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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Adventures in Oregon, Biking through Eugene

The Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon is blessed with three of the state’s scenic bikeways, including the 38-mile Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway, which visits seven covered bridges, including the only remaining covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi River. If you want more of a casual ride, simply rent a bike at Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life in downtown Eugene and pedal around the serene University of Oregon campus and on bike trails in the public parks that border the Willamette River. We followed local Molly Blancett as she led us on bike lanes through the city, stopping at the 5th Street Public Market to show us one of her favorite restaurants in town, the French bistro, Marche. Eugene has weathered the latest recession and is now bouncing back with a slew of new restaurants, bars, and boutique shops in town. 

 
Leading the resurgence is a number of microbreweries. There are now 13 breweries serving a thirsty population of 160,000, including Falling Sky Brewery, where we chose to have lunch. Brewmaster Scott Sieber is making some tasty hand crafted beer like the Slam Dunkelweizen, a German wheat ale with hints of cloves and bananas in the finish. Or sample the Bavarian lager, Maibock, smoother than most bocks you’ve tried. Eugene’s soft water and the variety of hops found in Oregon are the reason it’s becoming a must-stop for beer lovers. 
 
After lunch, we biked through the campus, making a mandatory stop at Hayward Field, the track-and-field stadium that has produced such renowned runners as Steve Prefontaine, Galen Rupp, and Alberto Salazar. We crossed over the Willamette River on a bike bridge to visit the 54,000-seat Oregon Ducks football stadium, before stopping for heavenly ice cream at Chocolate Decadence and another cup of strong drip coffee at the 5th Street Beanery. The perfect ending to a perfect day. Thanks Molly!
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/19/13 at 12:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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