Joe and Dove, from Eugene, were generous enough to offer to drive me back to Eugene from Florence, but I decided that after riding for over 4,000 miles, it would be embarrassing to get a ride rather than ride 80 miles. So after a day of rest in Florence, I rode back (very scenic route).
I was given a tour of their factory (just 14 employees who produce, on average, 3 bicycles per day). I also had a chance to test ride the Americano Rohloff bike with the internal Rohloff shifting mechanism and belt drive. What a wonderful bicycle . . . and just $5,200! The entire bicycle is hand-made at the plant.
I spent the night last night at a hotel, camping, but enjoying the hot shower. Eugene definitely has a counter-culture feel to it, with a lot of homeless people, but with a lot of people enjoying the out-of-doors as well (nice REI store here). The menu of the restaurant where I had breakfast included dishes made from soy, tofu, eggs from free-range chickens, etc. I think I would have been asked to leave if I had ordered sausage or bacon.
You know you’re in a bigger city when I had to talk to three people here at the library to use a computer, and had to pay $3. In all the nice libraries in the small towns on my trip the librarians would just nod to the sole computer for public use and I’d use it for as long as I wanted at no charge.
I do have to make a comment or two about a fellow traveler on the road with me . . . the nice folks driving RVs with their SUVs trailering behind.
I had trucks, 18-wheelers, coal trucks, grain trucks, logging trucks, pick-up trucks, cars, etc., pass me and by far the worst drivers — the most dangerous drivers — were those in these monsterous RVs. Here’s some 65-year old guy who only drives this 2 mph rig once or twice a year and can’t seem to move over a few feet as he passes me. I see him in the cab with is black socks up over his calves, his wife with their yappy little cat-sized white dog sitting in her lap. There should be a special test drivers of these vehicles must pass before they’re permitted on the road! Some are dangerous on a riding lawnmower.
Okay, that’s off my chest! (I do appreciate the professional truck drivers, as they are very courteous and make every effort to move over.) Now I have a few days to explore Eugene before catching the train back to Ohio!