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Brent Ayer’s Blog #3 from the USA Olympic Trials - Track & Field
Rest days in Eugene, Oregon. Track & field events resume Thursday. I decide to rent a mountain bike and check out some local trails.
Starting in Cottage Grove, where I am staying No luck with getting a bike. Off to Eugene. Three bike shops later, no luck. Finally, I am referred to a bike shop in Oakridge, Oregon. How far away? A fifty minute car trip. Really…to rent a bike?!
What the heck, nothing better to do. So, it is up Route 58 and within 15 minutes I realize what a great decision I have made. The car is climbing up the Cascade Mountains, the Willamette River streaming along-side and the mountains rising on either side. At a crest in Oakridge, I find the Willamette Mountain Exchange, run by Mckenzie Bowerman.
I have to ask. Yes, he is the grandson of the legendary Oregon coach and he will be manning the shop when I am due to return the bike on Sunday. Sweet!
Today, I rode around Eugene before finally finding Pre’s Memorial. It is a simple engraved stone with his portrait on it. The street is narrow, winding, and dark under a canopy of trees.
The memorial is attached to the rock wall into which he slammed his car, ending the life of America’s most promising young distance runner at the age of 24.