Disaster Relief Trials Portland is in the books!

What a lovely, slightly damp day we had yesterday. Thank-you to the 45 cargo-hauling cyclists who showed up to test themselves and to prove a point: a neighborhood with a cargo bike is a neighborhood with resilience. Thank-you Jonathan Maus for the excellent BikePortland coverage.

Josh Volk, the individual Responder of the day, turned in a scorching 3 hours 31 minutes. Here he is recounting the day with Bill Stites. Over 30 miles of navigation (complete with rough terrain and barriers), over 100 pounds of relief supplies collected and delivered. Josh's back is a little sore.

Josh Volk, the individual Responder of the day, turned in a scorching time of 3 hours 31 minutes. Here he is recounting the day with Bill Stites. Over 30 miles of navigation (complete with rough terrain and barriers), over 100 pounds of relief supplies collected and delivered. Josh’s back is a little sore.

For the final times go to our Google Sheet!

DRT SF is in the books.

Oh man, what a great day!  We’ll publish full results soon, but I wanted to give next-morning kudos to the extreme performers.  People who dramatically proved the premise that cargo bikes and motivated people are inherently valuable resources, post-disaster.

Paul Freedman: 1st place, e-ASSIST CLASS (1st overall, 27+ miles, 100+ lbs cargo, 2 hours 8 minutes)
Josh Phillips: 1st place, OPEN CLASS
Mike Cheung: 1st place: CITIZEN CLASS
Katie Styer, Vajda, Adam Shapiro: 1st place, OPEN TEAM CLASS (1st non-e-assist, 27+ miles, 200+ lbs cargo, 2:18)

Of all the stats of the day, my favorite is that 39 eggs, representing fragile medicine, were picked-up and delivered to BASE unbroken.  NO EGGS BROKEN.

Big thanks to Xtracycle, who provided clutch support for the whole DRT SF event.  Their presence at BASE created wonderful ambiance with an opulent gluten-free vegan snack bar, unending logistical assistance, graceful registration transactions, answers to any and all cargo bike questions posed by DRT gawkers….and smiles: Xtracycle is populated by nice people.  We felt the love and cherish the partnership.

Open Air Cinema‘s cater-made pedal powered digital leader board functioned flawlessly and added gee-whiz bling to our event.  Polymath Sam Garfield, of Open Air Cinema, coordinated with Two Meter Critical Mass amateur radio team to provide minute-by-minute competitor status updates for spectators at BASE.  We watched the drama unfold on a big flat screen…and no grid of civilization required.

Two Meter Critical Mass of SF provided 6 amateur radio operators, 4 of which were bike-based!  They worked within our imperfect system to create a PERFECT FLOW OF DATA.  We knew where each of the competitors were AT ALL TIMES.  Again, no grid of civilization required.

Rock the Bike provided the pedal-powered PA system at BASE.  A system that has been refined by over 100 human-powered stage productions.  Smooth loud sound….Good-vibes intermission music….The unflappable charisma of Paul Freedman, AKA Fossil Fool.  Thank-you for your vital contribution to the off-grid functionality of DRT SF and essential contribution to it’s character.  Hats off to the pedal power pros.

Speaking of character, the visual branding of the event was handled by Kas33 Creative.  Kelley Stangl made us look better than I ever imagined.  Caught Xtracycle’s attention.  Look for more of Kelley’s graphic design in the bike world.

Chrome Industries hosted Checkpoint 4 at their classy world HQ/showroom with widely-reported congeniality: distributing “fragile medicine” and good cheer to all the DRT riders.  Bridget Frederick provided top-notch staffing at Chrome, putting our minds at ease.

San Francyclo, a really sweet cargo bike and utility bike shop in SF, offered “bike parts” at checkpoint 1…and fielded a hot-shot rider, AnsonSo good to hand-off crucial DRT components to someone else!  Thank-you!

Thank-you San Francisco-Marin Food Bank for being so free and easy with your authentic Checkpoint facility.  We owe you one!

Fort Point Beer Company really gets DRT.  They were on the bandwagon from the get-go.  We ran rough-shod over their lot and stripped it of “construction materials” (pallets).  We look forward to partnering with them next year and yes, a Fort Point beer garden is a must.

