City of Portland unveils bicycle ambulance prototype

The city’s first attempt at a bike ambulance.(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management has long understood that when a disaster strikes, the ability to use cars and trucks could be extremely limited. Because of this reality, PBEM sees bicycles as a key ingredient in their disaster response plans.

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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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New Portland business aims to supply local frame builders


Co-founders Mike Cobb (L) and Tony Tapay.

Portland’s well-known crop of bicycle builders will now have a much easier time sourcing the tubing and frame parts they need thanks to a new business that officially launched today.

Framebuilder Supply is the work of 47-year-old Tony Tapay and 44-year-old Mike Cobb, two men who have over 35 years of bicycle industry experience under their belts. (Both of them are likely familiar to BikePortland readers as well. Tony for his regular comments, and Mike for his exploits as a world-class bike messenger and involvement with the Disaster Relief Trials and other events.)

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