Greetings from the future. I send you this message back through time (WordPress started having the feature of being able to post backward in time beginning in build 5.2.1c) as guidance, and as a warning.
The Zombie Apocalypse is coming. You have seven months to prepare. Yeah, I know. Some of you are saying, “Hey, seven months isn’t exactly a lot of time to prepare. As long as you’re sending blog posts into the past, why didn’t you send it back ten years? Or at least five?”
To that, I respond: I wasn’t even blogging ten years ago, so that’s stupid. And if I had sent this post back five years, you would have had plenty of time to rationalize why it was just a silly joke—a fabrication—and you would have let your preparations lapse.
Most of you will do that anyway. (I say this both as a person with knowledge of what you consider the future, and as a person who understands the personality profile of my blog readership.)
But for those few of you who choose to take this seriously, I have some life-saving tips.
First and foremost, start riding your bike more. Ride every day. Ride as if your life depended on it.
Because it does.
See, as it turns out, cars won’t do you a lot of good once the Zombie Apocalypse begins. Sure, they’ll be great for getting away while you’ve got gas in your tank. But before long you’re going to run out. And the lines at gas stations are going to be long. Which, by the way, the zombies figure out pretty quickly. (Also, they figure out how to break windows.)
And then the gas supply dries up. And the roads get clotted with cars, making it pretty much impossible to get anywhere in a car.
But a road jammed with cars still has plenty of room for bikes to get around (ask any big-city cyclist; they’ll tell you. Endlessly.).
So start getting in shape. Get used to riding. Toughen up your butt. And—this is very important—don’t forget to do intervals. It’s impossible to overstress the value of the ability to accelerate and hold a sprint for about 200 yards. This will distance you from all but the fastest zombies (the exception being Usain Bolt [yes, he’s now a zombie], but if he chases you, you at least have the consolation of knowing you were captured, killed, and eaten by an Olympic superstar). By the time you’re that far away, the Zombie will have forgotten you (Zombies have notoriously short attention spans, and nobody has really taken it upon themselves to find out if Ritalin helps).
Also, you should work on skills drills. Practice hard stops and sharp turns. Yes, partially to give you the know-how to avoid zombies that surprise you by jumping out from behind large objects (cars, mostly). But also because in the future, auto drivers (the smug bastards who hoarded gasoline) totally ignore the three-foot foot rule.
Keep Your Bikes In Good Repair
If you are a professional bike mechanic, you are in a peculiar position: you are set to become either the most powerful people in your general geographic location, or you are about to become captive to one of the most powerful people in your geographic location.
My recommendation: learn kung-fu.
For the rest of you, now is a good time—a really, really good time to learn how to maintain a bike. And it’s a not half-bad time to consider getting a singlespeed. Chain suck always sucks, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more sucky time to get chain suck than when you’re being pursued by a zombie.
(Word to the wise: in an emergency, a quick release skewer can be used to skewer more than a wheel. Provided you’re quick enough with that quick release.)
As it became clear to the world that the Zombie Apocalypse was nigh, people began to hoard. Sadly, however, many people hoarded very stupid things.
Specifically, people thought that hoarding cigarettes would be a good thing to hoard, with the expectation that cigarettes would make an excellent portable, high-value fungible.
This was, as I mentioned, stupid. Really stupid.
First of all, smokers—thanks to their hacking coughs, strong odor (zombies have a heightened sense of smell), and reduced lung capacity, smokers make easy pickings for zombies. And as the number of smokers decreased—and the number of surviving smokers who suddenly decided to quit sharply increased—cigarettes were definitely a buyers’ market…and nobody wanted to buy.
You know what is in strong demand in this post-apocalyptic hellscape, however? Stan’s Tire Sealant. With broken glass (from cars, see above) pretty much everywhere, the ability of your tire to survive a puncture is pretty much synonymous with your ability to survive, period.
It’s not a bad idea to stock up on tires, while you’re at it. And lube. And flat pedals (clipless pedals are currently not in fashion, for reasons I think might are probably pretty obvious.
Oh, and buy a good helmet. Not as protection from crashes necessarily, but as a way to avoid being bitten on the head. Zombies like to go straight for the brain, and a layer of styrofoam between your noggin and the ravenous undead can be downright helpful.
If you’ve put on a few pounds this past winter, allow me to recommend you do everything you can to keep that weight on. Having a few extra pounds on you might be the difference between surviving for the first three weeks of the Zombie Apocalypse…and not.
Hey, why do you think I’m the one writing this blogpost of warning, while other much thinner cycling writer types aren’t? It’s because with their they all died of hunger, about twenty minutes after the last batch of kale was looted from the local Whole Foods market.
So, eat up (to a point).
[Full Disclosure: In fairness, I should point out that I have a somewhat selfish motive in recommending you gain a few pounds. Specifically, those of you who take my advice to heart a little too literally will be slower than me. Which means zombies will catch you first. Plus overweight zombies are easier for me to outsprint.]
Finally, one last word of advice: get a good lock and chain. Your bike is more valuable than you could ever have known.
And be of good cheer. As a cyclist, your chances of survival in this Zombie-infested nightmare are better than just about anyone else’s.
They’re not as helpful against the sentient humanoid killer robots, but that’s a matter for a different post.