Riding Blog

July 16, 2019

Report on the Central Eugene In Motion Open House

by Tomoko Sekiguchi

This event, on July 10th, was an information gathering session put on by the city, concerning four areas of central Eugene:

1.) High St. and Pearl St. from 19th Ave to 5th Ave. — Both are currently 2 lane one-way streets, one going north and the other south.

2.) 8th Ave. from High St. to Lincoln St.

3.) a 5 block area centering around Oak St. and 19th Ave.

4.) Bike path connector approximately between Pearl and Willamette Streets.

The organizers laid out large maps and participants were instructed to mark on the map with areas of hazard and areas of opportunity, and descriptions of both. People had added comments objecting to a reduction in on-street parking, inconvenience of deliveries, alteration of garbage collection location, and the narrowing of car traffic to one lane. These comments seemed to come from the adjacent businesses who where invited to the event via hand delivered announcements.

The room was also filled with at least a dozen Climate Revolution Riders as well as other bicycle advocates. The demographic was mainly over 50. The younger generation was very scantly represented; it was a status quo kind of turn out. And at this crucial moment in the context of climate crisis, the younger generation should be loudly giving direction to the future of transportation planning. But there is still time to give input electronically at https://engage.eugene-or.gov until July 26th. Please give input and let them know you are a bicyclist.

Previous attempts to make these areas bike and pedestrian friendly were derailed by businesses in these area. Let’s not let that happen again. The city needs to know there is large public support of increased bike and pedestrian transportation ways.

June 16, 2019

First ride in Fifteen Years!

by Linda Heyl

I decided to join Eugene’s bike share program, PeaceHealth Rides. https://www.peacehealthrides.com

The online sign-up was easy. I watched some online safety videos at CyclingSavvy.com. https://cyclingsavvy.org Then I committed to joining the June ride with my peeps in Climate Revolutions by Bike. I decided I’d better hold myself accountable by telling my friend Cynthia about my intention – or I’d be more likely to find some excuse to avoid it.

So the day arrived. I had other kinda stressful stuff to get done before the ride at 2. And whoops, I’d forgotten my water bottle, so I popped by Down to Earth for a little $3 metal number. By 1:30, I had located where to pick up a bike (using the app). I checked the bike for flat tires, tapped in my account number and PIN, and ……yes indeed, it worked. I had my helmet on, and a bike in my hands.

Here’s what I want to tell you about my first minutes on a bike after 15 years. The bike itself is heavy, but it handles fine. I tend to weave around on the road, when I’m supposed to be staying to the right side. It feels strange not to have a seatbelt on! I almost forget to put my feet down on the ground when I came to a stop. I really like the upright sitting position of this bike!

Then I arrive at Monroe Park, where my friends are gathering. They’re surprised to see me, and so encouraging. I decide to stick towards the end of the pack, and I alert the “Sweeper”, who will be the last rider of the group, that I’m new to biking. He kindly reassures me. Then we’re “rolling”. I quickly learn there are calls used to alert riders to what’s happening – “Car up”, “Car back”, “Stopping”, “Ready to roll”, “Rolling” etc. I do best when I’m just concentrating on riding; when someone starts a conversation, I tend to take a hand off the handlebar or turn my head too far their way, and I wobble – big time.

It’s really, really fun! Riding along with others, bells brrrrinngging, people at Saturday Market clapping and waving. In no time, we’ve cycled the 5 mile loop and are back at Monroe Park. I’m pleased with myself, and all the stress of the morning is gone. I’m hot and tired, too. It all feels good, and doable.

I’m glad I went out with a supportive group first, instead of alone, because I would have been much more self-conscious by myself. My next goal is to use the bike again at least once a week during June, for transportation, not recreation. I’ll let you know how I fare in July!

https://www.peacehealthrides.com

June 2, 2019

Wait, what? Biking?? Me???!!!

by Linda Heyl

Ask me about biking, and I usually say “That’s not me”. Now, I do know how to make a bike go – I even once made a three week trip around the west and north of Ireland, and loved it. Except that it was under some duress from my current partner of the time, who could cycle 100 miles a day when he wanted to, whereas about 15 was my max. Maybe that intimidation is part of what makes me, at age 64, hesitant to think of myself as able to take up biking. Maybe it’s because the last time I was on a bike, in Venice Beach CA when my kids were small, I fell over and caused a pile-up; people were not happy. But if I’m honest, it’s most likely because I’ve gotten use to the convenience of a car.

I’m intentionally trying to get out of my car now – walking, taking the bus and car pooling more and more each month. Because the vital work of our time – mine, yours, everybody’s – is doing more and more to contribute to climate solutions. Biking added to walking and bus would be practical, giving me much more travel latitude for quick trips across town. But that means getting past the feelings that are holding me back. Well, here goes…..