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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sleep tight, Portland

Following the devastating earthquake, there will be cargo bikes to save us. Those earnest trustafarians will be our lifeline.

Comments (26)

"After the "Big One" in the coming weeks, bikes will be the best way to get around."



When the crushing weight of the building is squeezing the life from my broken body I will patiently wait for the hippys on cargo bikes to come to my rescue.

Portlandia scene?

This is yet another piece of the make believe world that is deep blue Portland. It wouldn't be so bad if so many of the blue bizarros were not in elected office and decades of hiring the most blue activists had not saturated all of our local government agencies with them.

But with Sam Adams and Rex Burkholder types dominating everything the general populous hasn't next to no representation or check on the blue beast.

The only hope is that the Clackistani, Westside and Vancouver rebellions purge these badly blue things from controlling everything.

No cargo bike for you.

There is actually a good deal of common sense in this plan. Having non-fuel-dependent transportation following a disaster is a good idea. However, this article buried the common sense in a load of emotional goo. Is the new bridge better BECAUSE it can't accomodate motor vehicles? Are bikes better because they make their afficionados happy?

Jack - we love you even when you insist in dissing the bicycle community... Although i have to admit the photo of the cargo bicycle rescue squad is uber nerdy.

Now lets talk planning... The emergency command center is east of the river. But, when the Big One hits all the bridges will collapse. Those who need to get to the command center - lots of cops and City infrastructure types - what wiil they do? How will they get to Emergency Command to lead us back into normal wierdness? The answer is ... We need a fleet of emergency response cargo kayaks parked on the west side of the river. The City must not delay!

After the "Big One," collapsed buildings and fallen trees will make the roads impassable for any kind of wheeled vehicle. We're going to need one of these to carry rescue gear.

I saw that picture and my first thought was...Laugh In.
All those folks need is the yellow rain slicker.

Yes, rescue bicycles. Great idea. We'll send them for Sam.

Meanwhile, please send one of the helicopters full of supplies to my house.

And I'm sure that these bikes will be oh-so-useful when Mount Hood finally erupts and leaves downtown Portland buried under about a half-mile of red-hot pyroclastic flow. Give me Packy and a howdah instead.

"MV-993, where is your location?"


"MV-993, please respond."

"Whussup? I was sleeping."

"All emergency bike teams are activated as of now. We're coordinating a full evac of downtown Portland."

"Hey, man, can't you get Smitty over at the bookstore to handle it? I'm really hung over."

"Negative. All bike teams report at once to the staging area and await instructions."

"Dude, c'mon. Look, I'll cover it next time. Besides, it's before 11. You can't expect anyone to get up this early, can you?"

Ah yes I remember all the cargo bikes in the videos I viewed during the hurricane Katrina disaster.
They may have some use but I don't see wasting any tax dollars on them.
They can volunteer like the HAM radio operators do.

When the big one hits, it will be like Haiti here. Most of our commercial and industrial buildings are older or built to a too-lenient standard that was politically acceptable to the "development community" and will all be piles of rubble. As in Katrina, the people who fair best will be the people who self-evacuate early on to pre-arranged private hospitality (e.g. Aunt Betsy in Duluth). Pre-arrange your own.

Email and Facebook turn out to be dominant ways people locate each other. Having a stash of cash enough to get you, the kids and the dog to Aunt Betsy's, and some of your finances outside the area but reachable via the interwebs are good ideas. Cell phones will come back up before land lines. Having a Google Voice number that forwards to email if all else fails will be sweet. Have an email account with an internationally stable provider, even if you prefer to use a local one for your day to day.

Have three days worth of water and food (balanced Zone-type meal bars are good), walking shoes, a backpack empty but for a serious first-aid kit, warm-when-wet layers and rain gear stashed somewhere they'll be easy to get to in a worst case. Trunk of the car is good. Don't expect to be able to drive out, though you might get lucky.

Expect to walk to wherever commercial transportation is still functional (e.g. rail and bus lines in Hood River).

All the above is obviously worst case, but preparing in these ways need not cost a dime more than you are spending now.

