bikes and disasters

Regional disaster response effort will include ‘Bike Emergency Transportation Routes’

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 18th, 2021 at 11:47 am

Emergency response vehicle.

[Read more…]

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

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 5th, 2016 at 12:46 pm

 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:
[Read more…]

2016 Disaster Relief Trials set for October 22nd

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 21st, 2016 at 11:25 am

2014 Disaster Relief Trials-58

The annual event tests the limits of bicycles as an emergency response tool.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bicycles — especially durable ones that can carry lots of stuff — will be one of the most important tools we have when a disaster strikes. They don’t need fuel, they can be carried over obstacles, they can haul lots of medical supplies and food, and they can even be used to generate electricity if necessary.
[Read more…]

‘Disaster Relief Trials’ demonstrate biking’s potential after The Big One

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 17th, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Disaster Relief Trials 2015-1.jpg

Competitor Adam Newman leads a group of riders on North Rosa Parks Way en route to the Oregon Food Bank checkpoint where they had to pick up a box of food before returning to the University of Portland.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

With interest in earthquake preparedness at an all-time high, the timing could not have been better for the fourth annual Disaster Relief Trials. The event, which was based at University of Portland, aims to demonstrate that cargo bikes can be an effective way to administer aid and help rebuild our communities after a large quake or other natural disaster.[Read more…]

Talk of a disastrous earthquake got you down? Just keep on biking

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 22nd, 2015 at 3:57 pm


People who bike together, stick together.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Bikes won’t save you after the Big One, but the community built up around them just might.

There’s been a lot of unease in Portland since the publication of a fascinating yet gut-wrenching article in The New Yorker that laid out the impending Cascadia earthquake in excruciating detail.

After I read the piece, I was sort of numb for a while. Then my mind wondered (as if often does) and I started to ask the default question I ask myself around any seemingly intractable issue or policy, “How can bikes fix this?”
[Read more…]

Dates set for 4th annual Disaster Relief Trials

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 3rd, 2015 at 9:26 am

2014 Disaster Relief Trials-1

Participants negotiate a water-carrying checkpoint at last year’s event.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s Disaster Relief Trials are back for the fourth year and there are some exciting changes in store. [Read more…]

Cargo bikes, community win the day at Disaster Relief Trials

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 21st, 2014 at 12:28 pm

2014 Disaster Relief Trials-21

Competitors Ryan Hashagen (R) and Michael Jones work together to lift a loaded cargo bike over one of the many obstacles on the course.
(Photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“I help you, you help me!”

Those aren’t the words you expect to hear during a competitive cycling event. But when the event — the third annual Disaster Relief Trials — is based around a mock disaster and the competitors are piloting 150 pounds or more of bike and cargo on a challenging, 35-mile course, teamwork takes priority over individual gain.
[Read more…]

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

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) 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.
[Read more…]

Disaster Relief Trials bring cargo-bike heroism back to Portland

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 13th, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Photo by Al Hongo.

Portland’s 30-mile catastrophe-themed urban bike competition returned for a second year Saturday with a splash and a lot of grunts.

[Read more…]

What to expect at the Disaster Relief Trials

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 12th, 2013 at 11:40 am

It’s here! The biggest event of its kind in the world.

One of the most interesting and influential bike events in Portland starts with a kickoff party tonight. The Disaster Relief Trials was first held last year at Velo Cult Bike Shop in Hollywood and since then the event has ridden a wave of interest, gotten attention from local, regional, and even national agencies, and has spawned imitators in Vancouver (BC), Seattle, Eugene, and other cities.

This year’s event features two big parties, the Trials themselves, and the “Cargo Bike Fair” — a huge gathering of cargo bikes and the people who love them. I’ll share more about what’s on tap, and highlight a few of the bikes and riders below…
[Read more…]