I just came across a video and website about a great idea for community involvement in cycling and in particular in utility cycling. Apparently, the city of Portland, Oregon, which is well known as an innovative city regarding bicycles in their transportation system, has been doing a disaster preparedness event for the past 2 years, with 2014 being the 3rd year. They have created an event where cargo bike cyclists can show their stuff, their mettle, in a challenging but very practical event. The event is a race involving carrying 100 pounds of cargo in a simulated disaster relief, such as following a major earthquake, when conventional vehicles may not be able to get through to victims in need.
Here is the website: Portland DRT 2014.
Wouldn't that be a great event for your community? It reminds me of the event that the amateur radio enthusiasts (ARRL) have been doing annually for many decades, where they go to various remote locations, set up their radio equipment, and relay messages that would simulate the kind of communication needed when a disaster knocks out our regular systems. Fun and skill-building with a real purpose.
Here's a bit of the blog:
2014 DRT Ė July 19th @ OMSI
The Disaster Relief Trails enters its third year with another exciting cargo bike circuit, and a citizen class re-imagined as a fun, family-focused tour showcasing Portlandís landmarks and food. Portlandís other signature family biking event, Fiets of Parenthood, will join us at OMSI to create an even larger bike fair, and constant events and activities for all ages throughout the day. We are once again joining the Oregon Museum of Science and Industryís Sustainable Transportation Expo. A reimagined Citizen class will see a major shift in focus, and fun, this year. Stay tuned!
The Disaster Relief Trials, Fiets of Parenthood, and Cargo Bike Fair combine to create a rare intersection between the cycling community and the larger sustainability/resilience movement.