I have a pretty decent mountain bike. Not the top of the line, but still pretty good…it’s a Gary Fisher that I paid about $500 for. For where I live and most of the errands that I need to run, it makes miles more economic sense than driving. Of course, for about five months out of the year its just too damn cold to ride it, but the rest of the time…
As Im sure you can imagine, the mountain bike has a few bonuses going for it as well, once you factor in the preparedness angle. I can avoid traffic jams and roadblocks, weave down alleys, sidewalks and between parked/stalled vehicles, requires no fuel, is quiet, covers a fair amount of distance, can handle logging roads and even foottrails in the sticks, and can carry an adequate amount of gear for immediate and short-term needs. (Esp. if I wear a backpack.)
Going back to the current apocalyptic paradigm of Katrina, anyone with a decent mountain bike, a map, a backpack, and 24 hours notice could have put some major distance between themselves and the worst-flooded areas. I remember seeing footage on 9/11/01 of people having to hoof it out of NYC. That can be a long walk in business attire. Even one of those funky ‘foldup/briefcase’ bicycles would have been several orders of magnitude better than walking…esp. if you didn’t know if things were going to get worse and needed to de-ass the area in a hurry. And, yes, I could also do all those same things, and do them faster, with a KLR650 or other motorcycle but, sadly, my budget can’t handle that right now.
I’ve been thinking about having the bike stripped down to the frame and having the frame powdercoated to give it an essentially impervious and protective finish…a nice olive green color with a matte finish. Although, I suppose, in a pinch I could just spraypaint the whole thing if I had to.
One of the things I need to do is pick up some maintenance manuals and tools and put together a bicycle repair/maintenance kit. Things like spare spokes, tubes, chain, links, cables, guides, etc, etc, as well as all the requisite tools like patch kits, pump, spoke tools, allen wrenches, screwdrivers, chainbreaker, etc, etc. Larger things like spare seat stems and wheels would, of course, have to go in the bunker.
I need to get a good pouch/bag to carry this gear. The requirements are that the pouch/bag be subdued color, immensely durable, versatile, capable of being carried independent of the bicycle (carry strap), affixed to the bicycle, and have the ability to be integrated (MOLLE, PALS, ALICE, etc) into a larger bag.
Interestingly, Im looking for a bag for my support gear for my CZ as well. I need a bag that meets the same criteria as above. I need to carry spare ammo, magazines, cleaning gear, scope tools, screwdrivers, range cards, spare sling and swivels, maybe a set of binoculars, etc, etc. Sort of a grab-n-go bag for my CZ550. And, like the bag mentioned above, it should be capable of being carried on its own through use of a sling or strap and should also be able to be integrated into a larger bag through the use of standard attachment methods/points.
A standard SAW ammo pouch comes close to what Im looking for and with a few minor modifications might work well, but I need to shop around a bit…hit the usual gearqueer sites like Kifaru, Maxpedition, etc, etc.
Speaking of my CZ, now that I have the lovely 8# keg o’ Varget to use I can accelerate my work on developing an ideal load for my .308. I’ve got some Sierra MatchKings to try out and also will be getting some Lapua .308 brass to try as well. I want to find a load that shoots well and then crank out about a thousand rounds of it to stock away. Then comes the fun part – calculating ballistics with things like time of flight, remaining energy, bullet drop, wind drifts, etc. at various ranges and making range cards. According to my software, assuming a target 6″ in diameter (about the size of someones face), if I sight in at 129 yards I can hold dead on out to 270 yards and hit within that 6″ target zone without having to worry about holdovers. Assuming my target zone is a 10″ circle (about a torso/chest size) I can sight in at 154 yards and hit within my target zone out to 330 yards.
What brings the good Commander Zero joy? Saving money and stocking his freezer..and if I can do each of those at the same time, all the better.
Case in point: ground beef. My local Albertson’s is only three blocks from my workplace, so each day around lunchtime I trot over and scope out the meat counter. Stuff that has hit (or is about to hit) its ‘use by’ date is put in a bin way at the end of the counter and marked down. Todays prize: 80/20 ground beef that was normally $2.99 a pound is in 1~2# packages at $1.69 per pound that’s about 44% off. Put another way, the $8.79 I spent to get 5.2 pounds of meat would normally have only gotten me 2.94 pounds of meat. Its like getting two-and-a-quarter pounds of meat for free. Darn near half price! Pays to shop smart, people! (They also had a few pork loin roasts and some angus beef marked down but I couldn’t really see them being as versatile as regular ground beef. However, on those occasions when they have a beef roast marked down, I try to get those since they are good for sandwiches all week.)
1/3 goes into the freezer for immediate use and the remaining 2/3 goes for the cryo-nap in my deep freeze downstairs (after being vacuum sealed, naturally).
There is no reason for anyone in this country to be hungry. If you can come up with $5 a day I can feed you until you bust. Last night I made shrimp fried rice and the cost was about…mmm…twentyfive cents for enough rice for two people…another thirty cents for three eggs..about twenty cents for one green onion…soy sauce was free since it was a packet from a Chinese take out…three bucks for some cooked shrimp (or I could use some of the even cheaper remaindered skinless chicken breast or steak and bring this in for even less)…so its about a $4 dinner, in terms of actual ingredients. That’s for two people, mind you…so that’s really $2/person. Still leaves me three bucks to feed you oatmeal, scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast and maybe some soup for lunch.
An interesting side note was that when I was cooking last night I had to restock the rice container that was on the kitchen counter. I got on the footstool, opened a cabinet and pulled down a white six-gallon bucket. Set it on the counter, unscrewed the GammaSeal lid and beheld bazillions of tiny grains of rice…all nice and safe, clean and dry, secured from rodent and insect problems, and when I scooped out a cup of the stuff it barely made a dent in the huge quantity that was there. Mmmmm…that’s security. I love that smug, satisified feeling of ‘Oh yeah, this was a good idea’.