10th anniversary Disaster Relief Trials will take place in Cully Park June 11th

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

2022 poster

10 years after the first Disaster Relief Trials, organizers have announced the 2022 edition.

“Imagine this,” reads a press release, “It’s four days after the big earthquake… roads are broken, fuel is unavailable, but your family and neighbors need supplies. Think you are out of options? Think again! Use your cargo bike!” The aim of the event is to twofold: Show people how capable bicycles can be as disaster response vehicles and teach people how to use their bike to help their neighbors recover.

DRT was held every year between 2012 and 2016. The 2022 event, which has earned title sponsorship from Tern Bicycles, will be held on June 11th at Cully Park in northeast Portland. According to co-organizer Mike Cobb, this year’s event will focus less on competition and more on competence.


This year’s event will be set up as a friendly challenge among cargo bike captains. Those who take part will do a self-supported supply run that will consist of carrying up to 110 pounds of cargo (food, building materials, water, and so on) while navigating a route with seven checkpoints throughout Portland. Each checkpoint will test the mettle of responders by putting barriers and challenging terrain between them and the signature they need to pass the checkpoint.

[Learn more about bikes and disasters in our story archives.]

Each participant will receive a map of the checkpoints and description of the mission one hour before a mass “Le Mans” style start. Cully Park will be full of action and will include a Resilience Fair. At the fair you can learn more about disaster response and preparedness from event partners like the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, amateur radio experts, Neighborhood Emergency Response Team volunteers, and so on.

Since 2012, Portland’s DRT has inspired similar events in other cities including: Arlington, Virginia; Bend and Eugene, Oregon; and Tsukuba, Japan.

As part of their sponsorship, Tern will sponsor two riders from the community to do the event on one of their cargo bikes. Stay tuned to BikePortland for details on how to apply or nominate someone!

Registration for the event will open soon. You can stay updated and find out more at DisasterReliefTrials.com, on Facebook, Instagram, or email organizers at disasterrelieftrials@gmail.com.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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2 years ago

Ebikes have really changed the dynamic on this. There are still range issues, but they help a ton with a heavily loaded cargo bike. Plus, with the right solar setup, you could easily charge one in a post-earthquake scenario. Cut to the rescue cargo plane parachuting down a giant shipping container full of e-bikes and solar panels…

Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley
2 years ago

When roads are broken and choked with flaming rubble, and bridges are down, and roaming gangs of desperate survivors are fighting one another for survival, cargo bikes filled with goodies will be welcome targets.