Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic Cycling

My children might tell you that I tend to pontificate during episodes of The Walking Dead about the way the survivors could simplify their journey by ditching the cars and trucks and setting out on bicycles instead. And then, during commercials, I go into my reasons. They go get a snack.

It's not just The Walking Dead, look at any story from this genre, from Will Smith's I Am Legend,  any zombie movie, and all the way back to the grandfather of all these stories, the excellent 1949 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel - Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. (Seriously, if you haven't read it, do so.) Cars get stuck due to loss of gas, blocked roads, fallen bridges, and more. Bikes can get around all those obstacles.

I now understand why my son Peter encouraged me to read Stephen King's The Stand. Three of the main characters made the right choice.

"Halfway there a thought rose to the surface of his mind like a bubble and popped. It happened casually, with no fanfare, but the implications brought him to a dead halt.
The thought was: Why haven't you been riding a bicycle?"

Exactly! Thank you Peter, and thank you Stephen King.

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