World’s Shortest Bike Race

cyclingEUGENE, Ore. — Cyclists raced head to head Sunday in downtown Eugene, but this wasn’t your typical bike race. Falling Sky Brewery is calling it the world’s shortest bike race.

Around 100 cyclists raced in multiple heats, the distance only 13.1 feet.

Kids and adults, on all sorts of bikes including unicycles peddled quickly on all sorts of bikes, including unicycles, peddled quickly for the short distance. All trying to win some prizes from the brewery.

“We thought it was a fun way to celebrate biking. An alternative means of transportation which is something that we’ve really been behind and we’re into as part of a community,” said Robert Cohen, Falling Sky Brewery owner.

There was also a slowest bike race, where cyclists tried to finish last. Falling Sky said it’s already planning next years race.

Falling Sky Delicatessen Will Now Offer Bicycle Delivery


That pastrami sandwich you’ve been craving can now be delivered to your door by an eco-friendly bike courier.

Falling Sky Delicatessen, has partnered with the Cascadian Courier Collective to deliver food every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. according to a release.

“I think it expands our customer base,” Falling Sky Owner Rob Cohen said, “because a lot of people can’t get out or don’t want to go out.

Cohen said the entire food menu will be available for delivery, but the law prohibits beer deliveries.

Lucas Strain, founder and co-owner of the Cascadian Courier Collective, said Falling Sky delivery will cost $2 for customers in the Whitaker neighborhood, downtown Eugene, and the University of Oregon Campus. Strain said the prices will increase as the deliveries get further from the $2 zone.

“It might cost a little more,” Strain said, “but we’ll go anywhere in town.”

Falling Sky Delicatessen is a second location of Falling Sky Brewing. The delicatessen makes, bakes, cures, pickles, brines and smokes everything from scratch.

Strain said there are three regular couriers delivering Falling Sky Delicatessen.

Falling Sky Delicatessen is located at 790 Blair Boulevard. To place an order call: 541-653-9167



Bike thefts increase 64 percent

The Eugene Police Department reported that during January through March of 2012, 106 bikes were stolen. In that same time frame for this year, 174 bikes were stolen, making the increase of stolen bikes up to 64 percent.

To avoid your bike from being stolen, EPD spokesperson Melinda McLaughlin suggests to buy the most durable lock you can find, preferably a U-bolt. Even in places that you think would be a secure place for your bike, McLaughlin says that a number of bikes have been stolen from garages, storage units, and apartments, so be sure to secure you bike at all times.

Make sure to register your bike with the EPD and the UOPD. If your bike gets stolen, the EPD and UOPD won’t have to waste any time asking you descriptive details about the bike because they’ll have everything they need on file to start the investigation immediately.

With 846 bikes stolen in 2011, and 848 in 2012, it’s important to consider these tips to ensure the safety of your own bike.

Eugene’s north & west bank bike paths to undergo closures & construction

While roadwork headaches continue for many drivers across Eugene, some new construction pains are getting ready to start up for bicyclists and pedestrians too on alternative transit pathways.

Bicycle theft on the rise around campus

Walking around to the back of his house last Wednesday evening, junior Keane Daly expected to find his bike locked to a pole. Instead, he found an open lock and nothing else. Daly had used a wire lock with a letter combination system to keep his bike safe,  but it made no difference.

“I locked it, but I guess I didn’t move the letters enough,” Daly said. “The lock was just open, still around the pole.”

Unfortunately, Daly is not alone. He and his roommate, who also had his bike stolen, were just two of many bike theft victims during the first few weeks of school. Between Sept. 29th and Oct. 11th, 16 bikes have been stolen on campus — a 62 percent increase over last year. Of these 16, seven had traditional cable or wire locks like Daly’s.

The biggest problem with the recent thefts comes from the locking mechanism of the other nine bikes. Each had been secured with the DPS-recommended U-locks. Captain Ed Rinne of the Department of Public Safety has been monitoring these recent thefts.

“There are some older U-locks that we think have been broken by using a ball point pen,” Rinne said. “We still suggest U-locks. I don’t know of any others that are better. But they should have laser-cut keys.”

The difference between the effectiveness of a cable lock and a U-lock is the time it takes to break it.

