There are several walks and rides already going on this morning, and maybe it's a great time to think about adventure in and around town.
Adventure Cycling magazine had a feature on Oregon and multi-agency collaboration recently. It was interesting, though, that the state Capital didn't get a mention.
|That's Alex, not Sheila!|
Adventure Cycling Dec/Jan story
on Oregon Bike Tourism and State Agencies
and a wayward caption
Although Portland gets a lot of positive press in cycling circles, and deservedly so, Ginny Sullivan [Adventure Cycling Association’s director of travel initiatives] says a lot of credit should go to Oregon's state agencies.The silence on Salem - Corvallis and Portland get mentions, along with Bend - is both a reflection on where we've been, and where we're going. We've lagged behind in the past, and relative to other cities and other areas there's not much leadership going forward.
"Portland is seen as a bicycle mecca for commuters, but really the State of Oregon and the ODOT, Oregon Parks and Recreation, Oregon Tourism, all those agencies with the help of advocates and the cycling community have really been able to tip the scale for cyclists," Sullivan said. "Instead of operating in silos, they're working together."
A good example of what Sullivan is talking about is Oregon's relatively new scenic bikeways program. Alexandra Phillips, bicycle recreation coordinator for Oregon Parks and Recreation, invented the program together with Travel Oregon and ODOT when she was hired five years ago.
Significantly, this is earned press and advertising for other communities, and when people think about visiting Oregon, Salem may not be top of mind. That's a loss for the local economy. Earlier this month BikePortland had a piece on bike tourism initiatives in Clackmas County. Imagine: Clackamas, ahead of Marion and Polk!
Think about a different article that talks about what a great hub Salem is for exploring wine-country by bike. You can conjure other variations. That's what we miss out on.
Fortunately, Travel Oregon knows the score. In October a new video came out that features farms and winegrapes and hops on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway!
That's the way to market the valley!
But even that missed something: History! Sure, maybe that's more for locals, but the route's starting point in Champoeg is in the heart of French Prairie, the site of many of the oldest settlement in Oregon! And Champoeg might even be said to be the place where the idea of Oregon was born.
The Oregon Historic Sites Database has had a lot of updating recently, and there's some new features.
|Group Names on Historic Sites Database Search|
The database interface is not exactly consumer-friendly, so it might take a tiny bit of effort to use, but if you're interested in finding history along the bike ride, it's a great resource.
|Map link on result set|
|R.C. Geer farmhouse - now called Geercrest Farm|
Ralph Carey Geer was Gov. T.T. Geer's uncle
and a relative of Homer Davenport
|R.C. Geer homestead from 1878 Marion County Atlas|
|Oregon-Washington Water Service Company|
Pump Station at 21st and Market
|Pump House on the Sanborn maps|
As architecture it wasn't very interesting, but as a trace of older infrastructure it was a little mysterious.
Have you seen anything like this around town on your trips? Even inside town there are mysteries to explore!