WeBikeEugene Staffers Take the Bike Commute Challenge

Screenshot of the Bike Commute Challenge

Are you taking the BTA’s Bike Commute Challenge?  It’s about halfway over (it runs through September), but you can still join in and record miles from earlier this month.  Be sure to mark the days you don’t work as “non-work days” so they don’t affect your commute rate.  Four WeBikeEugene “staffers” are taking the challenge – and challenge all of you to as well.  Post your stats in the comments and be proud!

WBE totals as of Friday, September 17th:

Katura Reynolds – Team Mt. Pisgah Arboretum – 185 Miles, 100% Commute Rate

Kendra Seager -Team 4J School District – 179 Miles, 100% Commute Rate (Kendra is 2nd place for all of 4J)

Mike Seager – Team 4J School District – 145 Miles, 100% Commute Rate

Shane Rhodes – Team 4J School District – 100 Miles, 100% Commute Rate

Delta Ponds Bike & Ped Bridge Dedication

Lee Imonen's sculpture frames the Delta Pods Bridge

What is it about a bridge? I can ride for miles along the riverfront, but I never stop to soak in the scenery and contemplate my place in the world until I am crossing a bridge.

Though it won’t be officially open until November, the community got to have a sneak preview of the Delta Ponds Bike & Ped Bridge during the dedication ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. And it wasn’t just the bike community that turned out–the neighborhood was there, complete with kids and dogs and contagious enthusiasm.

While the official speeches thanked the partnerships that made the bridge possible, pointed out how many jobs were created from the project, and stressed the importance of this safe passage over the Delta Highway to pedestrians, especially to kids going to and from school; while all these good, practical points were being made, we were basking in the fun of going back and forth over this new structure. Like cats rubbing their cheeks against the furniture, we were instantly working on making it our own.

Take the jump for more from Katura, Seager’s comments on the funding controversy, and multiple slideshows!

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Bike Move: By the Numbers

On August 22, 2010, Eugene cyclists rose to the challenge of an epic bike move. Now, anytime someone elects to haul their worldly possessions to a new location by bicycle, it makes for a great adventure. But in many cases, the brave souls who embark on bike moves are single folks who are living lightly and have only a modest amount of furniture. This time, a 4-person family stepped up to the challenge–with plenty of furniture, appliances, gardening equipment, and even grandma’s historic cast-iron treadle sewing machine. There are too many stories to tell from that fun day, so we’ll just keep it to a checklist and a slideshow for now.

Family Bike Move: By the Numbers

Hundreds  of pounds of cargo
Scores of delighted onlookers
18 cyclists
9 pizzas
8 hours
6.5 miles between houses
6 kids riding along
4 zip codes
4 flat tires (all on the giant trailer)
3 beds
2 rounds of hauling
1 cinderblock (for changing tires)
3/4 keg of beer
0 carbon emissions

Next time, bring:
sunblock
scissors-jack for flat tires
more of those little juice boxes
a full charge on the bike-mounted sound system

Read the full write-up on the GEARs website.

Bikestravaganza Comes to Eugene!

Elly Blue (of BikePortland.org fame) and Joel Biel are stopping in Eugene on their Bikestravaganza: Off the Chainring Tour!  They’ll be giving a free 2 hour presentation at the Greater Eugene Area Riders (GEARs) general meeting.  Quoted from the GEARs blog:

For our September general meeting GEARs is pleased to present Joe Biel and Elly Blue in their Traveling Bikestravaganza!  Please join us on Thursday, September 9th from 6pm to 8pm for a traveling road show of bicycle talk, movies, zines, and transportation activism and advocacy. Elly Blue and Joe Biel will present short videos and a slideshow about Portland, Oregon’s famous bicycle culture and infrastructure, followed by an interactive discussion of the future of transportation infrastructure and advocacy in our town and beyond.

(click here for the full GEARs blog post)

Everyone is welcome at the event, even non-GEARs members.  It will be held from 7-9 pm on Thursday, Sept 9th in Room 240A, McKenzie Hall, University of Oregon. (map)

I asked Blue to provide WeBikeEugene with a short explanation and writeup of her travels (10 states in 30 days!), and to explain what the Off the Chainring Tour is all about.  Take the jump to read her response and to view their video trailer.

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Burley Takes Home GOLD at Eurobike

The GOLD winning Burley Travoy

Eurobike is the worlds biggest bicycle industry tradeshow and with 565 entries from 30 countries the competition for the Eurobike awards is pretty stiff. This year Burley Design knew going into the show that the new Travoy trailer was one of the 104 products to receive a “Eurobike Award 2010” but today they just received word that the jury selected them to receive one of only 12 GOLD awards.  The GOLD awards were reviewed by categories that ranged from city bikes and mountain bikes to accessories and concepts.  The category that Burley was in had the stiffest competition with 199 other entries (compared to 10 for “family bikes”). Here’s the information on the award including the “Jury Statement”.

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Online Bike Lane Problem Reporting, Bike Blog Roundup, and August InMotion

Good day, wonderful people.  As you may have noticed by our plethora of recent articles (sort of), our summer slowdown has mostly ended.  Yay!

I wanted to give a quick shoutout to the other area bike blogs that helped pickup WBE’s slack over the summer, and which continue to be a joy to read.  These blogs are different from the GEARs, SRTS, and EugeneWeekly blogs (viewable in RSS form on the right of this page) in that they focus more on culture and less on news.

