Good to Be Loved

Week 24 in the quest to cycle 104 times this year.

The weather report says that today is the last in a long line of late summer days.

Tomorrow brings rain.

How many of us cyclers greet this news with mixed feelings?  Leaf blowers are already corralling leaves into the bike lanes in anticipation of the city pickup, which won’t happen for another two months.  It’s kind of fun to roll through the leaves when it’s dry, but once the rain starts, look out.

Today we ride. Tomorrow we slide.   

I’m considering, in my quest to cycle 104 times this year, starting to count walking as the same as bicycling.  Isn’t the point to just get out of the car?

Ah, but walking takes so long.

I take solace in the graffiti garden …

P.M. isn’t in the graffiti dictionary. Maybe the artist’s initials? Happy Halloween to you, too.

… which is tucked next to a field of wild fennel,
behind the jail and the train tracks …

… which reminds me that next summer, probably, coal trains will be chugging through the city.  The county commissioners vote next week on whether or not to allow coal trains through town.  The coal will be headed for the coastal town of Coos Bay for shipping and processing overseas.  Four trains a day, up to 150 open cars each.

Coming soon to the fennel field: a veil of coal dust.

This is not what people usually mean when they call Eugene Track Town

Coos Bay needs the 165 jobs the coal trains will bring.  Get a community desperate enough for work, and worries about air pollution count for nothing.

Pedal on.  Here, a small consolation, a sign next to the bike lane:

A nod from Hummingbird Wholesale
It is good to be loved.

Are you ready for winter?  How do you feel about coal trains, and coal in general?  Any solution to the city’s leaf recycling program, which leaves (pun not intended) bike paths treacherous for weeks?
 
Update on the quest to bicycle 104 times in 52 weeks.  Week 24:  rode/commuted twice.  Grand total:  63 (15 rides in the bank).

4 comments

  • I am really worried about the coal problem. How to balance- Jobs, Pollution, lack of $ to build separate freight/passenger train lines? Even if the coal skirted residential areas, our agricultural landscape is central to our economy and both are terribly fragile. This is not easy. Each person’s ideal answer seems to step on someone else. Help?

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  • Help? is right. I suspect this is a done deal. Coal is rooted so deeply in the power grid, and so many Oregon communities are frantic for jobs and cash, it’s hard to imagine keeping the coal trains out. I don’t know how the city and county are going to work it out. Trains in the valley are already practically gridlocked. Hope for the best?

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  • A warm hello from a fellow bike riding lover! 🙂 It’s my favorite way to stay in shape, and I try to get in three 20 mile rides a week, until the snow flies here in MA. Bike riding is just as fun for me now, as it was when I was a kid, and most of all in great weather – like we sometimes get here in MA on a sunny and warm mid Spring day, with many flowering trees and shrubs brightening up the scenery along the way. After a long hard winter, a bike ride on a day like that can feel very euphoric, and I just love it.

    Wet and slippery leaves can be a problem, but now during Autumn I can mostly avoid them with street riding. Sharing the road with cars and trucks can be a little too exciting at times, but nobody’s hit me yet, so I’ll just knock on wood and hope my hitless streak continues.

    Love the photo of the river, especially full size. Is that on a route where you ride? Must be really nice.

    I’m sorry about your upcoming coal train issue, and pollution vs badly needed jobs is a very tough choice; a choice that I wish your community didn’t have to make.

    Hey, go ahead and count walking as biking, if you feel okay with that. Walking is also good exercise, and it keeps you moving, which is so much better than not moving much at all.

    Yes, it’s always good to be loved. Happy trails Julia! 🙂

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  • Chris, Yes, that’s the view from the Ferry Street Bridge where I commute. Never mind that the view from 180 degrees in the other direction is a steady stream of car traffic. I might have known you are a cyclist! Twenty miles a day is ambitious! The most I’ve ever gone in one ride, ever, is 30 miles. Absolutely your no-hit record is going to hold. Happy trails to you, too. Best wishes and thanks —

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