Fossil Fuel Freedom

Ellie preparing to bike Etsy & wholesale orders to the post.  Myrtle says she wants to go with big mama.

Good Morning Friends of Earnest Efforts -

When I moved down to Olalla Valley in Southern Oregon I didn't realize that I would forsake my bicycle for 14 years because of a fear of being run over by a log truck or an unsuspecting motorist.  I grew up in Eugene and bicycling was a way of life for myself and my friends - normally our only form of transportation.  I've biked 741 miles along the West Coast from Eugene to San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge, the road from the Lihue to Hanalei on Kaua'i, and rode the trails at Kaena Point on O'ahu.  My dreams are often filled with the freedom of gliding on my bike.  I needed to bring this dream back to life!

My brother & I invited our Pa to ride around Crater Lake in August as a birthday gift to him this spring.  Our excitement rubbed off on my Mom and she said she wanted to ride and then Earnie said he & Myrtle would camp and hold down the fort while we ride.  I've been weight training after yoga class a couple times a week since this winter, but I just needed to RIDE and this was the solution!!!

One night a few weeks ago it dawned on me that I could ride my bike to the post office in Tenmile to ship packages.  I couldn't sleep all night I was so excited.  Why was I suddenly not afraid to get on Olalla & ride?  I think part of the reason was I now had a purpose and that purpose had replaced the fear.

My bike in front of the Tenmile Post Office

It's been a few weeks of riding now and I am excited to announce that the hills are getting easier and I feel safe.  I can hear any log trucks coming from miles away and prepare to get off the road if I am in a tight spot, and the motorists out here have been amazing - slowing down & giving me a wide birth.  The more often people see bicyclists on the road the more they begin to think about us and anticipate our potential for being just around the corner.  There is one other consistent rider who collects bottles & cans (Oregon has a 5 cent deposit on water & soda containers) and motorists have seen him around for years.  Now there are two of us.  Maybe some day there will be many more. 

Take care, be good & kind, and don't forget to laugh,
Ellie Efforts (aka Heather) of the Earnie, Ellie & Myrtle show

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