Sunday, April 19, 2015

Expanding My Riding Horizons in Eugene

I've been here in Eugene for the past week taking care of my Sweet Baboo grandson while his mom and dad are at work.

During the week, I've been able to get in rides each evening when one of them gets home. The first couple of rides were just an hour or so each, with lots of climbing and some fast descents. Fridays ride was a bit longer, still with lots of climbing.
Coming up Gimpl Hill Rd.

Yesterday, I expanded my distance to 39 miles, with just the climb up Fox Hollow. There were some other smallish climbs, but nothing like the others. Today, I further expanded my loop to 49 miles. 

Starting at the kids' house, it's just .3 miles to the beginning of Lorane Hwy. It starts climbing right at the beginning, and continues for a good 1 1/2 miles. Along the way, I heard the unmistakable gobble of a turkey. Sure enough, as I rounded the corner there were a couple of the big birds on the side of the road.
Gobble Gobble!

I came down the other side out onto the flat to the intersection of Lorane Hwy, Bailey Hill Rd, and Spencer Creek Rd. Spencer Creek would eventually take me to Crow Rd (Gimpl Hill is off Pine Grove which is what Spencer Cr. becomes). Bailey Hill goes to the right, and would take me back to the West end of Eugene (not far from Bike Friday). I went left to continue on Lorane Hwy. 

Lorane Hwy is a very nice road. Fox Hollow Rd comes into Lorane Hwy, and that's where I came from yesterday. Today, I breezed by on a nice downhill. Lorane runs along the valley for a number of miles.
The nice smooth pavement of Lorane Hwy in the valley.

As I was riding along, I saw something off the side of the road. It was another turkey. Then I saw the rest of them (a dozen total). There are a lot of wild turkeys around here!

Lorane Hwy ends at Territorial Hwy. I kept to a westerly heading by turning right. I rode for a number of miles to Crow. Yesterday, I had turned onto Crow Rd. Today, I continued on Territorial. Just as an aside, if I continued this ever expanding loop riding, in a week's time, I'd be looping to Florence (on the Coast) and back!

I finally started heading more north, coming into the small towns of Veneta and Elmira, and crossing Hwy 126 (the Florence-Eugene Hwy--I took this from Florence a couple of years ago when I did my Long Way to the Cabin Tour). Staying on Territorial Hwy, I began to ride near the Fern Ridge Reservoir. It seems more like a large lake, but since there is a dam at the northern end of it, I guess it really is a reservoir.

I looped around the northern end of the lake/reservoir onto Clear Lake Rd. I went by a Lane County Park called Richardson County Park. It's on the reservoir, and has camping. I will stow this info away for later as a place to bring my grandson for a overnight bike tour! 

Fern Ridge Reservoir

A few miles further, and I came to an intersection. Strangely, there was no sign saying what the cross street was. I figured it had to be Greenhill Rd, so I turned right to head to the Fern Ridge Path. I did finally see a sign at another cross street. It was Greenhill. 

The Fern Ridge Path is a multi-use trail that begins in downtown Eugene (sort of) and goes all the way out to Greenhill Rd. I've been on it many times, however this was just my second time to do the whole thing (the first was when I picked up Betsy from Bike Friday). 

I rode the trail into town, then got on the Amazon Park Trail back to the kids' house. A respectable 3:09 ride time with an average of 15.6. I've really enjoyed the riding here. There are so many great roads! Tomorrow, I head home on the train...sad to leave my Sweet Baboo.

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