Thank-you Liz Canning of Less Car More Go, Carrie from TheAtlantic.com, Alicia from San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, and Lauren Pedersen of Performance Bicycle San Jose for providing coverage of the event for your respective audiences.

Thank you Scott Perkins of SF Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) for organizing!  Without Scott, there is no DRT SF. Without Scott, there is 62% less energy.  Without Scott, the DRT movement stops at the California border. Scott is in conversation with San Francisco Fire Department’s Lieutenant Erica Arteseros, director of SF NERT, about creating a NERT cargo bike pilot program.  I spoke with Erica too.  She’s really intrigued. This represents on-target status for our DRT efforts.  We did it.  -Mike


Mark Sullivan reconstitutes his Yuba Mundo after an utterly clean run. No broken eggs, a full five gallons of water, perfect routing. So much style and grace, Mark provided picture perfect advocacy for cargo bikes as disaster response tools.


Fragile medicine intact!


Fragile medicine intact!


Open Air Cinema pedal-powered digital leader board performed flawlessly: clearly displaying real-time competitor status via amateur radio operator-transmitted data. BASE spectators watched the drama unfold as competitors struggled through the 5 checkpoint circuit.

Exploratorium Hosts Loma Prieta Earthquake 25th Anniversary Expo


Scott Perkins, DRT SF organizer and Presidio Neighborhood Emergency Response Team Coordinator, demistifies the cutting edge Rock the Bike Roll Up generator console. 10 USB ports, and color-changing LED power level indicators. Generate in place or on the go.


Kelley Stangl, DRT SF Graphic Designer and Robert Alverson, Xtracycle’s Head Mechanic, chat it up behind the Xtracycle DRB (Disaster Response Bike) prototype.

San Francisco’s famous Exploritorium, a hands-on science museum that articulately explains how the world works through interactive exhibits, hosted a 25th anniversary Loma Prieta Earthquake Expo today. Disaster Relief Trials SF was invited, so we happily unveiled the Xtracycle Disaster Response Bike prototype.  It carries relief supplies with an industrialized cam buckle-adorned cargo hold and then generates electricity in place, under an integrated silnylon shelter – to charge all those phones, flashlights, and radios, quickly.  We made fans and friends.

DRT SF: Last day to register.

Hey y’all.  We’ve got a nice little menagerie of registered DRT SF riders but we’re not full yet!  Sign up until midnight tonight.

Speaking of which, Active.com is handling our registration.  I’d like to apologize for their magazine subscription hard-sell and the general run-around experienced with them.  We’ll try something else next year…Also, the registration page includes a location map and an address.  The location map seems to point out the center of the host city: a little confusing.  The address listed below the map is a Google-searchable address and represents the place to be:

Presidio • Main Post Lawn, San Francisco, CA  94129

and here’s what it looks like from a satellite:

Start/Finish/BASE:  Presidio • Main Post Lawn, Montgomery Street San Francisco, CA  94129

Start/Finish/BASE: Presidio • Main Post Lawn, Montgomery Street San Francisco, CA 94129

Dialing-in Ham Radio Communications for the Big Day


Peter from Two Meter Critical Mass Radio Practice tests a 20′ transponder at DRT SF BASE.

DRT SF has been blessed by the assistance of off-grid communications experts. Two Meter Critical Mass will staff the checkpoints with ham radio operators who will relay competitor status data to BASE (start/finish/Presidio). Three of the operators will be bicycle-based, based on their own inspirations, not our urging.

All this competitor data will be graphically displayed on the prototype pedal-powered digital Leader Board provided by the maniacal innovators at Open Air Cinema.

Yes, low-cost innovative powerful disaster relief tools on display. Using our fat monkey brains to reduce future suffering and death…outside of big government.

THREE DAYS LEFT to register as a competitor. We still have open slots.

One Meter Barrier


This one was harsh on paint. The SF barrier will have a soft-top.


Diana Rempe portages an early model Metrofiets over the barrier at DRT Portland. photo by Will Vanlue

There are 5 checkpoints that’s it.  They must be visited in order.  They are staffed by people who sign your manifest.  At one of the later checkpoints, riders will encounter a one meter barrier.  Riders will arrive at the one meter barrier after having visited cargo checkpoints.