Brownsville Bike Trip

June 5, 1988

For this ride, three bikers signed up and two showed up. But, except for headwinds northbound, we could not have asked for a better day for pedaling in the great, green fields of Linn County. The 50-mile trip included only one climb up and over Rattlesnake Gap, and that was soon behind us. On our gravity powered downhill run, Barb stopped to point out a historical plaque which marked the site of a village that pre-dated the platting of Brownsville. Lunches were contentedly munched in Pioneer Park while we sat on the banks watching the swift waters of the Calapooia River flow by. On our way out of the park, we stopped to watch Brownsville’s finest team of daring BMX track racers, ages 6 to 12, do their stuff. We watched, amazed, as these mini pedal pushers whizzed into the first double mounded hills at a pace that sent them soaring gracefully skyward, up and over the second (and much higher) hill. Having those wispy 6 year old girls make all this look so easy — well, let we confess — it’s humbling. A short way out of town we came across a small flock of sheep (1 ram, 3 ewes) so strikingly different in appearance that we stopped to learn more about them. Called Barbs for abort (Barbados Blackbellies) they are descendants of the primitive Bronze Age sheep. They are more wild than domesticated, hyper-skittish — and valued for their trait of lambing twice a year. This flock had reason enough to be skittish, had they only known. Their owner bought them with only one thing in mind — mutton for her table. The rest of the ride back to Coburg was at a wind assisted 15 to 18 miles per hour, with Dave out in the lead every inch of the way. Those enjoying this demi-Century outing were: Barb Elsen, Dave Predeek and Bob Devine (leader).

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