BicyClean: Trail cleanup powered by bikes

BicyClean: Trail cleanup powered by bikes
A biker rides along a bike path following the Willamette River in Eugene. One of the many bike paths that will be cleaned upduring Bicyclean. Photo by Amos Horn

EUGENE, Ore. - Cyclists will be heading in all directions Saturday, May 24, to help clean up bike paths in Eugene for an inaugural event called BicyClean.

The free event starts at the EMU Amphitheatre at 13th and University streets and will run from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will be fed, given supplies, and assigned to a team.  Each team will have a team leader towing a trailer to haul the collected trash and recyclables.

After the cleanup, the event, organized by the UO Outdoor Program, will end at the EMU Amphitheatre with food, prizes, raffles and music.

The creator of the event Laughton Elliott-DeAngelis, the Outdoor Program service projects coordinator, had the idea of BicyClean for some time.

“It was an idea that was borne out of what we saw to be a need and sort of inspired by what the Willamette River cleanup does,” Elliot-DeAngelis said. “The idea being with BicyClean, to spend a morning with about 100 to 150 volunteers on their bicycles, getting to sites that need to be worked on, and removing trash and recyclable materials by bicycle.”

Volunteers can either sign up for the cleanup in the morning or register online at the UO Outdoor Program’s website.

Mat Keeler is a UO bike mechanic and plans on volunteering.

“I think it’s an awesome student powered project where we get to give back to the community that supports us,” he said. “We can show that bicycles are capable of a lot more than people usually think they are, and hauling large amounts of trash is one of those capabilities.”

Alexander Hongo, an organizer of BicyClean, wants to see BicyClean become an annual event that can cover more ground for future cleanups.

 “I’m really excited about the fusion of active transportation, environmental stewardship, and so many of my favorite local businesses in one event that’s going to be so much fun and so progressive,” he said.

The event is sponsored by many area companies, including De Casa Fine Foods, Juanita’s Chips, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Ninkasi, Backcountry Gear, KIND Healthy Snacks and Nancy’s Yogurt.