The bicycle as a bug out vehicle

There are a few distinct advantages to using a bicycle as a bug out vehicle.

They are infinitely more portable and lightweight than a car or truck. Thus, you can store them in a basement or storage locker without much effort.

You can find them very cheap, even free, if you look around. Rummage sales, Craigslist, Freecycle, even friends or neighbors are great sources for cheap or free bikes. Many police departments sell off bikes they recover but go unclaimed. You can easily get enough bikes for a family of five for less than say thirty bucks. Clean them up, spend a few bucks on new tubes, and you’re good to go.

A bike is much more maneuverable than a car or truck, able to fit through the smallest gaps on the roads as well as going down trails barely wide enough to walk on.

Bikes are free to operate, requiring no gas, electrics, or oil (beyond lubing the chain and such periodically). Thus, the bike is pretty much EMP proof.

However, this brings us to one of the big downsides–YOU are the engine. While most of us learned to ride a bike when we were young, if you’ve not been on one in many years, be prepared for a rude awakening. It takes some time to get conditioned to riding a bike again. Just like any other form of exercise, you need to condition yourself.

Bikes can carry a surprising amount of “stuff” in bags of various configurations. But, since you’ll be the one moving all that stuff using pedal power, every ounce is felt.

You might consider as well using a bike just as a means of transporting your gear–loading it up and pushing it instead of riding it. You can carry a lot more weight that way, but obviously you’ll be walking instead of riding, thus moving slower.

Give some thought to picking up a cheap bike as transportation insurance against EMP if nothing else. Don’t worry, you’ll quickly remember how to ride it. After all, it is like riding a bike, right?

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

3 thoughts on “The bicycle as a bug out vehicle”

    1. If you do get a trailer, I HIGHLY suggest you practice riding with it loaded up. It can be awkward at first and takes some getting used to. We have a trailer that is designed to carry two children side by side. Now, we’ll use it in a pinch for transporting gear or whatever. But, that added weight can throw you off until you get used to it.

  1. Your trailer is a good idea… I have one that I build and at this time it is my BOV your right you need to use it all the time I have use it to go to the grocery shopping and other things…Here is one wed site that might help people that may be interested in:
    There is also a good book, which you can get at the library (or inter library loan) call:
    The Cart Book with plans and projects by William L. Sullivan ISBN 0-8306-1512-1
    I hope this will help someone…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *