Saturday, October 17, 2015

Coffeeneuring with Christine: The Eugene Disaster Relief Trials

This morning was a bit wet, but Christine and I rolled off for an early coffeeneuring run. Today we didn't go to a coffee shop or a bakery.

We rolled down the quiet, damp streets of Eugene.

We rolled along the beautiful river trail.

Our destination was Alton Baker Park.

We had thermoses of hot water for tea and cocoa. We also had bagels and fixings.

 The covered picnic area came in handy.

We were here because I was riding in the Eugene Disaster Relief Trials.

The rain stopped before things really got going.

There were lots of interesting bikes.

This is Damon's Haul-a-Day.

 We all lined up for the start.

My friends Damon and Jordan will be riding today with their kids.

My pal Michael crashed on a wet section of the trail before the start of the event, but it didn't deter him.

Jordan and Eli get off to a fast start.

I got off to a slower start. The first stop for my ride was Bike Friday. Where I picked up a load of newspapers to fill the cardboard box I'd gotten at the start. Robbie, another of my Bike Friday buddies, was already headed back to the park as I was still rolling west.

My second stop was Sheldon High School. My navigation was less than optimal, but I got there eventually.

At this stop I picked up a 3-gallon jug and filled it with water.

My vehicle for the day is a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day. It's quite handy for hauling all kinds of random stuff. We make the Haul-a-Days right here in Eugene.

We kept looping back to Alton Baker Park and then heading off to some other part of Eugene. At the park the organizers had us also do things like practice CPR. The next loop had me head out to Oakshire Brewing where I picked up a white bucket filled with something heavy.

I'm heading back to the park while other riders are heading out.

There was a little section of rough riding. There was this gravel section and a bit of singletrack that I didn't photograph.

I also didn't photograph the coolest and hardest section. A bunch of military folks had set up a rope across the canal. I stripped all the cargo off my bike and then they helped me rope up and roped up my bike. Then I clipped to the rope, they clipped my bike behind me on the rope, I looped my feet over the handlebars and then using my hands, I shimmied myself and the bike across the canal! This was the hardest event of the day, but the most satisfying. I learned I have strong legs and really wimpy arms!  

After the canal crossing, it was back to the park and then off to get a bit of building supplies. If I knew my Eugene geography better, I maybe could've avoided this climb on Friendly Street. But the Haul-a-Day has a good gear range and even though I was hauling about 70 pounds at this point, the bike worked like a champ.

Here's the bike headed back to the park with the day's full load.

I am pretty sure I was the very last one to finish. But I did finish and I had fun.

Eli and Jordan had the fastest time the Family division.

I got a beer, a pint glass, a t-shirt, a handy laminated map of Eugene and a nice three-gallon water junk for my earthquake preparedness kit. Various of my Bike Friday friends had great rides and there was a raffle where a very excited woman won a Haul-a-Day.

It was a great day of riding in the great city of Eugene, Oregon.

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