- Dec 30, 2004A most telling feature of news coverage immediately post impact was the speed and coverage in restoration of transport achieved by the humble bicycle, almost as soon as the water had subsided to axle depth, bicycles were on the streets ferrying supplies and people, and apart from their limitations on load carrying for mass relief, in a coordinated group the final distribution of essential supplies like water, can be achieved without the delay of having to clear every road for motor vehicles, repair bridges, and get fuel supplies in place.
Those organising the aid might note that a bicycle - especially the Phoenix/Flying Pidgeon/Dutch roadster with substantial load carrying racks, has geometry which allows riding with no tyres, backpedal brakes allow riding with near-round wheels, and bikes don't need fuel bunkerage and fuel supply taking valuable space on incoming transport (nice analogy here with the far North Highland line where steam trains required a further steam train hauling the coal to replenish the stock of coal at the end of the line to put provide the fuel for the return trip, including taking coal for the engine that hauled the coal up for the engines...). Maybe some lessons to learn here also from Vietnam - where 50,000 Tons of supplies were shipped down from Hanoi to Da Nang on bicycles, with the riders walking down guiding their bikes with bamboo extensions to saddle and handlebars, and each bike carrying roughly 250Kg of supplies, along jungle trails, and going around on very basic temporary structures where bridges and roads had been destroyed by the US military who could not conceve that such a vast supply chain could work without large trucks and roads. Once unloaded the bamboo extensions were detached and the bikes returned to being ridden machines for the return trip.
If the relief is to get to the people then the bicycle has a major role in reaching every remote location where there are no roads available.
Transportation Management Solutions
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