This year’s Disaster Relief Trials harnessed the energy in Portland for cargo bikes and preparedness, two things for which Portland will be known.
Disaster Relief Trials (DRTpdx) started out as a conversation last winter over beers between Ethan Jewett, Mike Cobb, and Travis Wittwer.
DRTpdx morphed like Shmoo into several versions, ending on what was a super show of support for cargo bike prowess. A salient take-away from this event is that there is interest in organized cargo bike usage, and partnerships exist.
We were greatly pleased by local bike shops that lent their support; amazed by the sponsorship of national bike manufacturers; and honored to have organizations both large and small, government and private share their knowledge. DRTpdx brought our city together. Part of being prepared is preparing.
Behind the scenes, well before event day, rumors of riders creating partnerships were heard. This illustrates the sense of teamwork found throughout the event; the event was collegial, as well as competitive.
In a disaster relief situation, teams and groups will form in response to the needs presented. Teams are a valid response in a relief effort.
The greatest contention prior to event day was checkpoint #2—ROCK. This checkpoint had specific tasks that had to be completed by the riders, one of which had to be done solely. We spoke with several riders about this, listening to their statements that in a disaster, partnerships will occur to get over problems. Some riders adamantly spoke against the solo lift.
Yes, partnerships are good. However, for DRTpdx, we wanted diversity in the tasks. The first part of checkpoint ROCK required riders to take their bike and cargo over a 1 meter barrier. This lift was independent, and the only time that partnerships could not be used.
For realism, this lift represented a feasible barrier that a rider might encounter. This rider may also, just as feasibly, be alone when they encounter it. Now that the event is over, I suspect riders did not find the 1 meter solo lift as daunting as imagined. Below is Diana Rempe lifting her Metrofiets over the barrier. Prior to this checkpoint, Diana got a flat tire as a result of a puncture from a drill bit . I suspect she will keep the drill bit as a token of her awesomeness.
Happily, I have only to do a short post because so many other people have posted their recap of DRTpdx. Below are the ones of which I am aware. If I have missed one (and surely I have), please add it in the comments.
- Tacoma Bike Ranch
- The Prudent Cyclist
- Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) with audio
- Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) post event report
- Spocket Podcast as well as just the mp3 of the interview
- The DRTpdx Flickr group is a great place to see the event’s entirety. Please add your photos to the group.
- You can also review the Twitter #DRTpdx hastag.
- Joe Biel, Cantankerous Titles, filmed the event thanks to sponsorship from Yuba and Splendid Cycles. Look for the film.
And lastly, for you, what salient aspects came from DRTpdx? Please share them in the comments as we will take your comments and the lessons learned, and apply them to next year.