Imagine this: It’s two days after the big earthquake… roads are broken, fuel is unavailable, but your family and neighbors need supplies. Think you are out of options? Think again! Use your cargo bike!
Portland cyclists are called to test their navigation, problem solving and load hauling mettle on October 17th, 2015 in a disaster drill designed to showcase the relevance of cargo bikes in disaster relief.
Portland’s 4th annual Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) is a cargo bike competition that makes a visual display of the potential of bikes as a key component of disaster response and recovery. In a friendly competition between human-powered vehicles, self-supported riders will carry up to 100lbs. of cargo while navigating a course of 10 predetermined checkpoints throughout North Portland. At each checkpoint, riders will overcome obstacles (e.g. concrete barriers, deep water, rough terrain, etc.) or complete tasks designed to simulate providing disaster assistance to their community.
The 2015 DRT will have a “hub-and-spoke” checkpoint arrangement, centered at the University of Portland. Riders will begin on campus and return periodically to the “hub” at the University of Portland to complete disaster relief challenges, making this year’s event especially spectator friendly. The LeMans start, barrier crossing, flood fording, awkward load lashing, and harried relief cargo delivery will all be located at the campus hub. All are welcome to come to the University of Portland to watch the riders accomplish their challenges and for a resilience fair with information and activities to get you prepared for any disaster.
In addition to being a challenge for riders, the DRT will serve as an exercise for other aspects of community disaster response such as Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams (NET), local Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), and the newly developed Oregon Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST).
Portland Pedal Power will be participating in this exciting and important upcoming event and we hope you’ll join us!