From the "Only in Eugene" Department[edit source]

A valet bicycle and skateboard parking facillity

By Alan Abrahamson, June 27, 2008

A look at the free valet service given to bikers and skateboarders attending the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

A look at the free valet service given to bikers and skateboarders attending the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.

EUGENE, Ore. -- Things are pretty much the same in Eugene as they are everywhere. But, you know, just a little bit different.

Like the valet bicycle and skateboard parking facility that's been set up about a block or so away from Hayward Field, where the U.S. Olympic Trials in track and field got underway Friday.

Cost: free.

"It's incredible," said one of Friday's patrons, John Bursell, 44, a physician down from Juneau, Alaska, for the Trials. As part of the service, John not only got to hand over his elegant bike to to Karl Benedeck and his crew, Karl of the Eugene-based Center for Appropriate Transport, John also got to let Karl safeguard his helmet, gloves and bike shoes.

John, after slipping out of his cleats, pulled out a pair of beige high-topped Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star sneakers -- you can't make this stuff up -- and headed off toward to watch the track. His bike would be safe until after the action inside Hayward ended, late Friday night. Photos

"This is the way it ought to be everywhere," John said.

The bike and skateboard park has taken over six asphalt basketball courts. Friday's set-up included space for 240 bicycles; about 175 were parked there late Friday afternoon. There's room for 400 bikes, Karl said.

Karl noted that three skateboarders had earlier left their rides -- but had already come back to pick them up again.

"Skateboarders," he said authoritatively, "are transient."

He also said, with a practiced eye, "This is really the place to be if you want to ogle some nice bikes."

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