Hysteria around the total solar eclipse that will make its way through Oregon two weekends from now has caused a major bike event to cancel its plans.
Organizers of the Electric Bike Expo had planned to bring their event to Portland on August 18th through the 20th. But when they started calling around for essential services like tents, fencing, port-a-potties, and backup power generators, they quickly noticed something was wrong. With concerns over historic levels of traffic and camping due to the millions of people expected to flood Oregon for Monday’s celestial show, providers were unable to guarantee availability of the aforementioned services.
This realization sent Ray Verhelst and Bill Sell of the Electric Bike Assocation scrambling. They tried to reschedule the event for the following week — a move that also meant they had to find a different venue because the planned location at Portland Meadows Racetrack wouldn’t be available. They then considered moving the event to October but worries about bad weather tanked that idea.
But with such late notice and with many of their vendors and customers having already made travel plans, Sell and Verhelst announced this morning that they’ve cancelled the event.
“It’s a huge blow for us,” Verhelst shared with me on the phone this morning. “The manufacturers and the retailers involved were very excited about being there. We had a lot of people who planned to make the trip from Seattle and Idaho for the event. We thought it was going to be great.”
The Las Vegas-based Electric Bike Association first brought this event to Portland last year. The event was held in the Lloyd District and was a major success, with over 100 exhibitors and several hundred attendees eager to try the latest and greatest e-bikes. We filed two dispatches from the event.
Verhelst said they plan to bring the event back to Portland in 2018.
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