The post-apocalypse cyclist
One of my friends is a survivalist. He stocked up on canned goods and other non-perishable foods thinking that the end of civilization is near. And he's asking me questions about what bicycle to use after the world devolves into chaos.
It's a given that sooner or later our civilization will collapse. I lie awake nights thinking about it, and rather than dwell on the admittedly slim chance of nuclear war, a meteor impact, or an invasion of aliens from outer space, I prefer to think about the very real possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Some may scoff, but when you consider that there's probably a grad student somewhere thinking that a zombie chicken would be really funny, working out a survival plan is in our best interests.
Popular culture has given us a few road signs to follow toward Armageddon. I'm thinking about movies like "Sean of the Dead". If you look carefully in the background, zombies are everywhere well before the protagonist becomes aware of them. They're shambling to work and back or waiting in the queue for the bus.
It's true. They're already with us. As evidence, I give you my teenage son and his buddies. They all exhibit slack-jawed empty stares with their ear buds in place as they send endless text messages or play video games. They listen to factory noises and insist that it's music. Communication is through grunts, hand gestures, and a painfully bored expression. Their diet consists of prodigious amounts of snack food, microwaved cheeseburgers, and energy drinks. It's only a matter of time until their conversion is complete. One night they'll run out of Cheetos and switch over to eating brains. I keep my bedroom door locked.
“28 Days Later” should be taken as a cautionary tale about the dangers posed by fast moving zombies. They could run without fatigue due to lactic acid build up in their muscles. So a bicycle would be an essential survival tool. Some would think that a mountain bike would be best for escaping a slavering zombie horde, but I have another suggestion. Any decent commuter bike will accelerate and corner faster than a mountain bike, and since it's most likely to be needed in an urban area, good pavement will be available.
But please don't wait until the menace is nearly upon you, with teeth trying to bite your arm. Get a commuter bike and start training now, this very day, and if you use it to go to work and back, you'll develop those critical skills that can save your life when the zombies attack. Many drivers are zombies already. They just don't know it. You'll be ready when they turn. And if you hear a car emitting a thumpa-thumpa-thumpa loud enough to rattle the windows in nearby buildings, that's probably my son or one of his friends. Try to distract them with a bag of Cheetos, and then sprint as if your life depended on it. It's worked for me.