We Promise You This… If a Natural Disaster Strikes, You’ll Be a Hero

renee moore bikearlington program manager arlington county
Renée Moore Tweet Us @bikearlington@bikearlington July 23, 2019

Renée Moore is a former Program Manager for BikeArlington.

Facebook Tweet us @BikeArlington

The Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) is a one-of-a-kind event created to teach people how their bicycle can be a resource during an emergency.

If we have a natural disaster what would you do? Cars may be useless, unable to get into smaller areas to rescue people. Gasoline may be unavailable. Or worse, your car could have been destroyed by the catastrophe. Emergency teams may not be able to get to you quickly. You have moments to react.  

How would this situation be different if: 

  • You could get around without a car and help yourself, your family, and your neighbors? 
  • You could help deliver critical messages to others? 
  • You could deliver medication to those in need? 
  • You carried potable water to people affected by the disaster? 
  • You could pick up and deliver food to your neighbors? 
  • You could rescue stranded pets?  

Then you remember you have a bicycle. It’s nimble and can get around to places where cars are unable to go. Suddenly, you realize you aren’t helpless. In fact, you can be quite helpful! 

But right now, you may be thinking, “I have no earthly idea if I can do any of that stuff!”  

  • You’re not sure if you can bike that far 
  • You don’t know how you will rescue your family 
  • You don’t know how to carry your stuff 

All these concerns are valid. And we completely understand why you feel this way but here’s the truth… 

  • You’re strong enough! If you bike to work or even bike recreationally, you can do this event. The course is 17-22 miles with several stops in between.  
  • It’s a team effort! You can and should bring your family out to the event so everyone will learn how to be a hero! 
  • You’re already ready! You most likely have a basket, backpack, or panniers that can be used to carry stuff.

The Disaster Relief Trials can teach you everything you need to survive a natural disaster and make you a hero in your own life.  

The Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) is a one-of-a-kind event created to teach people how their bicycle can be a resource during an emergency. The DRT simulates a large-scale disaster blocking roadways. It challenges participants to use their bikes to pick up food, water, and other emergency supplies from checkpoints throughout Arlington County, while completing emergency preparedness challenges and traversing obstacles, such as barriers and water crossings. 

During the DRT you’ll learn: 

  • How to traverse a physical barrier 
  • How to deliver a critical message 
  • How to filter water and make it potable 
  • How to cross water at least 15cm deep  
  • How to travel across rough terrain 
  • How to apply a tourniquet 
  • How to evacuate an animal 
  • How to pick up and drop off food and water 

Unlike other bike challenges that test your ability to ride a certain distance, this ride will test you, your bike, AND teach new skills that’ll make you indispensable in an emergency. 

Ready to Test Your Bike and Test Yourself?  

Great! Click here to read the details and to register for the DRT! 

Disaster Relief Trials September 14, 2019, 8 am – 2 pm  

Registration Categories 

  • Responder I/E-Sponder I – Single adult on standard bike or e-bike, including bike racks, panniers, body packs, etc. 
  • Responder II/E-Sponder II – Single adult on a cargo bike or e-cargo bike (front bucket or longtail), or standard bike with trailer. 
  • Family Responders/Family E-Sponders – Up to 2 adults and between 1-4 children under the age of 14, any combination of bikes or e-bikes. 
  • Team Responders/Team E-Sponders – Teams of 2-3 adults, any combination of bikes or e-bikes.  

Event Rules 

  • Bike helmets required 
  • No GPS systems are allowed. A map will be provided. 
  • 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. 

Essential Elements Challenges* 

  • 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 and Drop-off station of non-perishable food. 
  • Water pick-up and Drop-off station; participants must supply their own water receptacles. 
  • Medication (simulated) pick-up and drop-off station. 

Emergency Preparedness Challenges* 

Additional emergency preparedness challenges will be located at checkpoints and can be completed for additional points. Potential preparedness challenges include: 

  • Critical Message – Successfully picked up from one checkpoint and correctly delivered to another. 
  • Water Filtration – Successfully demonstrate the ability to filter water to a safe drinking level. Test your own filtration system or select and test a filtration system supplied at the checkpoint. 
  • Tourniquet Application – Successfully demonstrate the ability to apply a tourniquet. 
  • Animal Evacuation – Successfully pick up and evacuate a (simulated) pet in a carrier. 

You don’t have to do all the challenges to participate.   

If that’s not enough, we also have a Finish Festival at Gateway Park open to the public. Feel free to join us whether you attend the DRT or not. 

And we have a kiddie DRT for the children. Balance bikes will be provided. 

So there is no reason to NOT attend.  

You’ll learn some basic survival skills. You’ll spend time with family. You’ll learn how to prepare for a disaster, and you’ll have a blast!

See what some of our past participants have said: 


Be a Hero! Join us for this unique event. Click here to learn more and register.

See you there!

BikeArlington + Ready Arlington Team


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