Flashlight mounts for Mountain Bikes

Riding mountain bikes on trails is one of my favorite activities and it is something I do not get to do often enough. Riding at night has proven difficult in total darkness. In order to facilitate my riding I have used small bungee cords to wrap a flashlight around my handlebars. Does it work? Sometimes. Unfortunately a good solid bump will jar the light loose and then I find myself riding blind and trying to stop before I run into something.

While browsing around Amazon I came across a couple of mountain bike flashlight mounts. They were very inexpensive so I decided to order both and give them a shot.

mbike

 Shipping from China took about 2 weeks. The first to arrive was the SE Bicycle Attachment. It attaches easily via rubber webbing which wraps around the handle bar and then around the flashlight. This attachment method facilitates quick installation and removal.

bike-mount

The SE Bicycle Attachment cost only about $2.50 and was shipped free.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next to arrive was the MECO Flashlight Mount. Costing less than $2.00 with Free Shipping.

bike-mount-2

The MECO attaches via a very secure polymer wrap around bracket with a bolt at the bottom. The polymer nut which tightens the bracket is pretty beefy and easy to tighten. The flashlight clasp creates a squeeze fit for any tactical flashlight around 1″ inch in diameter. When placing a flashlight in it – it is a very tight fit and requires some effort.

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ABOVE: Both mounts installed I placed a flashlight in each. As stated the SE was quick to install however I had an immediate concern that the strap could pretty easily release due to a bump on inadvertent impact.

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ABOVE: You can see the rubber strap holding the SE on. Throughout testing it never came undone however it takes little effort to release it from the bike.

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ABOVE: The MECO above really excelled at holding the flashlight securely and pointing in the direction intended.

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ABOVE: The SE worked however while riding any decent jolts or bumps would cause it to twist on the handlebars – thus changing the direction the flashlight was aimed. I found I had to constantly adjust the SE up to get back on path.

The MECO on the other hand was rock solid. It held securely even with the great of impacts and purposely trying to get t to move. The horizontal adjustment held in place as well(unlike the SE). Polymer teeth allow left-to-right adjustment and then the friction holds the light.

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Overall the MECO is a far superior flashlight mount – especially for under $2.00. Both are cheap Chinese made items and I consider disposable. We have four mountain bikes in the Rourke household and I am ordering  several ore – including spares.

If you have a bike and want to illuminate the night – try out the MECO Flashlight Mount.

Rourke

THE ULTIMATE BUG-OUT VEHICLE

The post below is an entry into the ModernSurvivalOnline Preparedness Guest Post Writing Contest.

 

THE ULTIMATE BUG-OUT VEHICLE by Bunker Billy

The great debate on the survival sites and reoccurring themes in most survival novels, of which I have read many, address the questions of what is the best weapon or knife, and whether to bug-in or bug-out.  How much food should I store, what if I live in an apartment, or should I move to the Redoubt?  The answers to most of these questions generally come down to how old you are, can you leave your job and move to a new area, or in my case “Can I afford it”?

For me I have decided that I am too old to bug-out or move, so this is where I will make my stand.  I would also guess that some have made preparations to stay with family or at least a remote location away from urban sprawl.  If bugging out is your choice you will be leaving your primary place of residence, abandoning most everything you value to be looted and possibly have nothing to come back to.  This decision is easier to make if the lives of your loved ones are in serious jeopardy.  As they say in comedy, timing is everything, knowing when to leave is crucial.  These are all legitimate concerns not to mention having time to pack, your vehicle gassed up and ready to roll.

Using the survival book themes as an example, the heroes always find a way to get gas, avoid the parking lots on the Interstate by taking secondary roads, and blasting their way through the road blocks with unbelievable fire power.  Somehow I do not think this is realistic.  If you have more than a few miles to your bug-out location you may find it impossible to get there alive.

This is where the ultimate bug-out vehicle can save the day.  I can hear it now, this is so old news, I have heard it all, and how am I going to bug-out to my retreat when the roads are clogged with all the other panicked people trying to get out of Dodge.

Norm of This Old House likes the expression; “You can do most anything with a little imagination and an unlimited checkbook”.  Unfortunately I do not fall into this category, but some of you out there with your bunkers, thousands of dollars in guns, and NVG’s do, you are the ones to whom I am speaking.

So, what is the Ultimate Bug-Out Vehicle?

