Cargo Bikes will be in the spotlight at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry this Saturday, July 13th, as the second annual Disaster Relief Trials and the inaugural Cascadia Cargo Bike Fair star at OMSI’s Sustainable Transportation Expo.
The Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) puts cargo bikes and their riders through a simulation of a major natural disaster during which fuel is in short supply and emergency vehicles are unable to access major roads and bridges. Last year, 30 competitors took part in the DRT, which used Velo Cult Bicycles in NE Portland as its command center, but the scope is much bigger in 2013. The field has been increased to 40 riders, with the addition of a category for electric-assist bikes, who will set out on a 30-mile course that will “demonstrate and challenge the cargo bike’s capabilities in a disaster response situation.”
PPP Founder and Co-Owner Ken Wetherell will be one of the riders hitting the course on Saturday. Ken has had a deep interest in cargo bikes and the impact they can have on our community for years. He designed and built PPP’s original Pyxis, and he’s always looking for ways to improve the Pyxis, as well as his personal bicycles. Ken will be riding an Xtracycle bike with a trailer in the DRT, and he’ll be smiling as usual as he does his part to show the city the impact that cargo bikes can make in difficult situations.
As a backdrop to the DRT, the Cascadia Cargo Bike Fair will offer plenty of information and entertainment while the competitors are out on the course. Featuring bike manufacturers, dealers and bike-based businesses, including your favorite food delivery bikes from Portland Pedal Power, the Fair will “showcase the fun lifestyle advantages and the resilient capabilities of human powered transportation.” Due to OMSI’s proximity to the Eastbank Esplanade and the Springwater Corridor, event attendees will have the chance the test ride cargo bikes in a car-free environment. Everyone is invited to enjoy the bikes, music and food, so head on down to OMSI on Saturday!
The DRT and Cargo Bike Fair are sponsored by Yuba and Xtracycle, local bike companies like Joe Bike, Splendid Cycles and Clever Cycles, as well as the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) and Multnomah County. Based on the success of Portland’s DRT, similar events have been planned in San Francisco, Seattle and Boulder.