It was a late start to the bike-touring season and almost thwarted by the realization that our camping gear was in Portland (where my partner lives during the week and where our last tour ended). Then we realized that we could pay for roof-over-our-head accommodations!
I found a bed and breakfast just south of Eugene which is now, far and above, my favorite bed and breakfast and up there on the list of my favorite businesses. Velo B&B is run by Misha & Rob English. The “English” name may be (correctly) recognized by bike aficionados as the English of English Cycles, Eugene-based hand-made bike creator. Misha is a vegan baker who will make you question every disparaging thing you’ve said about things made without butter and conceiver of Morning Glory in Eugene.
Between delicious vegan breakfast (and bedtime cookie snacks) and bike friendliness, I was won over. But then. BUT THEN. But then we found out that they are also CAR-FREE. With two businesses up a non-trivial hill about 3 miles south of Eugene, I was duly impressed. The place was cosy, affordable, quiet, clean, friendly, beautiful — not your grandma’s B&B. Misha and Rob were wonderful hosts — great conversation and just the right amount of privacy. This is a place to try out and recommend widely. Oh right — they also give a 10% bike-there discount. So, you know, love all around.
The bike ride we took, directions here is also recommended. A wonderful loop around the south Valley, with varied landscape (fields, rolling hills, forests of different types) and VERY low traffic (except in approaching Eugene, where the shoulder was wide). When approaching the B&B keep your eyes peeled for a red wheel and look out for the house number.
Lots of good news for rail fans these days. The Corvallis City Council passed a resolution that we:
We strongly urge that the Oregon Passenger Rail Project perform an Environmental Impact Statement that includes a route visiting Corvallis in their study and that a full survey of potential demand be performed in Corvallis and at Oregon State University.
This helped the media picking up the story: Continue reading
The Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission meets this Friday, October 4 at 7 AM at 500 SW Madison Ave. The agenda includes:
- discussion of potential bike/ped improvements to the intersection of HWY 99 & Circle
- a potential business district designation for downtown
- crossing options for Kings & Garfield
- discussion of no-idle zones
- sharing a bike-friendly map draft
If you have interest in any of these or topics you would like to bring to our attention, please come to the meeting or contact Greg Wilson ahead of time.
Of course, you would expect me, writing at Car-Free Corvallis, to not be a fan of any motor vehicle technology. Only part of my reasons for being car-free are environmental. But even if I focus just on that aspect, I would still never advocate for electric cars. My arguments have been based on life-cycle energy requirements (the energy to produce a car is about the same as is used by the car) and resource requirements (e.g. rare-earth metals, aluminium). I was very happy to see that IEEE Spectrum Magazine, the magazine read by every professional and academic engineer that I know, ran a cover article titled “Unclean at Any Speed” by Ozzie Zehner and summarizes this and other reasons that electric cars should not be embraced by environmentalists as the solution to our transportation problems and suggests lower-tech solutions (biking, walking and mass transit). Summarized beautifully at the end:
Upon closer consideration, moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another. We wouldn’t expect doctors to endorse such a thing. Should environmentally minded people really revere electric cars? Perhaps we should look beyond the shiny gadgets now being offered and revisit some less sexy but potent options—smog reduction, bike lanes, energy taxes, and land-use changes to start. Let’s not be seduced by high-tech illusions.
I highly recommend everyone read this article, whether you are pro- or anti- (or neutral) electric cars.