Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Biking through Disaster

Bowers Beach - DE - Source  Latimes.com
Every time we experience disaster or at least during the last 200 years, there is a constant that keeps showing up as a prevailing survivor, and perhaps more as a survivor's companion. A tool to emerge from debris and despair.  It's our two wheel hero, the bicycle.
As you can see in our  May 17, Biking the Way out of Disaster post, the bicycle is the one companion that prevails, that is not dependent on electricity, not restricted by satellite connectivity. The bicycle is blackout proof. Not constrained by fuel shortages and for that matter not affected by any of the other casualties and consequences of a disaster. 
In the aftermath of the Japan Earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown, all the shortages that followed could not stop this metal steed because the bicycle only requires you and your willingness to survive either by escaping or by staying to recover and rebound.

East River, NY - Hurricane Irene
Yet after you have used it and abused it and taken yourself to safety, you can leave your bike outside in the rain, in the wind, in the snow and whenever you decide to come back to it, it sure will be in the same place waiting for you.  What an unconditional friend. Only a dog would do that for you. The problem though is that your dog might need to be rescued also.  It's only fair. The bike however, is made for one thing and that is to take you places without requiring much from you.

Bay Shore NY  - Source -  NY Times

We have seen time and again during Hurricane Katrina, Irene, Sandy, Pedro, Maria, etc.  The one element that survives with the survivors along the damage is the bike. I have selected a few pictures that exemplify precisely that.   Having said that, I will also say that not always is a good idea to face nature with simply a bike.  Hurricane Sandy and most tropical storms will bring torrencial rains with high velocity winds.  Remember that a bicycle, as heroic as I might make it seem, only has the lineal support of two wheels.  As opossed to a car, which stands on a four-point support plus it has an iron cabin. Of course cars seem to be the first victims  of hurricanes.  If all else fails... RUUUUUNNNN!!!

Crawford, NJ - Source - Sternassociates.com
   Thanks to: The New York Times
                 Keith Bedford - Reuters
                 Karl Merton
                 The dailybeast.com

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