Saturday, dozens of bicyclists gathered in Alton Baker Park for the second annual Disaster Relief Trials.
If a natural disaster strikes in Eugene, cargo bikers are prepared to help the community. Around 60 cyclists gathered in Alton Baker Park - eager to begin the obstacle course modeled after an earthquake disaster. Emma Stocker is with the University of Oregon Emergency Management Team, she explains the course’s design:
Stocker: “They have to incorporate a water feature. They have to incorporate a certain amount of weight. They have to incorporate having a barrier, some sort of rough terrain, a certain amount of distance. And so, we have all those features and a few more. We’ve included some fragile equipment they have to transport, something that simulates medical supplies.”
Without a clear idea of what they might be up against, riders came prepared with whatever they thought could help them in an emergency situation. This was Carly Jean’s first Disaster Relief Trial:
Jean: “I’m in the resilience class which means, I need to be able to carry 75 pounds on my bike frame and be able to ride that for about 30 miles today. So I made sure that that was all in alignment and then just kind of packed my bike with things that I might need if a disaster came up like duct tape, I got a knife, got lots of zip ties, things like that.”
Families and individuals smiled as they enjoyed the Cargo Bike Fair held before the race. As the trails began, members of the Eugene bike community showed more camaraderie than competition. Cyclist Matt McRae:
McRae: “The best part about this race is it’s less of a race and more of just a good time with a whole bunch of people on bikes.”
Proceeds raised from the event went to the Eugene and Springfield Safe Routes to Schools.
Suggestions for next year’s course are welcomed year-round on the Eugene Disaster Relief Facebook Page.