Sixty-Nine: Civil War (Eugene to Corvallis)

by davidharries

Miles: 46
Total: 4,619

I was restless (but dry!) and out of camp before 6 a.m. No good reason why, because none of the bike shops open till 10 a.m. First stop was a good cup of coffee, where a father out on a hot-chocolate date with his daughter recommended The Glenwood for breakfast. Usually I have something slathered in peanut butter, so an avocado omelette hit the spot. It came with two side orders of crispy-yet-creamy red potato home fries, and the kitchen said they’d make more if I was still hungry.

Bike culture is strong in Eugene. There’re¬†dedicated bike lanes (with sensors at stoplights), and I don’t stick out quite so much with 50 pounds of stuff strapped to my bike. The Center for Appropriate Transportation didn’t open till noon, so I rode to Performance Bike and picked up a $15 house-brand tire. They didn’t have any Schwalbe Marathons in stock. Chris graciously offered me the use of the shop to switch tires (I moved my remaining Marathon to the rear, and put the Forte rubber in front). I patched my tube, and discovered the nail’d left an exit would — I ended up using two patches.

Lucky to be in a big town when I needed a new tire, I’m really glad the shop didn’t open till 10 a.m., holding me hostage and letting me see more of the area. Eugene’s home to the University of Oregon — the Ducks.

I got out of Eugene late, but that’s OK, because I covered 50 of today’s miles yesterday, leaving me about 45 to Corvallis. The ride out of town was agrarian, and I passed a couple of nut farms, as well as mint-processing plants. After extraction, the steaming piles of spent mint are hauled out to the field and dumped. Very refreshing.

Corvallis is about a third of Eugene’s size at 50,000 people, but has lots of bike culture. Part of that may rest with its university, Oregon State. The sports teams, the Beavers, regularly play the Ducks in rivalry games known as the “Civil War”.

I’m staying tonight with Warmshowers hosts Jeff and Bettina. Jeff’s a great cook and we shared a three-course meal as they told me tales of their tours, most recently through Vietnam and Cambodia. He owns an MG to Bettina’s Miata. She jokes that constantly fixing it gives him something to do.