“Cable locks can be cut in seconds,” Rinne said. “U-locks generally take longer.”

Sometimes more extreme measures are taken because of changes in how bikes are made.

“Some people are cutting through the frames of the bikes,” Rinne said. “Bikes are being made out of a different alloy that’s a much softer material.”

There has been a spike in thefts of bikes parked at residence halls as well. Earl and Bean West are two of the dorms with the most theft so far.

“It’s a target-rich environment,” said Monica Hildebrand, a criminal intelligence analyst for DPS. “Every year, there’s a lot of thefts once the students come back.”

For freshman Nourah Latif, the safety of her bike was never in question.

” I thought U-locks were the best,” Latif said. “I’ve left my bike in the same spot since the first week of school.”

She checks her bike every time she walks past it, of course. But much like Daly’s bike, it is not registered with DPS. This means that if the bike is stolen, DPS has no way to identify the bike if it is ever found. Still, DPS patrols the bike racks often to prevent this from happening and recommends that students contact them even if their bike is stolen.

“We try to see what type of lock is used and if there are metal shavings near the racks,” Rinne said. This data helps DPS figure out how thieves are breaking locks and help them prevent it in the future.

In the West University neighborhood the theft rates are always rather high. But bike theft is a problem all over Eugene. A total of 49 bikes have been stolen in the last three weeks; 42 bikes had been stolen during the same time period last year.

“No lock is undefeatable,” Rinne said. “But making it more difficult for thieves will help keep bikes safer.”

A Sunday in the Streets


The streets were lined with all manner of bikers, walkers, and dancers Sunday, all enjoying the bright sunny afternoon as the City of Eugene closed streets to motorized traffic for the first ever Eugene Sunday Streets.  The event encouraged community members to come out and take advantage of the 3-mile car free route. To take the opportunity to walk, run, dance, bike, board, skate or generally frolic, through the area spanning from Skinner’s Butte Park, along 5th street, down to Washinton/Jefferson park.

Event planner, Stella Day, told EDN that this type of event first started in Bogota, Columbia, in the 1970’s. It has since spread to a number of cities, including Portland, where street closings are currently occuring five times a year in different areas of the city.  The primary event sponsors included, the City of Eugene, Ninkasi, and the Climate Showcase Grant.

The event was initiated by a number of citizens, said Day who expressed an interest in bringing this kind of activity to the local arena.  Day said that she anticipated around 3-4,000 people in attendance for the event.  “This event is beneficial to the community because it promotes healthy, active lifestyles, while also getting people out of their homes and into a large community space.  An added benefit of the event, is that it also gives people a chance to get to know their neighbors and build a stronger sense of community.”

EDN had the chance to interview fellow Eugenian, Fawn Farivault, a bike rider taking advantage of the Eugene Sunday Streets.  Fawn told EDN that she decided to attend Sunday Streets because “I don’t ride that much and I would like to get back into it.  It’s a safe opportunity without cars, to enjoy some wonderful weather and take a break from work”.  Fawn said her favorite part of the days experience was seeing so many people out on bikes.  “This type of event is beneficial to the community because it opens biking up to people who aren’t a part of the regular bike community, and gets them participating in ways that they ordinarily wouldn’t be.”

In addition to the wide open spaces available, there were many family friendly activities to partake in.  Participants at Skinner’s Butte park had opportunities to recieve free bike maintenance and minor repair from Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life.  There were also line dancing lessons being offered outside of the Campbell center, as well as free yoga and thai chi. There were several local food vendors in attendance as well.  The event boasted culturally diverse offerings as well, with groups dancing in the street to various international beats.  Bike Friday was also present, providing demonstrations of their adaptive, folding travel bikes.

At Washington/Jefferson park, there was a pedal powered stage provided by the U of O, featuring some toe-tappin’ Bluegrass jams from the always popular band, Conjugal Visitors.There were also jugglers and large groups of hula hoopers present to entertain the crowd.With the success of this event, the organizers anticipate that the city will be planning more events of similar magnitude in the future. Until then, bike safely Eugene…and watch out for cars.

 Elisha Shumaker, EDN
photos – Brandon Preo