Those of us living and riding in the Eugene/Springfield area have a wonderful problem on our hands. There are so many advocacy organizations in our area working to improve our lives that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all. It can be difficult to see how these organizations fit and work together, and which is responsible for what. Well, luckily for you gentlefolk, WeBikeEugene has come to the rescue! Last spring we circulated a questionnaire to as many of the local advocacy groups we could, and most of them answered back. From this we have created the Eugene Area Advocacy Primer.
The primer is a multi-part series which will run more-or-less weeklywhenever we can throughout the rest of summer, and cover organizations such as GEARs, The BikeLane Coalition, The UO Bike Program, Safe Routes to School, The BTA, and point2point Solutions! If you’d like us to cover an organization that is not listed here, let us know!
Part II of this series covers The Eugene Safe Routes to School Program. The Eugene program is managed by the very busy Shane MacRhodes, who also sits on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), is a GEARs board member, WBE contributor, and driving force behind Kidical Mass – for starters.
Take the jump so see all that Safe Routes to School does for cyclists in Eugene, children and adult commuters alike.
WeBikeEugene’s slow-down became a complete stop a little over a week ago when Kendra’s three week bike tour around the Great Lakes ended in near tragedy. Two weeks into the trip, her riding partner acquired an infection that made it impossible for them to continue. Disappointed, they cut the ride a week and a half short and headed back to Des Moines, IA. On the way back Kendra got an incredible headache that lasted for days, and was hospitalized in Des Moines July 11th (Sunday) with some version of tick-borne Meningitis. They aren’t sure if it is Lyme’s Disease or something viral, but either way it kicked her butt. I arrived in Iowa a few days later, a week earlier than planned, and stayed with Kendra until she was discharged last Saturday. She is slowly recovering, and should be okay in a few weeks.
WBE experienced a complete stop while this played out, but we are ready to return in a “slowed-down” fashion, and will return to full speed in late August or Early September.
The rest of our wrapup covers proposed Sprinfield bikeways, Kidical Mass, EugeneBicyclist.com, a car-free family, and drunk driving sentencing.
Like most cyclists, I’ve had my fair share of close calls with car drivers. Most of the close calls are accidental, comprising of left and right hooks, car doors, and similar things. I usually just give a hearty “HEY HEY HEY!” and let those incidents go, thanking my lucky stars that my defensive biking skills saved my life, yet again.
Occasionally a driver tries to hit me or scare me. I’ve been ran into a rock wall by a dump truck in eastern Oregon, ran into a guardrail and almost flipped off a bridge by a truck in Massachusetts, ran into a ditch in Iowa, and honked at and buzzed more times than I can count. Those drivers were all trying to scare and possibly kill me, and no doubt felt perfectly justified in dehumanizing me. However, it wasn’t until today that I had a chance to have a discussion with one of these guys right after he threatened me with his weapon of choice, a minivan.
As you may have read in our Twitter update, WeBikeEugene is experiencing a summer slowdown, mainly due to my working more hours during the summer, performing every weekend with The GreyMatter Jugglers and Earth Descendance, practicing several times a week for those shows, and also riding my ass off since the weather it nice. WBE Contributor Shane MacRhodes also has his hands full, having recently had twins. This translates to less WBE stories, but that does not mean that things aren’t happening in Eugene.
One example is the PopLollies Women’s Crit Series (click the picture for a bigger flier) that is happening the last three Wednesdays in July. There will be a free clinic to introduce riders to the sport and then races for all levels. Yay!