Food? Check. Water? Check. Tools and other supplies? Check. Do you have the entire rest of the list? Check. You are prepared and ready for an economic collapse, a catastrophic natural disaster, a terrorist attack, martial law, and a host of other scenarios. In fact, you have even convinced your family and friends to get prepared and they have totally bought in. Then that day arrives, and the power is out. The banks are closed. Water and gasoline are being hoarded. There is no phone, no tv and no Internet. On the radio, there are only official broadcasts, but these don’t tell you much, and can you even trust them? You also notice that you haven’t seen your postman lately. That is because he is at home taking care of his own family, and so are the UPS and Fedex guys. It is then that you think, “I prepared and I had my loved ones prepare, but they are across town, in another city, or across the country.” You suddenly realize that you have no way of communicating with them. You wonder, “Are they okay? Are they sick? Are they even still alive?”
Now is the time to solve this often overlooked emotional and psychological land mine. Now is the time to put the structure in place for “The Cycle Express”.
First, here is a quick history lesson. During the civil war, there was a need to communicate with the western part of the United States in the most efficient way possible. Horses were the most accessible means of rapid transit available at the time; thus, the Pony Express was born. Over 200 riders were able to cover 250 miles a day each with the mission to deliver messages back and forth across the country.
Well, I daresay most of us don’t own a horse. Also, it may be that putting together a network of cowboys to traverse the width of North America is a bit ambitious. However, many Americans do own a bike, and for those of us with loved ones scattered 20, 40, 60, or even 2000 miles away, now is the time to assign outposts, waypoints, and riders or cyclists to relay messages.
This is a fairly simple task, but if it isn’t done ahead of time, before TEOTWAWKI, it becomes exponentially more difficult.
This is how to do it:
- Make two lists of people. The first list is those people in your immediate circle (those family, friends, and acquaintances who you trust and who live within a one day bike ride from you). A typical distance for an average person to bike in a full day is 60 miles (or possibly 80-100 miles for cyclists). Keeping in mind that if this person is the full 60 mile distance away, an overnight stay would be needed, so it is best if the round trip is 60 miles rather than just a one-way trip. If you want to be on the safe side, keep the total distance to 20 or 40 miles. The second list of people is the people that you want to be able to communicate with.
- Next mark on a map (or if you have to, draw one) where both the people on your first list and the people on your second list are located.
- Next, find the person on the first list who lives the closest to you who also owns a bicycle and is in good physical health. Determine a meeting location, and set a day of the week and time that you will meet this person at this location once communication services go down. (This will be called waypoint “a”.)
- After enlisting your first cyclist, go back to the map and find the next person on your list who lives within a one-day bike ride of the first person you selected. Then make sure that they also have a meeting place and time predetermined. To clarify, each cyclist should only be responsible for two waypoints—one where they receive the information going one direction and the other being where they deliver that same information. NOTE: After seeing the locations of your inner circle on a map (List 1) and those people you want to be sure to communicate with (List 2), you will want to enlist people in your circle who will be able to create waypoints in the direction of your desired end location. For example: If you live in Atlanta, GA and you have many people in your circle who are in the northern part of the city, but the people on your List 2 are 120 miles south of the city then ideally you want to enlist people who will come aboard your Cycle Express that live in the southern part of the city and will complete your network and be able to get a message to your most important recipients (on List 2).
- Continue enlisting individuals and creating waypoints, until you reach your ultimate desired location. Obviously, the further away the people on List 2 are, the more difficult the task. For those readers with a List 2 that is 20 to 200 miles away, this should be a somewhat simple system to organize. If you are like me, and your parents literally live on the opposite coast of the United States, the task is much, much, more difficult.
However, it is not impossible! If people in the 1800s could orchestrate a system to get messages across the U.S., then so can we. The key is to have the system in place NOW. Once communications go down it will be much more difficult to put the Cycle Express into place. If you find that when making your waypoints on your map, and enlisting your trusted people from your List 1, that you still can’t get to the people on List 2, you will then want to ask the person at your furthest waypoint who they trust and who might be on their List 1 that can help reach the geographical goal of your List 2. The Cycle Express is already a realized network, albeit just with my personal List 1 and List 2, and as mentioned, I am trying to establish a network to get from coast to coast, and I am not there yet.
Imagine a scenario where one of your loved ones lives 80 miles away and there is no more gasoline to be found. You get word through the Cycle Express that they were injured and that the wound is infected. They have a fever and there are no meds left. Meanwhile, you have a stockpile of antibiotics. Your friendly Cycle Express peddler can make sure to pass the medications along in time to reach your loved one.
This brings me to the issue of payment. Unless you are fortunate enough to have an entirely closed network of trusted friends and family in all of your waypoints between List 1 and List 2, it might be necessary to get a friend of a friend on board. Chances are that they will want to know what is in it for them, but in the coming new world as we will know it we will need ways of working and contributing to society in order to support our families. Being a cyclist in the Cycle Express could be a great line of work, and it could be one that will be much needed and respected. It not only brings a means of bartering, but it also will be a grassroots way to get a most valuable commodity—information.
As a believer in the Lord Jesus, I believe:
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
He has given us everything we need for life, and that will hold true, regardless of what happens in this temporal world. He is calling us to participate in His divine nature, and one aspect of His nature is that of creativeness. He is our Creator, and being made in His likeness He invites us to co-labor with Him in being creative in solving challenges. He called Joseph to prepare for famine and gave him the knowledge, ability, and position to make a difference and succeed. All through scripture He prepared prophets and kings and priests to carry out His work on the Earth. Now is our time. He is calling us. Answer His call. The Cycle Express is just one tiny task that I can do to help solve a potential problem when the communication age comes to a screeching halt. I hope you will join me. May the God of all grace make your paths straight!