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Lewis & Clark students prep for 'Bike to Eugene Challenge' - UPDATED

Posted by Will Vanlue (Contributor) on January 31st, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Last year we shared the story of a group of Environmental Law students at Lewis & Clark College and their 'Bike to Eugene Challenge.' The annual event takes a group of 20-30 law students on a ride from Portland to the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) in Eugene.

The 140-mile ride by 'Team Eugene', as the students call themselves, reduces the group's carbon footprint and helps illustrate the benefits of bicycling for long-distance transportation.

For another consecutive year, they'll be riding their bikes to Eugene for the PIELC in March and they'd like your help getting there. Students have organized training rides to prepare for the ultimate 12-hour trip and they're looking for support as training continues into March.

Lewis & Clark law student Megan Kent recently sent an email to the OBRA mailing list asking for donations of food, gear, and tune ups:

"To facilitate [the ride], especially for our new riders, we are seeking donations of bike gear (tubes, rain gear, bike lights, etc) food provisions, and discounted tune-ups for the remainder of our training period and our one-day, 140 mile ride Portland to Eugene on March 1, 2012."

If you can make a donation or would like more information, you can contact Lewis & Clark's Coalition Advocating Transportation Solution (CATS) at cats [at] lclark [dot] edu.

UPDATE: Contact information for Lewis & Clark was updated in this article.

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  • 9watts January 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    It is curious how fundraising (and related efforts such as this) have infiltrated everything we do. Once upon a time a group of folks like this would just go on that ride (and bring their own food and patch kits).

    It is good to seem the bike and not drive.

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    • Ryan Howard January 31, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Most of us do have our own gear but many of the people who ride with us have never ridden more than 10 or 20 miles in one trip before and they might not have all of the necessary tools and equipment for such a long ride. Donations help to make the trip possible for many people who might not be able to go otherwise.

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      • sw resident January 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        You have an admirable goal that is in the spirit of the conference. However, some of your team might want to temper their goal and maybe ride half the distance or relay it. If many of the people who ride with you have never ridden more than 10 or 20 miles at a time they are going to have a very difficult (i.e. miserable) time riding 140 miles. It is improbable they will be able to develop the fitness (and be able to handle 10+ hours in the saddle) needed in less than one month. A general guide is that your longest training ride should be within 10% of the distance of your big event. Frankly, the lack of blinky lights and 2 spare tubes (approx. $30 total) likely correlate with a lack of fitness to complete this ride. Equipment should be the least of your concerns tight now.

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        • Liv Brumfield January 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm

          Thanks for the good and sage advice. We bring a support vehicle so folks can do exactly what you advise - take a break, relax for a few miles, and stretch out. We're trying our best to prep folks by training - lots ride to and from the Law School from their homes in Portland each day, and we're doing longer and more intensive rides on the weekends. We are proud to support riders of all different levels of experience and preparation - it's all in the spirit of the message, as you say. Thanks for your support - and thanks to the community for your warm wishes.

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        • Ryan Howard January 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

          I know it sounds like quite a feat but you would be amazed at the capability of some of these first time long distance riders. One person last year made it the entire 140 miles having never ridden more than 20 miles before (shout out to Liv!). In any event, we will have a couple cars driving with us so anyone that needs a rest can ride in the support vehicle for a leg or two. We're not trying to break any records, just have a good time and spread a little "active transportation" love!

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          • Ryan Howard January 31, 2012 at 8:08 pm

            Just to be clear, she rode the entire 140 miles without any training rides AT ALL!

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    • S January 31, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Have a heart for these "starving students"...whether or not they are in the 1, 2 or 5%, 30 thou of tuition to pay per year has to cut into the ole' discretionary budget.

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  • dan January 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Hats off to the kids for their willingness to take on the ride and all the training at this time of year.

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  • Liv Brumfield January 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks to everyone for their support! Team Eugene just got a great donation from Joe Bike (http://www.joe-bike.com/). They sponsored us last year, too - tubes, tires, and a discount on tune-ups before the ride. Great shop, great people. Tess, the Manager, gave me some route pointers last year - she's done the ride many times. Thanks to BikePortland for the shout-out and Joe Bike for the fantastic support!

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  • Drew January 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    To add to Ryan's comments, this is the fourth of fifth year now that the LC students have tackled the challenge. Maybe more, I went to law school to avoid math. I rode the first BtE as a student and either the third of fourth one after graduation, and I can attest to the impressive effort made and dedication shown by everyone that has participated. The more seasoned have always done what we could to help the newer cyclists with gear, training, and know how. But with the number of participants increasing year by year, a little benevolence from the cycling community goes a long way. Also, I know at least one or two people who were new to distance cycling when they took on the challenge who have since become a vocal and active alternative transportation advocates. So, cheers to you LC students (and any alums tagging along for old time's sake)! Wish I could come along again. Keep it rubber side down and I'll see you all in Eugene with a cold oat soda!

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  • Suburban January 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    This is so great!:) I hope they get to enjoy the conference and a full day off the bike before the ride back to Portland.

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    • Ryan Howard January 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      I wish we could make the trip back by bike but with the conference going through the weekend and classes on Monday we can only make it a one-way ride. We all just hitch a ride back with whoever has room to make it back in time.

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