If you aren't mobile enough to walk out, a two-week stash of food and water is a good idea. Squirrel away 30 days of meds.

I have every confidence that the neighborhood bike deliveries of home-grown organic tomatoes will resume as soon as the Permies get back from taking their kids to Aunt Betsy's.

Also, drill all your household members on where to go/stay/meet/call if stuff happens. Some people print this contact info, including Aunt Betsy's phone number, email and address, onto something wash-proof and sew it inside their kids' clothes. One can laser print on poly stickers and paste it all over, too.

Most people don't have a clue what to do in any emergency and the bike dudes are probably no exception.
Whaddaya mean there's no power to run my espresso machine? And charging the devices we all use constantly will be a huge issue!
Living off the grid is not something many of us do.

Most people's first concern won't be transportation thru rubble-strewn streets -quit will be food, water and medical care. After the food is gone from the grocery store shelves, it's pillage and marauder time. Don't think a bike makes a good getaway vehicle - it might get stolen in all the pillaging.

Oh dear, a couple of well-meaning dweebs pedaling around with some fire extinguishers aren't going to prevent, thwart, or in any way mitigate the damage from even the smallest disaster. Too small for a litter as well.

They wouldn't have been able to put out the modest fire at the old Carl's Jr. today, or even come close... assuming that they could have even arrived there in a timely fashion. What are they for?

The comments at the linked article devolve into a strange denial that looting occurs after disasters. Furthermore, if somebody does take stuff, then it's because they really needed it, and this shouldn't be categorized as looting anyways. =-)

Big heavy bikes full of precious, expensive supplies (none of which will be taken by force!) will quickly and ably navigate the cracked-up streets (how do i tell the difference?) after a real disaster...

Need excuses crime... End justifies means... but then, at the same time, people never defect and misbehave, even on their worst day. Heck, I wouldn't ride a cargo bike full of good stuff down the street in Portland right now.

Hey there, you with the stars in your eyes... that is why you fail. Wake up and see the truth of it. I recommend Niven and Pournelle's classic "Lucifer's Hammer" as an entertaining corrective.

Ha ha! Love it, Downtown Denizen! Those who don't read science fiction (speculation) are doomed to live it! I am not being sarcastic. Great read, by the way.

Or for a really depressing read try, "The Road", or the classic "A Canticle for Leibowitz".

Portland Native: "My life fades. The vision dims, and all that remain are memories. I remember a time of chaos, the wounded streets, this wasted land. And yes, I remember the Bikepath Warrior, the man we called Irate Ian."

How will the hipsters respond after their condo bunker collapses on them ?

A devasting earthquake would solve so many of our problems wouldn't it? All the light rail would be unusable and heavy ROAD equipment could clear a path for a cobbled bus system. PPS could finally rebuild all the schools it needed and might even have any easy time consolidating whatever school population remained. The best part would be the ground under city hall liquifying and taking care of the lack of leadership in our city of roses. Okay maybe the record amount of rainfall and the utter lack of respect the city "leaders" have for the citizens has finally ....

Heck if I had one of those (or a trailer for my bike) I'm loading up the dog and some supplies and heading to the east. With family in Boise, I should be able to get there in a month.

Personally, I liked S.M. Stirling's alternative history. Set largely in Oregon's Willamette Valley, the formation of the feudal Portland Protective Association sees the Multnomah County Central Library taken over as a headquarters, with Charles Moose and Vera Katz impaled on spokes at either side of the entrance.

Much of the action takes place around Gervais, but in all it's fascinating stuff.

Let's see.





I've gotta go with Caterpillar.

How are you going to fill up a car or CAT when a megathrust CSZ 9.0+ earthquake hits and takes out access to fueling stations?

I don't know about anyone else, but I'd take emergency aid from any kind vehicle when the "big one" hits.

It seems disingenuous that we'd scoff at a group trying to respond in any way to a looming disaster.

If you don't like emergency cargo bikes, kindly pass your emergency relief to your neighbors who might need it.

This isn't about bikes or cars -- this is about emergency response, something that I think is far too serious of a scenario in the NW to make jokes about.


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