September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and as it comes to a close, Arlington County put its cyclists to the test.

“There’s a number of people who don’t even have vehicles in Arlington,” said Deputy Coordinator for the Arlington Office of Emergency Management, Samantha Brann, “We really need them to start thinking about what their options are if there was an emergency.”

On Saturday BikeArlington and the Office of Emergency Management held the county’s first Disaster Relief Trial, modeled after such events in Oregon, Washington, and California. 

After 70 registered families, teams, and individual bikers traveled throughout Arlington, stopping at four checkpoints and completing eight challenges. 

During and after natural disasters occur, cyclists have an advantage. “Bikes can be very beneficial, particularly when the transportation grid is either stressed or even broken down,” said Director of Active Transportation Henry Dunbar of BikeArlington.