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Allen Hancock

Photo by Paul Neevel.
Photo by Paul Neevel.

Growing up in small-town Portola Valley, Calif., Allen Hancock had time to spend with nature. “My fourth-grade teacher took us to a meadow and pond near the school,” he recalls. “A couple years later, I watched as bulldozers arrived. It broke my heart.” Always an avid cyclist, he biked eight miles to high school in Redwood City. “My first political work was a social studies project,” he says, “a campaign to stop the transfer of water north to south in California.” He went to Northland College in Wisconsin for a degree in environmental studies, then came to Eugene in 1987 for grad school at the UO. “I wanted to apply what I learned to ancient forest protection,” he says. “I was an administrative monkey-wrencher. I filed hundreds of appeals against timber sales on public lands.” Over the years, Hancock has led bike tours throughout the U.S. and Canada, and around the world. A member of the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, he is active in current efforts to make South Willamette Street accessible to cyclists. In 1990, he was one of eight investors to purchase a large house on Alder Street, originally a home for wayward girls, that they restored and named Du-má Community, an experiment in sustainable shared living. “There are 10 of us now, from 9 years old to 50s,” he says. “We share food at dinner six nights a week.”