 

What you are looking at is a Railroad Maintenance Vehicle or Hyrail truck.  These used vehicles can be found for sale online.  One of these sites is

http://www.fasttrackrr.com/ .

Railroad Mantainance Vehicle[3]

 The many advantages of owning a Hyrail vehicle are almost too numerous to mention, the least of which is being able to avoid the local roads and interstate highways.  I would expect these vehicles to be “well used” and would probably need considerable maintenance to bring them up to some dependable standard.  But, the ability to transition off the road onto a railroad right-of-way cannot be overly emphasized.  There is one major caveat, this vehicle would only be ideal in a grid down situation if trains were idled.  Understandably modern diesel locomotives generate their own power, but can only run as long as they have the fuel to drive the generators.  In an EMP/CME event their computer controls would be toast. 

Railroad maps are available, even back to the early 1900’s, with a simple Google search for your particular state, .  Railroad tracks pass through wilderness totally void of people and not otherwise accessible by road or path, and roadblocks sufficient to stop a train would be very unlikely.  Tricked out with a .50 BMG you would be unstoppable. 

One word of caution, if you see the light at the end of the tunnel, make sure it’s not a train!

 


 

Prizes included in this Survival & Preparedness Writing Contest include:

First PlaceForge Survival Supply is providing an awesome Perry Blade Survival Knife. Value: $300+. Deadwood Stove is supplying the legend….the Deadwood Stove. Value: $180+. CampingSurvival.com has provided one Hennessy Expedition Asym Hammock. Great sleep system! Value: $160.00.  Total Prize Value in access of $640.00!! 

Second PlaceSurvivalCave.com has supplies one 90 Serving Emergency Survival Food Bucket. Value: $149.00. Directive21.com has donated an Emberlit Titanium Ultralight Stove. Value: $80.00. Author CM Cannon is offering a copy of his book All We Like Sheep. Value: $12.00.  Total Prize Value in access of $240.00+!!

Third PlaceSafeRoomLockingBar.com has provided one Safe Room Locking Bar. Great home protection device. Value: $70.00. PrepperPress.com is donating another multi-book package consisting of 5 books of your choice from their preparedness library. Value: $75+. Total Prize Value in access of $145.00!!

Fourth Place: Austere Provisions Company is providing their very unique APC CORE Panel. Value: $50. EndlessSunSolar.com  – is offering one 5W Folding Solar Charger. Value: $50. Old West Lawman’s Forgotten Memoir courtesy of http://www.oldwestlawmansforgottenmemoir.com/. Value: $20+.  Total Prize Value in access of $120.00!!

Fifth Place:  Two Grow Buckets Kits from Choate Machine and Tool. Each kit will make 5 Grow Buckets (Grow Bucket website coming soon! Call  (1-800-972-6390 to order). Author Archer Garret is providing three of his books – The Western FrontKratocracy Part 1, and The Nine of the North. Value: $45. Total Prize Value in access of $100.00!!

Guest Post: Bug Out Vehicles

Bug Out Vehicles

There are an almost infinite number of choices when it comes to bug out vehicle options. You have your 4×4 trucks and SUVs, retired military vehicles, ATVs, Track/Trail bikes, and even mountain bikes. Rather than make any recommendations I am simply going to tell you about my choice for a BOV and my reasoning for that choice.

 

Rather than choosing a traditional BOV I have gone with the original SUV, a station wagon, a 1957 Chevy Belair station wagon to be exact. There are many reasons for my choosing this vehicle the first being my love of hot rods. I have been a mechanic and a hot rodder for years so I brought my career/hobby together with my preparedness. Second, is the fact that this car is a sound investment. Too many people sink obscene amounts of money into their BOVs, most of which have a low resale value and are constantly depreciating in value. Any amount of money that is put into my vehicle will have a definite return. Parts and performance upgrades are also readily available for this vehicle.  Nearly every single nut and bolt of this car is available from aftermarket vendors. The vehicle is also extremely easy to maintain so anyone with basic knowledge and a service manual can keep the car running for years. Space and seating is another of my reasons for choosing the wagon. There is no shortage of storage for equipment and personnel this rig. The seating arrangement also allows for defensive positioning of passengers on both the left and right side of the vehicle as well as the rear and that is a big plus for a BOV. The wagon is not as mobile as a 4×4 but I installed lift springs to bring the ride height up two inches and when you pair that with all terrain tires, snow chains, and posi traction rear end you still have a fair amount of mobility. If you are still worried you can always throw in a winch or a come-a-long.

car

In order to ensure the reliability and safety of this vehicle I replaced and rebuilt nearly every component of the old wagon. I also upgraded the braking system to dual chambered master cylinder and disk brakes. This can get a little pricey but again the car is an investment and should I ever need to sell it I would see my money returned. Even after all of the upgrades and rebuilds I still have much less invested in the car than I would have in even a base model new vehicle.

