Credit where credit is due

Moderators: Cowboy, Jackson, chris@cycleoregon

Credit where credit is due

Postby eljugador » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:53 am

All,

My guess is that one of the most appreciated and under-thanked group of workers on Cycle Oregon are the guys at the Roto Rooter franchise that keep the blue rooms in such great conditions. That has to be one of the most unpleasant jobs ever and those guys obviously take pride in their work. If you'd like to send an e-mail thanking them for all they do, the e-mail for that franchise is roto.rooter22@verizon.net. The phone number is 541-269-5050.

I'd also like to applaud Cycle Oregon for its attempt to be as green as possible and appreciate that they used the StalkMarket compostable paper plates/utensils, etc. (full disclosure, I represent StalkMarket). For those interested in learning more about the company/products, the website is www.stalkmarketproducts.com. They also mentioned their work with Cycle Oregon in their new blog which is http://blog.stalkmarketproducts.com.

At any rate, I'm going to take a moment to e-mail Roto Rooter and I urge you to do the same. This sort of thing means a lot to people.
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Postby Lazlo » Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:35 am

One of those things that gets taken for granted, I think. I agree, the blue rooms were well serviced. The only time they seemed to get behind was in Halfway. Other than that they were always clean and stocked with toilet paper. I just sent them an email. I was wondering about the Stalk Market stuff; it would have been nice if there were separate recycling bins for those items, rather than throwing them in the garbage.
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Postby bogiesan » Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:41 pm

> I'd also like to applaud Cycle Oregon for its attempt to be as green as possible<

I liked the funny plates and biodegradable utensils but I would have appreciated knowing how "biodegradable" is defined by your company. If they're discarded and wrapped up in a black plastic garbage bag, the fact they may break down into something is completely meaningless. and we broke many forks before we figured out where the weaknesses were in your design.

Not to pick on you directly, I agree that any attempt to reduce the impact of this huge project is worth mentioning. But, if you look at the whole picture, there's nothing green about this thing. Cycle Oregon consumes vast resources. Gasoline, propane, paper, plastic, other fuels, a fleet of refer trucks, electricity from the local grid, water and human waste by the tankersful that severely impact the local sewage treatment facilities. Don't forget the total energy footprint must include what it took to get you there and back home: your airplane, RV, car, or bus consumption.

Green-schmeen. It's good marketing and a nice guilt reliever but taking your vacation on a bike tour like CO means nothing conservation-wise. You might as well have driven to Florida. Might have been cheaper.

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RTFM
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Postby eljugador » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:10 pm

You are right that the event itself isn't low impact but CO's effort to lessen the impact where they can is still a good thing and is to be encouraged.

And yes, sending the tableware (along with the solid food waste) to a commercial composting facility would have been the best way to go for sure.

However, even bagging compostable disposables and sending them to a landfill is much better than bagging/sending disposables made of plastic, Styrofoam or even plastic coated paper. Keep in mind that the raw materials for the StalkMarket plates and bowls are sugarcane stalks that have been recovered from sugar refineries. Using disposables made of biodegradable (and recycled) materials prevents the use of items made of less sustainable materials. They are an environmentally better choice even before they are used.

As for landfills, few plastic garbage bags actually make it there intact. They are normally torn apart by the machinery that manages the waste on the way. As long as oxygen is present, biodegradable items will still break down, though much more slowly -- but not nearly as slowly as plastic, polystyrene, etc. You can check out the FAQ on the StalkMarket web site for specifics on how long it takes for their stuff to break down. I tossed a pretty good pile of plates in the flowerbed this summer and they were gone in a matter of weeks.

Keep in mind that more and more landfills are beginning to oxygenate waste in order to help decomposition. They are able to capture the methane generated by decomposition and use it as natural gas.

If we really want to help make changes, it is up to all of us to understand what our municipalities do with our garbage and encourage them to do things like compost, oxygenate, etc. We, as individuals, can also do our part by composting at home.

Every little bit helps.
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Postby eljugador » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:31 pm

eljugador wrote:You are right that the event itself isn't low impact but CO's effort to lessen the impact where they can is still a good thing and is to be encouraged.

And yes, sending the tableware (along with the solid food waste) to a commercial composting facility would have been the best way to go for sure.

However, even bagging compostable disposables and sending them to a landfill is much better than bagging/sending disposables made of plastic, Styrofoam or even plastic coated paper. Keep in mind that the raw materials for the StalkMarket plates and bowls are sugarcane stalks that have been recovered from sugar refineries. Using disposables made of biodegradable (and recycled) materials prevents the use of items made of less sustainable materials. They are an environmentally better choice even before they are used.

As for landfills, few plastic garbage bags actually make it there intact. They are normally torn apart by the machinery that manages the waste on the way. As long as oxygen is present, biodegradable items will still break down, though much more slowly -- but not nearly as slowly as plastic, polystyrene, etc. You can check out the FAQ on the StalkMarket web site for specifics on how long it takes for their stuff to break down. I tossed a pretty good pile of plates in the flowerbed this summer and they were gone in a matter of weeks.

Keep in mind that more and more landfills are beginning to oxygenate waste in order to help decomposition. They are able to capture the methane generated by decomposition and use it as natural gas.

