April 24th | Bicycle Disaster Response Exercise

Meetup and ride start point

Harbor Ave Vista Point on the Alki Trail (map)

Harbor Ave Vista Point on the Alki Trail

Just look for the green Cascade canopy tent.

Start time

Plan on arriving at 1:30pm

End point

The point is at the White Center Bicycle Playground (map)

White Center Bicycle Playground

The entrance is on 10th Ave SW

End time

Maxwell will be at the end point until 5:30pm to cheer you on as you enter the Bicycle Playground and to take your completed challenge envelopes, the supplies that you carried from the start point, and your bike trailer if you borrowed one.

Post exercise happy hour

After finishing your disaster response exercise ride join us at Beer Star (map) in White Center for a post exercise happy hour. We'll be at Beer Star from 4:30pm to 7pm.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/39159424
Bike Parking: There are bike racks that are visible from inside and ample space for bikes on the sidewalk outside Beer Star. Remember to bring your bike lock!

Participant orientation at the start point

Once you arrive at the start point we'll give you your physical navigation map, challenge envelopes to open at checkpoints, and we'll also walk you through everything that you will be carrying on your bike to the finish point.

Before you start loading up your bikes and planning your route using the navigation maps we'll also talk more about the disaster scenario, the partners who we will be working with like the Seattle Emergency Hubs, and also go over how we will be communicating during this exercise.

Communications during the exercise

Immediately after an actual natural disaster the cellular service will be severely degraded with only a few cell towers in the city staying online via generators. The Zello app may allow community responders to communicate with each other and city emergency management personnel even while normal phone, text, and internet communication become unavailable due to the few remaining cell towers become overwhelmed. During this exercise we will be testing Zello and efficacy in disaster response by bike.

Your can downlaod the Zello app through either Google Play or on the Apple App Store.

Zello app users can join different channels like a walkie-talkie and we have created a channel for the Bicycle Disaster Response Exercise on Sunday April 24th

Bike trailers

We will have Burley flatbed cargo trailers available for participants to use during the exercise if you don't have a way to carry bulky items on your bike. A trailer takes just a few minuets to hook up to a bike and it uses a hitch that you slide onto the rear wheel axle of most bikes. Check if your bike is compatible by going to the the Burley website or email Maxwell a photo of your bike and he will tell you if one of your trailer will work.


Required supply list

  • Your bike
  • A helmet
  • A basic bike repair kit with a small pump or other air inflater
  • An Apple or Android smartphone - We will be using the walkie-talkie app Zello to communicate out on the route

Recommended supply list

  • Expanded bike repair kit that included extra patch kits, schrader to presta adapter (or pump that can handle both), chain breaker tool, pliers, adjustable wrench.
  • Battery pack and charger for your phone
  • Extra water (personal + to share) & extra water container
  • Heavy work gloves, safety glasses (in case you have to move damaged materials)
  • First aid kit, hand sanitizer, 1-2 pairs medical gloves
  • Pen/pencil, small pad/sheets of paper
  • Bungee cords and straps. Punctured inner tubes make great straps after you cut them!

Ride as a Team or Solo

We think that this exercise will work best and be the most fun if the participants split up into 2 or more teams. There will be an opportunity to split up into teams at the start point before the start of the ride. Riding solo will be allowed, so if you would like to go it alone, we'll support that!

Supplies that we'll be carrying as a group

Once the participants arrive we'll split up the these supplies amongst the group. Some of the items below will fit better on bike trailers while others will be better carried by cargo bikes.

  • 2 eggs in a small containing. All participants will be given 2 eggs in a container to carry to the end point. These eggs will simulate delicate vials of medicine like insulin or delicate medical equipment. Ride carfully as you'll get extra points for every egg that isn't broken at the end point!
  • (3) 6 ft. folding tables
  • (1) 10 ft. pop-up canopy
  • (5) 23” x 17” plastic containers (with lids) full of food, first aid kits, and other supplies
  • (2) empty 10 Gal water coolers
  • (1) Water tree - A 3 ft. long copper pipe with water spigots along it that hooks up via a hose to a potable water source.
  • (10) 5 ft. brass pipe - These pipes will simulate a variety of tools and equipment that will be needed by community hubs.
    Examples are hand tools for rescue operations, shoring beams and medium scale water filtration systems.

Learning more and resources

Emergency Communications Hubs

One of the checkpoints that you will be riding to along your route will be at an Emergency Communications Hubs. A Seattle Community Emergency Hub is a pre-determined location where neighbors and community members are likely to gather to begin exchanging information and resources among themselves without outside assistance from City services. City services may not be widely available in the first week after a large natural disaster.

The 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake in Kobe, Japan

The Great Hanshin earthquake was a 7 magnitude earthquake that struck Kobe, Japan in 1995. The damage inflicted onto Seattle during the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that we are using in our scenario will be similar to the damage that was inflicted onto Kobe.