Posted by Patrick Croasdaile (Contributor) on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:08 am
year's Bike to Eugene Challenge.
A group of Environmental Law students from Lewis & Clark College will embark on a one-day, 140-mile trip from Portland to Eugene on March 3, 2011. Their final destination is the 29th annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) at the University of Oregon. They call themselves Team Eugene and they've dubbed their journey the Bike to Eugene Challenge.
According to Team Eugene member Liv Brumfield, they have opted to "travel to the largest environmental law conference in the world, twelve hours by bicycle, instead of two hours by car," as a means of reducing their carbon footprint and demonstrating the benefits of bicycling as a mode of transportation. Their motto for the year is “bike more, drive less." They hope to inspire others at Lewis & Clark to do the same.
This year’s Team Eugene is made up of around 20 to 30 law students. The group has grown four-fold in the three years its been traveling to the PIELC.
Team Eugene member Amanda Caffall expects that their decision to ride to Eugene will have a positive effect on their Law School as a whole:
"If we can get students motivated to take the Challenge together to make a political statement about how disgusted we are with global reliance on fossil fuels and personal automobiles, we can also get those same students motivated to climb through Riverview Cemetery every day to school […] Can a ride through Riverview Cemetery be one small victory? Absolutely. Can we as students help our colleagues be victorious? Definitely."
Their decision to ride will likely be met with praise by one of the conference’s keynote speakers, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a Lewis & Clark graduate and staunch advocate of bicycling himself.
With March 3 approaching fast, Team Eugene is still looking for sponsors and donations of bicycling gear, food, and even advice. Ideally, Team Eugene’s ride to the PIELC will help their concerns about the carbon footprint of transportation gain greater importance at the conference. From the PIELC’s website, active transport and transportation reform are issues seemingly lacking from the conference’s 2011 panel and events schedule. Here’s to hoping a collection of dedicated students can effect some change at an incredibly important event; they are certainly having a positive effect at Lewis & Clark College's Law School.