San Francisco faces many of the same geological dangers that Japan does, and when the earthquake and tsunami hit last month it was a wake-up call for many West Coast residents.
The San Francisco Chronicle published a great piece on how bicycles should be a part of your disaster readiness kit. Think about it: roads will be closed, traffic will be backed up beyond its already sad state, and a bike doesn’t require any fossil fuels or electricity, which with both likely be difficult or impossible to find.
As an example, 15 miles is a distance a non-cyclist can easily cover on a bike in just two hours, even through traffic and over and around obstacles. 15 miles is a long way in a quake zone. From San Francisco, depending on the state of bridges, 15 miles takes you as far north as Larkspur, east to the hills beyond Oakland, and south past the airport to Millbrae. (15 miles from the very center of the 1994 Northridge earthquake in LA would take you to the Light areas of the quake zone, far from serious danger.)
Some tips they offer for your "Quake Bike" include burly tires (not knobs or tread, but flat protection), spare tubes and a patch kit, a pump, racks, lights and maybe even a trailer. Sounds a lot like a sturdy commuter bike that many of you likely already own.
Got friends or loved ones on the West Coast? Here’s one more reason to talk them into trying cycling!
Photo: A man rides a bicycle on a still-flooded street at an area devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, Thursday, April 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)