According to Bike Portland, 2012 has been the year of using bicycles in disaster response. Elly Blue’s next edition of Taking the Lane features True Life Stories where a bicycle was instrumental in saving people during disasters large and small.
One of the stories comes from my dad, who was among the first outside responders who arrived with aid and supplies after the disastrous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan. 6,500 people perished in this 8.6 magnitude quake, which caused US$100 billion in damage, or approximately 2.5% of the Japanese GDP then. 150,000 buildings collapsed, as did freeways, subways, and shinkansen tracks. 70% of the railroads in the Osaka-Kobe were unusable because of quake damage.
How did my dad make use of bikes to get to Kobe? You’ll need to buy Elly’s book to find out! There’s only three more days of funding for this Kickstarter project. I personally want to see this one published so please pledge a few dollars and spread the word. Thanks!!
Kickstarter: Disaster! Bicycling through the apocalypse by Elly Blue.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of bicycling in PDX. They’re used for everything from commuting to pizza delivery to parking enforcement.
Hey Richard, next time you’re here, give me a buzz so we can catch up. Though given what I recall about your own fanatical bicycling, maybe you should just move here.