Crater Lake Bike Tour
August 29 - September 10, 2002
This year Kerie and I decided to head west again for an extended bicycle tour of the area around Crater Lake. It also gave us an excuse to visit Eugene, Oregon, said to be one of the best cycling cities in the U.S. We chose the tour sponsored by Bicycle Adventures, based on the time of year, number of miles per day, and the trip description. We've been happy with tours we've taken with Timberline, but we wanted to try another, similar company this year.
In the past I've kept notes on my Pocketmail computer and written reports about our trips. This year Kerie wrote the reports and I marked them up for the web site.
We arrived in Eugene, Oregon, in the mid-afternoon after an uneventful flight. The young bell hop Paul picked us up at the airport and shuttled us back to the Valley River Inn, which is located right on the banks of the Willamette River. The weather was glorious so we quickly unpacked our bikes, assembled them, and rushed out to ride on the riverbank trail just outside of our hotel room. We rode along the Willamette River and discovered the three pedestrian/cyclist bridges across the river into downtown Eugene. Everyone seemed to be riding bikes, even the street people. Or were they just aging hippies? We felt a bit overdressed in bike shorts and helmets. Most people rode in their street clothes, with bare heads. Bike racks abounded at the local businesses. Even a gas station had a bike rack. We ate dinner at a brew pub on the river less than a mile from the hotel. Bruce tried the beer sampler.
We rode on Eugene's excellent system of bike lanes and trails to the Bike Friday factory where Bruce's folding bike was manufactured. I tested a couple of bikes, and Bruce consulted with the experts regarding a few minor adjustments to his bike. We ate a nearby restaurant recommended by the Bike Friday man and watched some kids doing bike stunts in a skate park. Afterwards we rode into downtown Eugene and onto the University of Oregon campus.
On our way back to the Inn, we stopped on the southernmost bridge across the river to watch a pair of osprey diving for fish. One bird caught a fish and laboriously circled to gain altitude before flying off with its catch in its talons. We had dinner at the Valley River Inn overlooking the Willamette River. Later we wandered north along the river and then over to the adjacent Valley River Mall to do some last-minute shopping for supplies for our bike trip.
Eugene, a city with a population of only 140,000 also has a good bus system.