Sunday, August 10, 2008

Eugene, brah

You heard me. Brah! - I'm in Eugene.

Eugene is a beautiful town-city with a whole lot of easy van parking. Finding a shady spot is stupid easy. I know if I'm here even slightly longer (like I plan to be) I will almost certainly find VERY elite parking for my van. It's pretty here, and the bicycle culture is as strong as it's supposed to be. There are tons of cycles, and tons of paths.

I found a coffee shop with wifi. Within two hours of being here, I met a guy who likes to ride his bicycle who invited me out for a ride. We rode. He showed me one of his 30-or-so mile loops with lots of paths and a few moderate hill climbs. He slaughtered me on the climbs. We both rode pretty fast. He wore bike shorts and rode a Cannondale. That alone means nothing. But apparently he's competitive, he trains, and he likes assassination attempts. I felt great until the first climb. I shot about halfway up the hill, and then just had to sit the rest out and climb at my own pace. The second real hill was a little worse. On the third I was actually almost fine. I finally caught myself wondering if a lighter bicycle would help. I don't wonder such things often. I'm sure lunch and some more water wouldn't have hurt. I had to really sip with just one bottle for the ride.

I rode my KHS Professional 531 bicycle. I love that bicycle. I'm glad I brought it. That's right - living in a van, and I brought two bicycles along. Well, I don't regret it. This bicycle is smooth, silent, comfortable, and it's a swift joy to ride. I had a good ride, and was happy to have something to do and someone to talk to so quickly after getting here. Nice guy. I'm sure I could call him up when I really need a shower. It was that kind of deal.

7:21 though. I set out on foot to find places and - cosmos willing - people. Obviously a bar is the best place to look. It's at least the easiest. (unless you count Craigslist - but people tend to find it easier to post than actually talk, and it's all very sad sometimes). So I went to a bar. At 7:21 I was finishing up a sandwich and a second beer. There were about 12 other males present, mostly watching synchronized olympic diving and commenting on legs and behinds. All considered, two beers was enough - something I am unfamiliar with. But this time, two beers did it. I was in bed by 9:30, woken up about every 45 minutes by a train horn screaming past about a block away. Somehow I wasn't bothered enough to get up and move. I just went back to sleep. Now I know one place not to park. Now I know one bar to not look for people. Now I killed one day. Now maybe I'm one day closer to a mellow normality. Could this town be home? Could I be HOME?? I'm not sure if I'll ever be home. I think I'll just always have a few places where I can smile and breathe. Eugene isn't one of them yet, but I do believe that this place is SCREAMING with potential.

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