Portland Electric Bike Expo canceled due to solar eclipse frenzy - KPTV - FOX 12

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Portland Electric Bike Expo canceled due to solar eclipse frenzy

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(Photo: Electric Bike Association) (Photo: Electric Bike Association)

A popular bike expo in Portland is being canceled this year because of the frenzy surrounding the solar eclipse.

The Electric Bike Association travels around the country and sets up from scratch at each location. That means they rely on national vendors for things like tents, fencing and porta potties.

This year, they were scheduled to be at Portland Meadows from August 18 through August 20, and because of the eclipse, even national vendors were running into problems.

"It kind of compounded over that period of time to where vendors were saying, 'look, the entire tri-state area is completely out of portable restrooms,'" said Ray Verhelst, Director at Electric Bike Association. "Fencing could be brought in. We were dealing with a national fencing vendor, they could bring it in but it would take them a week to remove it." 

Verhelst says they expected between 1,000 to 1,200 people to show up for the regional three-day expo in Portland, including many from Seattle and Idaho.

But on top of problems with getting restrooms, fencing and tents, just getting in and out of the area that weekend is expected to be a huge problem with an estimated 1.5 million visitors coming into Oregon.

Organizers tried moving the expo to a later date but there were scheduling conflicts and issues with potential weather.

In the end, they decided they had to officially pull the plug on the Portland Electric Bike Expo this year.

"We had a couple of people that said 'well, why didn't you prepare for this?' I said 'well the last time it happened was in 1918,' so the reality is, who knew," said Verhelst.

People who pre-registered have already been contacted. The event is free, so there aren't any complications when it comes to money.

Organizers say the expo will be back bigger and better next August.

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