Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ride to Recovery, Bikes During Disasters

With May being National Bike Month it’s a good time to reflect on how everyday tools can help us in times of disasters.  Bikes can be wonderful assets during large scale disasters.  

  • Since bikes only rely on “human powered” fuel you won’t have to worry about the gas shortage and long lines at the pumps.  
  • After a large earthquake it is likely that roads will be extremely damaged and simply driving your car to the grocery store will no longer be an option.  Having a durable bike will allow you to navigate the obstacle course that was once your neighborhood.  
    Roads could be severely damaged.
  • After a large disaster aid from outside the region will eventually be able to trickle in, but distributing the aid to every household will be very challenging.  Using bike to pick up and even help distribute supplies will be a great help in rebuilding our community.

Bikes are only useful if they are working.  How many times have you been excited to dust your bike off and go for a ride only to find flat tires and discovering your tire pump is broken?  You should know how to complete general maintenance on your bike and have some spare parts and tools on hand.  You can often find bike maintenance classes offered in the area.  
Want to kick your disaster biking up a notch?  Join the quickly growing world of cargo bike enthusiasts.  I purchased my first cargo bike last summer and love to find excuses to use its “cargo” capabilities.  A trip to the grocery store is now an adventure for the whole family.  Cargo bikes have already proven to be highly effective in real world disasters.
Cargo bike aiding in Nepal relief effort.  time.com

The Disaster Relief Trials organizes several events aimed at testing how well cargo bikes and riders would perform during a disaster.  This competition demonstrates how we can use everyday tools to improve the response and recovery efforts.  As you are out biking around this summer think about how you could get supplies from Point A to Point B without the use of a car. 

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