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‘Disaster Relief’ and family cargo bikers join for major event this weekend

Posted by on July 16th, 2014 at 9:14 am


Two major trends in cargo biking will come together in Portland on Saturday at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Organizers of the Disaster Relief Trials and the Fiets of Parenthood have joined forces this year in what is sure to the largest cargo bike gathering of the year.

The Disaster Relief Trials return for the third year with over two dozen riders signed up to compete. They’ll be split into two categories: the Open class and Replenish class. Open Class riders will be required to muscle themselves and 100 pounds of cargo over a 30-mile, obstacle-strewn course. It’s a true test of strength and moxie that will mimic conditions following a major earthquake or other disaster. In the more family-friendly Replenish Class, riders will be required to carry one passenger on a 15-mile “post-disaster household supply run.”

In addition to cheering on the riders, spectators can get an up-close look at how a mobile communication and command center works. The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Multnomah County Emergency Management agencies will be on-site to track the riders via radio. Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Region 10) will staff checkpoints and share emergency preparedness tips.

The Cascadia Cargo Bike Fair will will feature bike and equipment vendors for your viewing and learning pleasure. Vendors (who are also sponsors and supporters of the event) include Clever Cycles, Spendid Cycles, Islabikes, Western Bike Works, Metrofiets, Xtracycle (coming up from their headquarters in California), and rescue equipment manafacturer Skedco.

But wait, there’s more! Also on Saturday, OMSI is also hosting their own event, Drive Revolution: The Future of Transportation alongside the Cargo Bike Fair.

After you’ve cheered on the racers and soaked up all the possibilities of cargo bikes as heroic, post-disaster responders, everyone is invited to the afterparty at Islabikes (2113 SE 7th Ave) just a few blocks away starting at 5:00 pm.

It’s going to be a great weekend for cargo bikes and their fans. Check out all the details and watch the awesome promo video at

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  • q`Tzal July 16, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Human powered vehicles are serious business.

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  • q`Tzal July 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Someone needs to show up to this competition with a setup that allows anyone with a bike to roll on, crank up and charge all of our portable electronic devices that we’ll be desperately depending upon in such a disaster.

    Actually competing is besides the point: this is a prime opportunity to show the general public just what they need to do if they don’t want to revert to a subsistence agrarian lifestyle when the power goes out.

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    • Jerold July 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Contact the folks at Rock The Bike. The power whole concerts with pedals. They sell their rig in a kit as well.

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  • SilkySlim July 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I’ve always wondered what I will do when the big one hits (or the zombies rise): grab the road bike and a backpack for maximum speed, the cross bike with rack and panniers and light mounts for utility, or the mountain bike to get way up in the hills!

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    • q`Tzal July 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Good things about zombie apocalypse: CO2 emissions drop very VERY quickly. Also forests and plants in general come back with a vengeance. Also these things in order: white tailed deer population spikes beyond the ability of zombie predation, a natural deer predator population recovers too quickly as they consume deer, said predators start desperately hunting other slow moving meals. What happens when a mountain lion eats a zombie?

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  • Kari Schlosshauer July 16, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Don’t forget the awesome Fiets of Parenthood ride begins at 1:00! #fullofkids

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  • Chris I July 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    The website states that registration is still open and provides a link, but the link is broken. Can we still register for Saturday?

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  • Ethan July 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    We’ll get that fixed! The field is full and Reg should be closed. You can sign up for Fiets of Parenthood day-of though.

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  • Jerold July 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Rock the Bike has everything in a kit.

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