course, there's always the free wifi but the library or cafe approach was nixed by Corona.

      Gack! I just gave a nearly new printer and also a scanner away...I'd have mailed them to you. Maybe a 'want list' near your stuff below?
      MT

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    7. I'm going with dot matrix because even a free printer rapes you on toner. Hate to ask for extra, because the support since Corona was Super, on top of the pre-Beer Virus support of "Above And Beyond". No, I'll just take out of regular funds. I might actually need to consider using savings rather than cash flow. On the one hand, I fear the post office going down soon, negating an investment, but on the other hand I fear the discs being unavailable or too expensive if I wait too long

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    8. Printers are a racket -- cheap to buy but as you say, the toner....
      CD-ROMs are phased out on most laptops. How many readers could work w/ CDs? And how many access the net via their smartphones? Better are the thumb drives, tho pricier.

      I may have an old external drive somewhere that can read CDs. I never seem to throw out old-tech stuff unless it's bulky. I've still got the old Win7 tower, so Im good w/ a CD.

      Too bad about your IP, been down that road many times. Boost wasn't too bad (no contract obligations so you can go month-to-month) but we found something better. Being rural has this one disadvantage but we managed how many decades before the WWW?
      MT

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    9. I don't expect many to do so, but laptop external CD drives are as low as $18 at Amazon. I found this out the hard way, after throwing away all my floppy discs ( they used to both be about the same price, floppy or CD RW's )

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  8. The North Vietnamese moved a couple hundred pounds PER BIKE down the Ho Chi Minh trail. which of course was mostly dirt, rocks and serious mountains and hills in a jungle. There would be some research for you.

    I read somewhere a few weeks back that some small ISP somewhere, like 50% of their customers didn't pay in April. (no source, can't even remember where i saw it)

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    1. Hmmm...much fewer customers paying than I ever would have suspected. And how fewer repair dudes are there?

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  9. What about the solid rubber tires? I know traction would suck but they should last awhile. I still plan on wrapping my bike rims with the tanned skins of my enemies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanned skin-yes, recycled materials, organic

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  10. Amazon is now supporting blm, and I am boycotting them. Sorry about the loss of revenue for you. I am fed up with all this crap.

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    Replies
    1. If able, please throw me the occasional bone through PayPal or even snail mail. Only if able, and only if there was value received. I think it is more funny than anything, waiting for one of their warehouses to burn before virtue signalling. But I get where you are coming from-they get more of working Whites business, then turn against us. Just like Wal-Mart.

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  11. I think I remember seeing wheel/rim/tire assemblies made of solid rock, maybe not quite completely round, that seemed to work well.....oh wait that was a comic strip back on the 80's when their were still Sunday papers with real, actually funny, comics.

    Never mind the rock wheel idea...go back to getting in shape and plan on walking a lot.

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    Replies
    1. The walking thing ain't as simple as it used to be, as shoes went from three hours wages to a weeks wages, AND the quality is still crap.

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  12. Horsepower. Centuries proven to be the most dependable.
    Ride and drive a horse.
    Those of us in the country think in terms of simple machines, and bicycles certainly are not.
    A solid horse, like a Quarterhorse, can work as a small draft-style horse, if trained and with the proper tack/harness equipment (ie saddle, and the collar and hames). Add in a buckboard and you can supply-up. Forget those stupid Amish buggies, it's a black cardboard box (and that is not a lie).
    MT

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    Replies
    1. Tack and a wagon are NOT simple. They are only lower tech.

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    2. Yeah they are basically simple. Fussy people complicated stuff like that. No gears, no fuel required. Bridles can be made w/ rope. No bits needed (hackamore headgear). Just have to know how to work a horse. And of course, have a horse. :-)
      MT
      MT

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    3. Indigenous personnel gear is the model.

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  13. A shout-out for Green Mountain Dude for bicycle information as well as wheelbarrow cart information - those rear wheels on leg supports - genius !

    Does anyone have a bicycle conversion kit to switch out bike chain for heavier duty motorcycle chain ? I'm sure you have to switch out the sprockets too but I think the chain would last longer, right ? Or maybe just purchasing a heavy duty bike chain is 'good enough' 80/20 logic.

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    Replies
    1. I had really good luck with a $10 German bike chain-but I'm not sure if they are still exporting.

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