by Elizabeth Miller
In the April and May issue of Canadian Cycling Magazine, there was an article called “Managing Emergencies with Two Wheels.” Tom Babin explored how bikes do well in the aftermath of earthquakes and storms because “they are small, easy to handle and don’t need gasoline.” They can help rebuild after the disaster.
Bikes, it goes without saying, would also be useful in a zombie apocalypse.
Which leads me to a question I have had for six seasons of the AMC show The Walking Dead. Why do they, the humans not the zombies, not ride bikes? Of course, the die-hard fans will cite the first episode, in which Rick, clad in a hospital gown, finds a bike on the side of the road and rides it to his house. But other than that, NOT ONE BIKE. Rick and his crew are always walking long distances, or finding cars they can only drive until they break down or run out of gas.
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I probably know the answer to my question. Here’s how I’d imagine the idea being discussed in The Walking Dead writer’s room. For this exercise, I will play the head writer.
Me: Bobby, what do you got?
Bobby: How bout they find some mountain bikes and ride to Terminus instead of walking?
Me: Bikes!? Really Bobby? Bikes would be too easy to find and really low maintenance. Also, on bikes, they could out ride the zombies. And did you forget these monsters are attracted to noise? The group could ride that trail to Terminus for miles, quietly and undetected, leaving no room for zombie slaying or interesting plot developments. The show would be cancelled because BORING. Walking is dangerous at every turn. With cars, they can run out of gas and we can add some cool scenes with windshield wipers squeaking over zombie guts. Bobby, bikes in The Walking Dead would just work too well. Bad Idea! Bobby, you’re fired.”
Bobby, down but not out, writes his own show called Riding Alive. You are cast as the star and prop adviser. (Bobby doesn’t have a big AMC budget.) In this, your big scene, you have ruined your Honda Civic by plowing through zombies, but the car was coasting on fumes. After exiting through the window, you nunchuck the heads off five zombies, and then carry on up the lonely road on foot. You are the luckiest of the zombie apocalypse survivors because, behold, a bike store. No zombies in sight, but the door is locked so you break the glass. There are three zombies in the entrance and you grab a bike pump to smash their heads. Looking around you see that this shop is complete with every bike and every piece of bike gear EVER made! You have five hours of light. Build your Zombie Apocalypse Dream Machine. (No Spokies.)
1. I advise you not to check up on me by Google searching “bikes on The Walking Dead”. You will get a dead guy propped on his motorcycle at his wake, which is more disturbing than all five seasons of zombie killing.