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Economy | Business

Bend's First Bike Courier Braves Snow, Terrain

Forecasters expect snow in Bend.

Many in town are ready to celebrate – this mostly-sunny winter has been a tough one for skiers and snow afficianados.

But at least one Bend resident wants the 50 degrees and clear skies to stick around.

Central Oregon correspondent Ethan Lindsey rode along with Bend’s first bike messenger.

He’s an eco advocate who makes most of his money picking up compost deliveries.

Cascade Couriers - Photos by Ethan Lindsey

Daniel Brewster: “Alright. Hi, I’m Daniel Brewster,  I’m the owner of Cascade Couriers and we are a bike-powered delivery service in Bend Oregon. If someone was driving around or visiting Bend they would notice me…Let’s start that again…I would be the guy pulling the 8-foot trailer behind me.”

Daniel Brewster: “Last year there was a week where there was 6 to 8 inches of snow on the ground, and they hadn’t plowed it. And bike lanes were just a mess and it was just a struggle to stay upright.”

Daniel Brewster: “I basically split the city up into four quadrants, and then I just do the compost route and combine it with Sweet Peas diaper service, I combine it with her deliveries. So today is downtown, by far the easiest of all the routes. It’s all flat and I have the most compost customers.”

Daniel Brewster: “On the board there, I have all my customers listed, and so I have it split up into weeks. This week is red week, so I’ve got like 7 stops. What we’re going to be doing is all composting, we have one diaper drop, but everything else is picking up food waste.”

Daniel Brewster: “It’s $7 a month. I tried to keep it so that people wouldn’t say ‘well, we’re getting it picked up by the garbage company for free right now, why should we pay a lot for it?’. I feel like $7 is a cup of coffee and a cookie or something. It’s a good deal.”

Daniel Brewster: “So right now, this is a bucket that I provide, its 3 gallons and I am going to just dump it into my 18 gallon bins on the trailer.”

Daniel Brewster: “Bend is kind of an anomaly. There is a lot of recreational cyclists. There are a fair amount of bike commuters, but it’s not like Portland or Eugene. It’s usually people riding for fun, and not for getting around.”

Daniel Brewster: “For the most part people are pretty cool. Just about everyone of them waves or smiles. People see you pulling an eight foot trailer with snow on the ground, and it makes you think a bit more about what bikes can do.”

Daniel Brewster: “Maybe someone sees me pulling four hundred pounds through the snow, and the next trip to the grocery stuff they think, ‘Hey, I can take my bike. It’s alright.’”


Cascade Couriers

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