 

I have driven this car from coast to coast and raked up thousands of miles with only minor issues that could be fixed on the road side. In preparation for such events there are several items that I keep in the vehicle at all times.

 

Fan belt, Spark plugs, plug wires, cap and rotor, Oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, gas, filters, u-joints, hose clamps, tire plug kit, spare tire (1 minimum), bottle jack, battery operated air compressor, stop leak, RTV, thread tape, misc common bolts, points and condenser, Gumout, jumper cables, solar battery charger, heavy gauge bailing wire, zip ties, JB weld, heavy duty ratchet strap, service manual, and tools. It is essential that you perform all the common tasks such as tune ups, and belt replacements and note exactly what is needed to complete these jobs so that you can pack these tools and have them in the event of a break down. All of these items can fit in about 3 milk crates and with them I can repair almost any fault I may encounter short of a catastrophic part failure and that can usually be prevented and foreseen buy proper preventative maintenance and inspections.

 

Currently the car has a three speed 350 turbo transmission and gets around 16 MPH. I built a mild 305 for the car and I run a 600cfm carb on it. This gives it enough power to get up and move but is still fair on the fuel consumption. This winter I plan on swapping out the transmission for a 700R4 with an overdrive gear to push the mileage up a few miles per gallon.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read through my ramblings. I am sure that there are a lot of people out there who disagree with me but I hope there’s some out there who find this helpful or informative.

Air Assault!

-Sawbo

***************************************************

The article above was an entry into the ModernSurvivalOnline Preparedness Guest Post Writing Contest.

Have something to share? You could win one of the following prizes.

First Place winner will receive:

Second Place will receive:

Third Place will receive:

 

 

Post-SHTF transportation: The Mountain Bike

Do a search for “bug out vehicle” and you’ll find everything from a small economy car to a monster truck suggested. Certainly there are numerous vehicles that can work in different situations. I recently picked up five mountain bikes for the family – mainly for recreation and exercise.

 

After having rode mine on pavement and dirt trails, I have been looking at them a bit different. A bike would be a great method of transportation when either trying to conserve fuel for a car or truck, or for when that fuel is gone. Spending as little as $80 will get you a mountain bike brand new at your local Wally-World. You can do that – but invest in a bike and spend a little more money (or maybe a lot more money) and get a quality built bike. The more money you spend generally the lighter the bike will be and the better it will perform.

 

 

Craigslist is a good place to find used bikes at steep discounts. Two of the bike I purchased I paid $100 each. These bike were 10 years old but brand names with good components (shifter’s, gears, etc). So far they have done great.

 

 

Parts should be durable and a couple of spare tires, tubes, and brakes are inexpensive.  My bike has a small pouch under the seat which can hold a few supplies. I have road with a small backpack with no issue. I haven’t tried it but I am sure with a heavy pack riding will be more difficult from the perspective of being top heavy – especially for trail riding. Saddlebags are also available which would really come in handy for transporting supplies.

 

It’s an option. Good to have options.

 

 – Rourke

Guest Post: How an RV Can Save Your Family in an Emergency

The Ultimate Bug Out/In Vehicle: How an RV Can Save Your Family in an Emergency

 

My wife and I have lived full time in RV’s for five years and have owned every kind of RV on the market. When an emergency strikes having an RV fully loaded and ready to go (or stay whatever the case may be) can be a lifesaver; literally! Think about it, you have a fresh water tank, full propane tanks, a toilet, shower, refrigerator, lights, heater and if you have a built in generator you also have air conditioning and the use of a microwave oven (not to mention full use of just about any other electrical appliance or tool you could think of).

Freezer

Most RV’s have pantry storage where you can store at least a months worth of food for your family. Since your refrigerator runs on propane, 12 volts or regular shore power you can enjoy cold or frozen food while everyone else is eating out of a can. There is usually ample storage for pots and pans and kitchen ware. Normally there is space for hanging clothes, dresser drawers and space for blankets or sleeping bags and other camping gear.

