ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
You certainly know better than to count on me for all of your bicycle news and pedal-powered happenings. There may not be any rhyme or reason why I mention one event and not another. But this weekend, we have a diverse range of options for your cycling pleasure, and I have a few moments on my hands. So here you go: A breakfast, a class and an alleycat race:
Tomorrow is the last Breakfast on the Bridge of the summer. The LAST ONE! So get your free coffee and bagel and whatnot. It’s at the Autzen footbridge, which isn’t actually called that anymore. They have renamed it, I think, the Frohnmayer Bridge.
Because Frohnmayer is marginally harder to spell than Autzen, and because it takes up more valuable characters in a tweet, we have always opposed this renaming. Just for the record. The breakfast is 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
On Saturday, we have something for those people that urban planners and cycling advocates call “curious but concerned.”
What is curious but concerned? A “curious-but-concerned,” for our purposes, is someone who thinks it might be nice to ride a bike to work or to do errands, but who notices that motor vehicles are large, fast and driven by people who might like to text while they operate said vehicle. (Did I tell you I was almost hit yesterday by a woman chatting wildly on her phone — a story for another day.)
The event we are talking about here is called the Confident Cycling for Families class. It is 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Roosevelt Middle School. There is a classroom part and a riding part. You can bring kids — it’s recommended for those age 5 to 13.
You’ll learn about riding in traffic, safety, lighting, locking, loading (that is, carrying stuff on a bike), proper clothing and gear. They’ll even have some loaner bikes. It is taught, I think, by the incredibly active bicycle advocate Shane MacRhodes (who I just met for the first time recently — hi, Shane!).
The class is free. But you need to register ahead of time. If you are reading this blog, you may or may not need this class, but pass the word to your friends and neighbors.
And finally, on Sunday there is something called an alleycat. I’ve never been to an alleycat, but as I understand it, this is the event for you if you have ever fantasized about being a bicycle messenger.
It’s a sort of race/scavenger hunt on a bike. You ride around Eugene, having to stop at various specified checkpoints and sometimes having to do some sort of task at said checkpoint. This one is about 10 miles total.
It starts at that concrete whale in Skinner Butte Park at 5 p.m. Sunday.
It ends with a party that will go until 9 or so at Redoux Parlor — which is in the strip mall with Laughing Planet at Blair and Monroe. I’m told you don’t need a fixie or an enormous messenger bag to take part — just a bike. Of any sort. And a can-do attitude. All ages and abilities are welcome, they say. Helmets are recommended, they also say.
It will cost $5 to $10 to enter. I don’t know exactly what that means. But the interesting thing is that proceeds are going to help fund the next issue of Bang! magazine, which is to the Eugene Weekly, as the Weekly is to the R-G.
Speaking of the R-G, we think alleycats might offer a promising revenue stream for the sagging newspaper industry in general. We don’t want to see papers die. So go race and have fun.