Was it really April 2011 that I posted on the wisdom of having a bicycle as a transportation backup in the event of disaster?
It was with interest that I read the cover story on the current issue of Bicycle Times: Bikes to the Rescue. A series of three articles described the bicycle-innovations of New Yorkers after the devastation of superstorm Sandy, and emphasized that some of the infrastructure was in place to accommodate a trebling of cycling traffic when subways and buses were suddenly unavailable. There was reference to how bicycles were used to deliver supplies and how a bicycle-powered cellphone charging station was set up on the street.
Another of the BT stories talked about cyclists can make themselves disaster ready (puncture-proof tires, simple platform pedals, fenders and lights are all musts), and a third detailed a Portland, Ore. bicycle relief obstacle event, with various types of cargo and freight bikes delivering necessary relief supplies. Inspired by the need to get around quickly in Haiti after the quake there, the lessons learned by emergency measures agencies could be applied to any venue where roads are blocked, power is out and fuel is limited.
If you don't want to wait for the paper copy of Bicycle Times to be delivered to your door, you can subscribe to Bicycle Times online, and there's even a version for those of you who have snagged a new BlackBerry 10.