Pantry

Almost anyone can afford an RV of some kind. I don’t recommend purchasing anything new because like cars, RV’s take a big value loss once you take it off the dealer’s lot. Instead shop around for a nice used unit that will meet your needs. There is something for every family in any price range. You can pick up a well loved trailer or class C motor home for cheap in this economy. Look on Craig’s List or in the local paper or just keep your eyes open and you’ll notice them for sale all over the place.

 

5th Wheel RV

Not only will you have an instant mobile sanctuary, but you will also have something you can enjoy on vacations at the lake, forest or in your in-laws driveway during holiday visits. It’s nice to be able to get away in your own RV home away from home. You will need to use it in order to learn all the systems and become familiar with boon docking. Boon docking is when you live in your RV without any external hook-ups. You need to learn battery conservation, water conservation and propane conservation. Add solar panels, a charger, inverter and more batteries and you’ve got a stand alone mobile “off grid” power system.

 

Solar RV

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, an RV is the ultimate survival vehicle because you can get out of town and not have to worry about trying to find a vacancy in a motel 300 miles from home because you are carrying your beds with you. It’s always better to sleep in your own bed anyway. You can park for free in big box store parking lots, many Wal-Marts, fairgrounds, friends driveways, strip malls, parks and a host of other places. We’ve saved thousands of dollars boon docking on BLM land, military campgrounds, state parks, city parks and many other places. The more creative you are the more money you save.

 

RV parked at a Wal-Mart

If you are waiting for TEOTWAWKI having your RV on your property is added comfort. If you decide to “bug out” you are mobile. If you decide to stay put, you have extra supplies, cooking facilities and a working refrigerator. You can even use it for putting up extra people if that’s in your plan. If you do go mobile, you can go in comfort and go quickly. Your food and shelter is with you as well as other essential survival and security gear.

 

RV’s usually have extra space for important things like books and games. Be sure you don’t forget to include these creature comforts as they will help your family pass the time and temporarily take their minds off whatever the crisis brings.  Most of our fondest memories revolve around family RV excursions. Our kids grew up traveling in RV’s and frequently talk about all the great times we had on the road and in the campground.

RV at the coast

 

We currently have a motor home that I consider the “mother ship” because it tows our 4 wheel drive vehicle. It has huge tank capacities for fresh water and waste water. The diesel tank holds 100 gallons and I can easily drive from Central California to Arizona or Oregon on one tank. Once we are where we want to be, we unhook the car and have a second vehicle at our disposal. Though this type of RV is not for everyone, there is a nice inexpensive RV for sale somewhere in your neighborhood and I’d rather have a fully stocked used RV than a bar of gold when the big event arrives. Just saying….  

 
 
Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

Author

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From Rourke……

The above post was an entry for the current ModernSurvivalOnline Guest Post Writing Contest.

 

Grand Prize includes:

Dr Bones and Nurse Amy: Medium Trauma Bag (value $219 plus $15 shipping) and a Doom and Bloom(tm) Survival Medicine Handbook (value $35 plus $3 shipping) for a total of  $272.00!!

plus………….

Grizzly Fire Starters:  Grizzly Survival Fire and  Stove ($37.95), along with a Grizzly Mini Survival Heater ($27.95) and to round this package out a  100 pack of fire starters ($119.00). Grand total is $184.90!!

 and also………..

Ready Made ResourcesCase of Mountain House Freeze Dried Food. Value approx $124.00!!

 

and concluding the Grand Prize package……

Prepper Press -Prepper Press is providing ANY 5 books that they publish. Your choice!!

 

2nd PLACE –

Deadwood Stove Company is awarding the 2nd Place Winner with a…yup, you guessed it….A Deadwood Stove!!!!

Emergency Essentials: New! Mountain House Just In Case……. Classic Assortment Bucket ($70 value)

3rd PLACE – 

Directive21.com – Mountain House Freeze Dried Food Bucket ($80 value)

SurvivalGearBags.com – CardSharp knife and a FrogLube Kit (FrogLube Kit – 4 oz Paste, 4 oz Liquid, Microfiber Cloth, Application Brush)

4th PLACE – Author Max Velocity is providing a copy of each of his books:

Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

Rapid Fire!: Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations

 

5th Place – Emergency EssentialsNew! Kitchen Fire Extinguisher.  3” x 10”, fights flammable liquid and electrical fires, $20.00 value