A Bike. A Disaster.
How Will You Respond?
September 29, 2018
2017 was the costliest year on record for the US in terms of disasters. When roads became gridlocked or damaged during disasters, people turned to their bicycles to flee from danger, assist in the response, or to return to normal.
The Disaster Relief Trials simulates an emergency which blocks the roads, and forces participants to use their bicycles to transport emergency supplies, critical messages, and (simulated) medicine throughout the county while traversing obstacles, such as downed trees or other barriers, rough terrain, and water crossings.
Beginning and ending at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, participants will ride to checkpoints throughout the County to pick up and deliver food, water, medication (simulated), and relay critical messages while traversing obstacles, including a water crossing, rough terrain, and a physical barrier. At each checkpoint, participants will be presented with an emergency preparedness challenge. Points will be rewarded to the total weight of supplies transported back to the finish, as well as completing the emergency preparedness challenges successfully.
The Essential Elements Challenges
There are five essential element challenges (one) located at each checkpoint, including
- Physical Barrier, simulating a downed tree or other obstacle blocking passage; up to 1 meter high
- Water Crossing at least 15 cm deep
- Rough Terrain, which may cause riders to dismount their bicycles; at least 400 meters or longer
- Food pick-up station of non-perishable food
- Water pick-up station; participants must supply their own water receptacles
- Medication pick-up (simulated) station
Emergency Preparedness Challenges
Additional challenges will be located at three of the checkpoints, and can be completed additional points, including:
- Critical Message – Successfully picked up from one checkpoint and correctly delivered to another
- Fire Extinguisher – Successfully demonstrate the ability to put out a small fire with a fire extinguisher
- Wound Packing – Successfully demonstrate the ability to pack a wound using correct techniques
- Responder I (Individuals, traditional bicycles) – Single Adult on standard bike, including bike racks, panniers, body packs, etc.
- Responder II (Individuals, cargo bicycle, and/or trailer) –Single Adult on cargo bike (front bucket or longtail), or standard bike with trailer.
- Family Responders (1-2 Adults, 1-4 children under age 14, any style of bikes) –Up to 2 adults and between 1-4 children under the age of 14, any style of bikes
- Team Responders (2-3 Adults, any/all bike types) – Teams of 2-3 adults, any/all bike types
- Citizen (Individual) – Single Adult with no cargo or checkpoint requirement; complete as many Emergency Preparedness Challenges as you want; non-competitive
- No GPS systems are allowed. A map will be provided.
- No electric assist bicycles will be allowed. (Batteries of e-bikes must be removed or disconnected)
- Teams must stay together at all times.
- Cyclists must obey all traffic laws and trail etiquette, including 15 MPH speed limit on multimodal paths.
- Use the PAL mentality: be Predictable, Alert, and Lawful.
The top three finishers in each category will be awarded prizes. Points will be awarded for successfully completing the essential elements and emergency preparedness challenges, as well as per pound of emergency supplies transported back to the start. Bonus point will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all five checkpoints.
Points will be distributed accordingly:
- 10 points per successful completion of each Essential Element challenge
- 10 points per successful completion of each Emergency Preparedness Challenge
- Up to 15 points for successfully delivering (simulated) undamaged medication
- 1 point per pound of emergency supplies transported back to the start
- 50 points upon the successful completion of all Essential Elements at the 5 checkpoints
The Disaster Relief Trial is supported by these great partners:
- Arlington County Parks and Recreation
- Bike Arlington
- Phoenix Bikes
- The Bike Rack
- Team Sticky Fingers