I’ve mentioned EugeneBicyclist.com before (I think) but I feel like mentioning it again.  The man behind it is a mystery (oooh, spooky!), but I’m pretty sure he isn’t a zombie. If he is a zombie, and he eats you, I’m sorry.  Not that it would be my fault if he DID eat you, but more because I’m sure being eaten is not an enjoyable thing and I would most likely feel empathy for you.

Another newish Eugene cycle blog is Eugene Cycle Chic, a blog featuring pictures of Eugenians in their utter hotness riding their bikes, or something like that.  It’s like a Eugene version of Copenhagen Cycle Chic – the main difference being that Eugene riders sometimes wear helmets and probably don’t speak dutch danish.  I’ve yet to find a picture of me on Eugene Cycle Chic, but I think it’s because I’m too pretty and they don’t want to make other people feel embarrassed.

The City of Eugene’s InMotion continues to make our job easier by condensing tons of information into a wonderful little newsletter.  There is a lot of information in this one (posted in full after the jump), but the following bit of information has me very excited.  It’s something I’ve been asking for for awhile, they promised us in March,  and now they’ve finally delivered!

Online Bike Lane Service Request!

Online hazard reporting directly to the city – available when the city hotline (541-682-4800) is closed!  This can be used to report glass, debris, etc 24/7!  Quoted:

New Online App Offers Easy Way to Report Bike Lane Problems
A new web-based application makes it easy for cyclists to report problems and request maintenance services in Eugene’s bike lanes. The bike lane service application is located at www.eugene‐or.gov/pwm (look for the bike lane service icon). It is one of six online services (the others are report nuisance vegetation, report a pothole, get notified when street is scheduled to be swept, report graffiti, and request leaf delivery) now offered by the Eugene Public Works Department

All of the service request applications use a map-based system. Customers enter a street address to generate a marker “pin” that can be dragged to an exact location. Customers fill in an easy online form that includes a notes field. The final step is to click the “submit” button, which automatically sends the request to the correct work group. For more information about the bike lane service request application, contact the Public Works Maintenance Division at pwmaintenance@ci.eugene.or.us or call 541-682-4800.

Take the jump to view the entire InMotion newsletter.

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No Experience Required: The Trips for Kids Program

“No Experience Required.

Hard-core and girly all at once.That is what grabbed me about the email. The Center for Appropriate Transport’s “Trips for Kids” program already sounded like a good idea, since it gave youth who might not otherwise get the opportunity to get out in nature and learn mountain biking skills. The specific call for volunteers that I saw back in June was for the all-girls ride, which also got a thumbs-up from my feminist brain. But when the call for adult volunteers clearly stated “no experience required,” I went from passively approving of the project to actively writing back. “Do you still need volunteers? I have no experience…”

See, for all my current bravado as a daily bicycle commuter, I came into cycling slowly and awkwardly. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s that I really started using a bike, gently coaxed along by my sweetie. This same sweetie, once I got somewhat steady on my wheels, tried taking me on his favorite mountain-biking trail. And, of course, I instantly wiped out on the trail and ended up sliding down a hill on my face. Scab city!

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PopLollies’ Women’s Crit and July InMotion Repost

Womens Crit Flier, Click to Embiggen

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!

July’s InMotion, a handy newsletter put out by Lindsay Selser with the City of Eugene, is also full of summer events, construction updates, and way more!  It includes a July 17th Kidical Mass ride to an Em’s game, the Blackberry bRamble and Jamboree, and construction on the South Bank Path, Fern Ridge Path, and all over the city.

Take the jump and give it a read! Then go back outside and ride some more.

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WBE Copy Editor leaves for bike tour, a summer of mispelings and typoes two follow

Kendra's route will mostly follow this Northern Route

Kendra, our esteemed copy editor, left this weekend for a month long tour of the Great Lakes, roughly following Adventure Cycling’s North Lakes Route.  She and a friend will start in Scandia, Mn on June 21st and then ride self-supported to West Bend, In – arriving on July 13th or 14th.  From there they will take an Amtrak back to Des Moines, Ia where I will join them on July 22nd for a 500 mile bike ride across Iowa as part of Team RoadShow on RAGBRAI.  Kendra and I plan to return to Eugene in early August.

This will affect the site in a few ways. Most notably our standards for spelling and grammar will likely drop, and the general coherence of my thoughts may also suffer. Also, since we both will be gone for the last week or two of July, WBE posts during that period will likely be even less timely.

You can follow Kendra’s trip on her Flickr page, which she will be updating with her phone.

Adventures with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Count

This year I finally volunteered for the City of Eugene’s annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Count (I had seen the notice in the GEARs emails for years now, but hadn’t been able to get my act together before). The data gathered during these counts helps the city understand the non-motorized traffic patterns at various strategic intersections on streets and bike paths throughout Eugene. With this information, city engineers can prioritize repairs on roads & paths and otherwise make life that much easier for cyclists and pedestrians.

The lunchtime training session showed the process to be a little more complex than I had expected. Volunteers don’t just sit in a lawn chair and count the number of people who go by. First we categorize by bike/not bike (the latter category includes folks on foot as well as anyone using a wheelchair, stroller, or skateboard).  Then we note the direction they are coming from when they approach the intersection, and whether they turn right, turn left, or proceed forward through the juncture. We start a new form every half-hour to keep the data from getting too cluttered.  The intersection I signed up for (which is along my commute so I could count on a weekday morning and still make it to work on time) happened to be a complicated one that involves two forms side-by-side per half-hour. The extra challenge had me that much more excited! Now all I needed was a sunny day to get started.

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