Essential Elements

photo (15)

Disaster Relief Trials Portland 2012. Travis Wittwer transcribes amateur radio operator-communicated competitor status data to the Leader Board.


Disaster Relief Trials is a competition format born of two missions:
1. Showcase the relevance of cargo bikes to disaster relief.  Dramatically, entertainingly, authentically.
2. Stimulate the development of technique and equipment for most effective cargo bike-based relief.


1. CHECKPOINTS Competitors visit (5) or more staffed checkpoints in order, creating a circuit. Checkpoint addresses, features, and order will be revealed one hour prior to start on laminated Rider Map. Competitors design their own routing between checkpoints. Because checkpoints are the only places that competitors must visit prior to finishing, the required circuit features below (barrier, water feature, cargo, competition monitoring) must be incorporated into these checkpoints.
2. BARRIER (1) one meter tall barrier, to be visited by competitors after they accumulate at least 25kg of relief supplies.
3. WATER FEATURE (1) water crossing, at least 15cm deep
4. ROUGH TERRAIN (1) section of off-road terrain, rough enough to make most competitors dismount and walk at least once, 400 meters or longer
5. CARGO 50kg accumulated payload. Must include an inadequately protected (3) eggs parcel, representing fragile relief supplies such as medicine vials. Each broken egg results in a 10 minute penalty.
6. DURATION (3) hours or more for the fastest competitors.
7. COMPETITION MONITORING At least one mid-circuit checkpoint and the start/finish line checkpoint must be staffed by local ham radio operators who provide real-time competitor status information, recorded on a finish line-located results board displayed such that spectators have a prominent view (see photo above).
8. RIDER MAP Laminated annotated checkpoint map and 1″ spring clamp supplied to competitors 1 hour prior to start.
9. START LeMans start!
10. SAFETY Competitors must comply with all traffic laws all the time to avoid immediate *or* post-competition disqualification.
11. MOTORS A separated e-assist competition category may be offered as long as off-grid dead battery charging capability is demonstrated by competitors.  E-assist competitors must describe their proven off-grid battery charging system within the on-line registration form.  A photo of the charging system must be submitted via e-mail prior to registration acceptance.  A two minute head-start will be granted to e-assist competitors who bring their off-grid charging systems to the registration tent at least one hour prior to start and demonstrate successful charging.
12. ELECTRONIC NAVIGATION DEVICES Only the electric assist class may use electronic navigation devices. Off-grid charging of a dead device battery must be demonstrated.


4 thoughts on “Essential Elements

    • antload

      Thanks for the question! As long as one rider rides one bike exclusively for the entire event, said rider may enter as an individual (as opposed to Family or Team). Equip your bike with whatever makes navigating, awkward cargo lashing, heavy cargo hauling, fragile cargo hauling, barrier portaging, flooded street fording, and rough terrain riding easiest (funnest).


    • antload

      No, but that’s a great question. From the hip:

      1. Well-tuned 50kg+ payload-rated cargo bike or bike and trailer, compatible with large (palet sized) awkward cargo. Equipped with fenders, rough terrain-able tires, and a rock-solid center stand.
      2. Lots of high-security lash straps, compatible with rapid cargo attachment, detachment, and re-attachment.
      3. Helmet.
      4. Grease pencil for marking laminated mission map.
      5. Roadside repair kit and ability to use it for common repairs (mostly flats).
      6. Fully charged mobile phone for emergencies.
      7. 1.5+ liters of water with electrolytes (water available at some of the Checkpoints).
      8. Easy to digest moral-boosting snacks: fast and slow-burning.


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