If we really want to help make changes, it is up to all of us to understand what our municipalities do with our garbage and encourage them to do things like compost, oxygenate, etc. We, as individuals, can also do our part by composting at home.

Every little bit helps.
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Re: Credit where credit is due

Postby aktiv » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:21 am

eljugador wrote:My guess is that one of the most appreciated and under-thanked group of workers on Cycle Oregon are the guys at the Roto Rooter franchise that keep the blue rooms in such great conditions.
I thanked them personally almost every day.

I recall the end of CO 8 had a celebration at the Fossil fairgrounds, introducing all of the help. The Roto-Rooter crew were introduced close to the end and got a rousing standing O. And deserved it.

Cheers

Keith.
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Postby Jackson » Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:14 pm

I believe the vendors were thanked in Joseph on the second night. I didn't stay around for announcements that night and it may not have happened.
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Postby PdxMark » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:21 pm

bogiesan wrote:But, if you look at the whole picture, there's nothing green about this thing. Cycle Oregon consumes vast resources. Gasoline, propane, paper, plastic, other fuels, a fleet of refer trucks, electricity from the local grid, water and human waste by the tankersful that severely impact the local sewage treatment facilities. Don't forget the total energy footprint must include what it took to get you there and back home: your airplane, RV, car, or bus consumption.


It would be an interesting calculation, and would depend on particular lifestyle choices, but I'm not so sure that the "vast resources" consumed during CO are significantly greater than the resources consumed per-person in the typical American household. I bet they could even less than the per-person energy used on a national average for the income demographic that rides CO.

The difference is that during CO you see every vehicle and every service and every power source. At home you don't see or pay attention to the food distribution trucks going to the grocery store, the power plant generating electricity, the daily miles many people drive in SOVs to work, grocery stores, etc., the energy to cook each meal, the energy to light and heat (or cool) a house, the 30 gallons of water being heated constantly in case you want it, and on and on...

CO does not connect to the local grid. Generators are for the most part powering lights that are a fraction of the lighting that would be on in normal retail places. Water is hauled to CO site, which probably doesn't have a corresponding energy basis in a usual household. The wastewater from CO is treated at existing waste treatment plants (as appropriate), and solid waste is likewise disposed of properly. CO would use more energy than households to transport wastewater, but I bet much less energy is required to transport solid waste because CO doesn't need to drive a garbage truck past 1500-2000 houses for collection. I bet the energy for transporting water to and waste from CO is less than that of a household, but let's call it even.

Likewise, food distribution and preparation on CO is quite centralized. You see the several trucks that haul the food for the week. For 2000 people in their normal lives you'd expect many more trucks to be required because many of those 2000 people are buying different foods that would be hauled in different trucks. The energy to cook big consolidated meals is no greater than that needed to cook 1500-2000 smaller ones. I'll give you a break and call energy for food distribution and preparation on CO a wash with the energy for 1500-2000 households.

CO transports gear bags, site teams and equipment, course support vehicles to support camp and riding for 2000 people. I'm guessing there are maybe 30-40 of these vehicles, from Priuses to Penske box trucks. Let's say their average mileage amounts to the average US household MPG, more or less. With 40 vehicles driving an average of 100 miles a day to support 2000 riders, you have about 2 vehicle miles per rider per day. I bet that's substantially below the average per person energy usage per person in the US.

On top of that, there is essentially no heating or cooling for the 2000 people on CO, as is used in much of the US.

So, unless I'm leaving out anything large, it seems to me that CO very likely does not use any more energy per person than most riders would use in their daily lives, and probably uses less.

(PS: I think the travel to Co is a Red Herring because people would likely be traveling somewhere during their vacations.)
Last edited by PdxMark on Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby PdxMark » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:40 pm

bogiesan wrote:Green-schmeen. It's good marketing and a nice guilt reliever but taking your vacation on a bike tour like CO means nothing conservation-wise. You might as well have driven to Florida. Might have been cheaper.


True. The 2800 miles and 40 hours of travel from Boise to Miami would be cheaper than CO, but then your car would be stuck in Miami. Include the round trip and the cost would be about the same (at 28 MPG), you would have burned about 200 gallons of gas (again, 28 MPG), and you wouldn't have eaten or slept for over 3 days. I prefer the riding, scenery and company of CO by a long shot, and it's much greener than a drive to Miami and back. :)
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Credit? - That goes to our crews

Postby Im@the beach » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:33 am

It has been my distinct pleasure to lead the RotoRooter crews that serve the riders out on the route the past two years. To hear the compliments is...well... much appreciated.

We have placed an emphasis on more maturity in those course/route positions and about bringing in people that love to interact with the riders. You are why we are there and we can never forget that.

I love getting feedback (kudos as well as constructive criticism) and riders can write me at rotorooterofcooscounty@hotmail.com if they wish.

Thank you one and all for making this week so outstanding.

John
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Heros

Postby SummerBreeze » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:43 am

The rotorooter guys did an outstanding job. Thank you so much for being there and taking good care of us.
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Credit due

Postby wayneh » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:57 am

Total agreement. The Rotorooter team did an excellent job this year, and their efforts were much appreciated and deserve recognition.
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