In 2001, the Nisqually, Washington intraplate earthquake reminded the Pacific Northwest that we live in an earthquake zone. The 2011 Tohoku 9.0 earthquake, and the destruction that resulted, was another reminder. Most recently, the 6.9 in the Gulf of California that we live in an earthquake zone. We live with these reminders. Some people prepare. Others continue life as normal.
But normal life will not last forever.
In this Pedalpalooza event scenario, the Cascadia subduction zone fell, resulting in a 9.1 earthquake that spread quickly through the region, resulting in Portland area destruction and a tsunami that hammered the Oregon coast and felt as far as Japan.
It is day 4, your Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) just heard on the HAM radio that recovery supplies have been palleted and are ready for pick up, but obstacles exist. The transportation infrastructure is compromised and fuel is rationed or not accessible.
When this tragic event hits Portland, it will destroy a good deal of the city. However, because of preparation and organization, Portland will be ready with a powerful team for disaster relief, bringing with them supplies, food, medicine, communications, and support. Filling in the gaps between city and government aid, will be relief teams that will arrive by cargo bike.
The Cascadia earthquake will happen. The issue is whether we will be prepared. To start that conversation with real action, we have constructed the Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) event for Pedalpalooza 2012.
Enthusiasm for the DRT has spread like … well … like the aftershock of an earthquake, but without the destruction, as people have posted their thoughts on this event: see the extended reading list at the end of this post.
We did not plan on sharing event details until early May, but given the interest we were pushed like … well … like a seagull caught in a tsunami, so we have endeavored to give you a glimpse of the particulars.
June 17, 2012
10 am – 6 pm
Location of start/finish is Velo Cult
1969 NE 42nd Avenue, 97213
Selected RIDERS can expect a 30+ mile course with challenges and a total payload weight of 100 pounds. Contact us to be a rider.
SPECTATORS can expect an entertaining and informative afternoon. Head out to one of the challenge locations and see how rider and bike face the situation. Hang out in the staging area to see the riders race off and return.
At the staging area, we will have disaster preparedness information from local organizations and groups. View the riders and bikes before and after the event. Several cargo bike shops and builders will be on-hand for test rides or information. Lots of photo opportunities. Food will be available through cargo bike related vendors.
The event is 100% KID FRIENDLY as many who use cargo bikes do so for family reasons.
THE COURSE, generally speaking
* Staging area at Velo Cult
* Head to Oregon Food Bank
* Down Marine Drive
* To Cathedral Park
* Over St. Johns Bridge
* Cross Burnside Bridge
* Arriving back at Velo Cult
There will be Obstacles:
* “Rubble” obstacle, forcing all riders to dismount and separate payload from vehicle
* Off-road section(s)
* Bumps and hassles
THE 100 POUND PAYLOAD
* Various food aid in boxes or buckets
* Medical aid
* Propane tank
* Alley cat style, except all traffic laws must be followed
* Helmet mandatory
* “Cargo bike” means any bike that hauls cargo (clarified April 24)
* Trailers welcome (added April 24)
* Human powered
* Self-sufficiency, i.e., rider fixes all mechanical break-downs
* One rider, i.e., rider rides the whole course on same bike
* Pre-race bike safety check
* LeMans style start, with disaster-specific complication, causing riders to break up
* Two, 15-rider waves: Citizen Class (non-competitive), Open Class (competitive)
* Committed rider, rain or shine
If you are interested in being a rider or lending support, leave a message in the comments, or contact us at transportPDX[@]gmail[.]com
The out-pour of support and generosity from businesses and the bike community to make this event possible illustrates the enthusiasm that the Portland area has for its beloved cargo bikes.
Some of the riders this year (added May 22)
We will post four+ additional articles on this year’s Disaster Relief Trials: (a) specific course and payload, (b) riders and their bike set up, (c) invitation just before the event, and (d) a recap of the day’s adventure.
We will use the hash tag #DRTpdx (May 14, hashtag changed, thanks @TacomaBikeRanch) on the day of the event to communicate up-to-the-moment details. Sign up for our RSS/email feed to learn about this and future activities.
Extended reading list where Disaster Relief Trials is mentioned
Pedalpalooza calendar of the Disaster Relief Trials event
Joe Bike shared the idea and garnered interest among the cargo bike world
BikePortland followed with a focus on the Neighborhood Emergency Team
Bike Snob NY poked fun at Portland, twice, and then cited Portlandia
Homeland Security News Wire shared the vision
FOX12 television even gave the event a head nod
with some interesting comments below their post (worth checking out).
(added May 2) Emergency Management: Sustainable Practices Created Disaster Resiliency in Portland, Ore.
(added May 14) Map of Event
Anita, thank you for the subtle revisions (May 28)