After the recent earthquake in Japan emergency preparedness became a hot topic here in Vancouver. Apparently the west coast of bc/washington is due for a real game-ender quake. (The most definitive predictions I found in a quick search was 27% chance of a magnitude ~9 quake in the next 50 years – such precision!) I have overheard many people talking about their own emergency supplies and plans and our condo building even hosted a seminar that was facilitated by a local emergency supplies retailer. CBC offers advice on “surviving the moderate ones“. No advice is given for apocalypse.
My own preparations involve a bicycle that does not belong to me. It has been sitting near my building for over a year. In that time it had not moved until last month – so it is not completely abandoned. It used to be locked up by a chain loosely draped around the seat post. It is now locked up by a double wrap around the seat post. I am considering the bicycle as something I may loot if “the big one” crumples my home, denying me access to my bike in the underground parking. I would then use it to ride out of the city and escape all harm.
A few nights ago, after a libation or two, it was decided that the apocalypse bike needed a test ride. It was definitely not up to code. A cursory inspection revealed a badly rusted drive train, rear shifter housing that has been through a combine harvester, handle bars on upside down, front brake handle miss-configured and that is just the start. My cohort and I fixed the handle bars and brakes and rendered it capable of using three different gears. Then we went on a 2 am test ride. The bike was locked back in place by 9 am in slightly improved condition.
I think I may make more covert repairs to this bike. Just in case.