Over the weekend I was at Portland’s innagural Distaster Relief Trials, one of the more impressive and well-coordinated Pedalpalooza events I’ve ever experienced.
If you haven’t heard of the Distaster Relief Trials (DRT) there’s a run-down of the ride on TransportLand.org.
The event (sponsored by Joe Bike, Xtracycles, Skedco, Yuba, Metrofiets, and VeloCult) was a race to simulate a post-disaster Portland where people on bikes will need to carry supplies over rough terrain. Riders were given about 100 lbs of cargo to carry on a course that covered around 30 miles of streets and trails.
I was stationed a “Checkpoint: ROCK” where riders were subjected to a series of obstacles representing some of the hazards they might experience in a real disaster.
The first obstacle in their way was single-person lift where they had to lift their vehicle and cargo over a tall barrier.
The second obstacle was a series of boulders they had to get across, only this time they could get help from other riders.
There was also a pot-holed path, worse than any Portland streets, each rider had to traverse.
But just before that potholed path, riders had to forge a small lake.
The event also served as a training exercise for local amateur radio Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs).
After finishing “Checkpoint: ROCK” and visiting six other checkpoints to load, unload, and transfer cargo, riders and their friends and family gathered at VeloCult for a celebration.
There were lots of cargo bikes to see and test ride and Metrofiets brought along their Beer Bike.
I was impressed at how many people turned out with their friends and families to experience the event. The turnout was a pleasant surprise for everyone, including the event’s organizers
The results of the race will be posted at TransportLand.org soon and a full gallery of photos from the Disaster Relief Trials is available on Flickr.