Bike to Bellinger’s Landing

June 2, 1974

Three pedal pumpers pushed perseveringly from Alton Baker Park Pond Bridge to cross Autzen Footbridge on Sunday in five hours. If this time reminds of recent California tortoise race, consider that the trio took 40 min. for lunch at Bellinger’s Landing off Camp Creek, Rd. (way to Walterville from Northeast Springfield) on shore of McKenzie River. It was ideal for bicycling 32 miles in a mildly breezy 60 to 70 F. bright sunshine and under pale-blue sky.

We rolled at 10 a.m. out Coburg Rd. and soon saw pretty sight of horses, cattle grazing green meadows which reach east to Coburg Hills and west toward cloud-covered outlines of Coast Range. By 10:30 we had detoured to give our Colorado cyclist her first view of McKenzie River and Armitage Park. Trip highlight was next six miles over McKenzie View Dr. seeing white water and grassy plains of McKenzie River below and Coburg Hills above. At 11:30 we turned onto Hill Road, then Mohawk-Marcola Rd. (largely rutted and gravelled, impeding us) and up and down Camp Creek Rd. aside McKenzie River to Bellinger’s Landing. (12:30)

Here we sat on log, talked about travel, camping, cycling, trail, food. Ate lunch watched fastmoving McKenzie River waters and motor boat powering upstream and flying downstream. After sortie toward Walterville we returned to Eugene on Mohawk Rd., “O”, 5th and “D”streets; very busy Baker bike path, crossed Autzen Bridge 3 p.m.

Trip leader had planned all speed eight hour 40-mile circle ride between Eugene and Walterville to leave E. Park St. 9 a.m. and Baker Pond 9:15 am. What occurred to cause marked change from leisurely jaunt to hurried, shorter ride? Leader allowed trippers to ignore sign-up, tool and patch kits, bike and rider in good shape and plans (leave at 9, not 10 due to loose screw no screwdriver: return at 5, not 3, due to commitment for canoeing).

What lesson learned? Prerequisites and plans must prevail when experience so dictates and bicycling is best way to see countryside. Learning and recovering from experience were Belle Hendrickson, Jack Sjolseth and leader Dave Cohen.


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