Portlander gets global attention for bringing pedal-power to Standing Rock

 Cobb is name-dropped in a video published by CNN from Standing Rock that has over a million views.(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Cobb is name-dropped in a video published by CNN from Standing Rock that has over a million views.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portlander Mike Cobb brought valuable cargo with him on his journey to Standing Rock in support of people fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. It wasn’t food or jackets or blankets — it was the ability to produce electricity with a bicycle and a bit of pedal power.

Cobb is well-known in Portland for his bike messengering and extreme biking skills (he’s represented us at the World Cycle Messenger Championships and I ran into him on the Oregon Outback last year), his passion for the potential of cargo bikes during disasters (one of the main organizers of the annual Disaster Relief Trials), and his entrepreneurial endeavors in the bike industry (he’s co-owner of Framebuilder Supply).

Cobb has a passion for expanding the potential of what a bicycle can do. Given that, Cobb’s offering at Standing Rock comes as no surprise — but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. And what better way to promote the idea that bicycles can save the world than by getting major exposure on one of the world’s largest media outlets.

A CNN correspondent noticed Cobb’s set-up and published a video report about it thaty already has well over one million views:

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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the brilliant utility of a simple bicycle help people stay connected in adverse conditions. We covered a similar situation in 2012 in Manhattan’s lower east side when bike-powered charging stations came to the rescue following Hurricane Sandy.

In a Facebook post, Cobb says he’s dedicating his entire trip to the unflinching support he received from his friends, business partners and co-workers. “This effort would be impossible without my people enthusiastically burning the home fires in my absence,” he wrote. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and feel truly rich in community.”

Way to go Mike!

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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CaptainKarma
CaptainKarma
5 years ago

Good way to keep warm!

Cory P
Cory P
5 years ago

Mike is an amazing person.

Chris
Chris
5 years ago

Truly awesome Mike!!

Bill Stites
Bill Stites
5 years ago

Filling a huge need – brilliant. Thanks for representing, Mike!

And kudos to Splendid for their ‘unflinching’ support, among others.

Eric
Eric
5 years ago

Mike Cobb = awesome dude.

todd boulanger
todd boulanger
5 years ago

Nice! And it comes with free heating from pedalling!!

[Though for true long term disaster prep…like Sandy, etc….I would love to see a set up that had a reclining seat for pedal power with a secondary hand crank (like the larger WW2 remote radio sets had in the Pacific Theatre).]

Spiffy
5 years ago
Reply to  todd boulanger

and better gearing so you can get more generation out of less pedaling…

Zaphod
5 years ago

As always… nicely done Mike

bikeninja
bikeninja
5 years ago

Great Job Mike, and congratulations for your part in the recent victory of the forces of good over evil. ( Standing Rock Tribes defeating Energy Transfer Partners and their private security and law enforcement goon squads.)

bikeninja
bikeninja
5 years ago

Come to think of it I love the symbolism. Good vs Evil, just like on the streets of Portland. Good bike riders ( and bike chargers) attempting to save the plant vs those who want to suck every last drop of petroleum from the earth and spew its waste in to the darkening skies ( pipeliners or car drivers)

S. Brian Willson
5 years ago

Awesome!!

Ayleen
Ayleen
5 years ago

AWESOME! I was really hoping someone would shed some major attention on what Mike was doing out there. It is SO impressive.

Vanessa
5 years ago

Mike is the real deal.

KristenT
KristenT
5 years ago

I saw this on the CBS evening news the other night, and thought it was a very cool idea. I’m glad it came from locals!

Todd Hudson
Todd Hudson
5 years ago

Way to go, Patches!