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Content here represents the voice of SIGNATURE SUNSETS, an informational initiative designed to broaden and brighten horizons in the funerary domain.

The material is an outgrowth of a pre-planning reference book, Pondering Leaves: Composing and Conveying Your Life Story's Epilogue, written by the author of this blog.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

FUNERAL HOME BICYCLE HEARSE

PEDAL PUSHERS

Vehicular gridlock in cities, pollution from internal-combustion engines, and obesity caused by sedentary habits are “out.”  Bicycles are “in.”  Portland, Oregon is at the top of the list of places where purposeful and recreational bike riding has become an increasingly common lifestyle.  In fact, this mecca was dubbed “America’s most bike-friendly city” by Bicycling Magazine, and there is even a website (BikePortland.org) to promote the practice.  People on bikes there are accommodated by designated street lanes and parking corrals in front of businesses.  Cycling commuters wield a conspicuous presence amid their motored counterparts.  The city serves as a prototype for other large metropolitan areas seeking to encourage this mode of transportation and even launch bike-share programs allowing residents to rent bikes (for an hour or a day) from kiosks.   

So for many folks in Portland, using bikes to get around is a way of life.  But an enterprising cemetery operator in a community a couple of hours south of the city has also made it a way of death.  With the goal of transforming the Sunset Hills Cemetery in Eugene, Oregon into a natural burial site, a range of ecologically sound products and services are being offered.  One of them is the use of a bicycle hearse!  A three-wheeled bike was adapted so that an open-air structure bearing a casket or coffin can be placed inside it. 

Of course, biking to a final resting place has been possible for a long time simply by contracting with a business that operates motorcycle hearses.  It’s a matter of locating one of multiple companies available to provide both the equipment and the service (a driver) within one’s geographical region. Some pull glass-enclosed coaches, à la nineteenth-century convention, or carriages suggestive of a style from the old west.  Others have adapted motorcycles so that sidecars support the caskets.

But if you would like your last ride to be away from the roar or drone of mechanized sounds, watch for emergence of the wheeled carriers earmarked by "zero emissions" and propelled by people (hopefully, also functioning in the absence of any untoward emissions!).  If you opt for this type of trendy transport, your life companions are apt to garner lasting memories of the trip to your grave.

Photo Source:  Pinterest

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