Dave Eggleston, also known by some as “the afternoon Lamar,” is the super volunteer who staffs the front desk at the Cascade Bicycle Club office.
Putting in 12 to 15 hours a week, Dave answers phones, enters data and helps out wherever he is needed.
“I want to help people get into the activity, the sport, the lifestyle that is bicycling,” said Dave. “I get lots of questions all day. People are interested, they want answers and it’s cool to be able to help them get started.”
Dave, who categorizes himself as “just another commuter,” has been riding a bike to go places since he was seven and his parents gave him a U-frame Peugeot folding bike while living in France in the 1960s.
“I always rode but not every long distances or competitively,” said Dave, who returned to the U.S. in 1970. “I always lived in car-centric, un-bike-friendly cities like upstate New York, Detroit and Scottsdale, Arizona.”
But in 2000, Dave moved to Redmond, Wash., for a job at Microsoft. He discovered however that, while more bike-friendly, the greater Seattle area is “crazy hilly”.
“When I moved up here, I had a Schwinn mountain bike that I started commuting on. I had a short, five-mile commute to work but it had a Cat 4 climb,” said Dave. “It took a long time before I stopped feeling like I was getting cardiac arrest.”
With the desire to get a new, more serious commuter bike, Dave eventually bought a Swift Folder.
“I have always been around folding bikes,” explained Dave. “And I needed something I could keep in my office. Also, the allure of getting it in a suitcase for traveling was intriguing. It’s really twitchy but it turns on a dime and it’s surprisingly comfortable.”
It was on that bike, with its little 20-inch wheels, that Dave completed his first Seattle to Portland Classic in 2009.
“I joined Cascade in 2006 for advocacy. I was pro-bike and believed in the cause but had no time to actually do any of the rides,” said Dave. “But I always said that when I turn 50, I would ride the STP.”
And so he did, tackling the 33-mile Chilly Hilly event as the start of his training.
“It was the longest ride I had ever done but the ferry, the weather, the ride – it was all very neat,” Dave recalled. “I followed the sample training schedule and stuck to it.”
That July, Dave was one of 10,000 STP participants riding the 200-mile route to Portland. But riding on a folding bike with bib number 1313, he stood out.
“I rode it alone but I talked to a lot of people,” said Dave. “I got a lot of comments about the bike and the number.”
Riding STP got Dave more involved in the club, and he went on to ride just about every event we offer. And when he decided to take a break from work, he inquired about volunteering for Cascade.
“I thought it would be good to do something and I wanted to work with people,” said Dave, who has now been with the club for over a year.
“I see a lot more of the community and what’s going on by being part of the club,” said Dave. “It’s an interesting time because the opportunity to get people in is huge, and it’s up to us to figure out how we keep them in with more infrastructure and bike-friendly policies. For me it’s all about access. Access means can I afford a bicycle? Access means do I know how to ride a bicycle? Access means is it safe to ride a bicycle? Access means can I get to where I want to go by bicycle?”
“One thing I have learned from being part of this club is just how much we do and how well it functions behind the scenes to make sure everyone has a great experience,” concluded Dave with a nod to administration staff Ellison, Kim and Alan.
Dave will once again ride the STP this year with bib number 1313, albeit not on his folding bike. As he preps for the 200-mile ride, he’ll be doing Flying Wheels this month. Be sure to say “Hello” when you see him!