It's a common misconception that Bend's bike fascination is a recent one. It's not.
More than 30 years ago, Gary Bonacker, co-owner of Sunnyside Sports, and friends were bombing down Mt. Bachelor on modified cruisers (aka some of the world's first mountain bikes). Phil Meglasson (yes, that Phil) started cutting trail in Central Oregon in the mid '80s and continues to do so today. And this summer will mark the 34th edition of the Cascade Cycling Classic, the longest-running elite stage race in the country. But even casual riding has a strong history in Bend—the city created its first bike lane two decades ago, and Sunnyside Sports has been keeping Bend on bikes since 1972. Other shops, like Hutch's, also have long contributed to Bend's economy—Hutch's came to Bend in 1981 but has existed in Oregon since 1927. OK, maybe its not the Mayflower, but biking has been in Bend for generations.
From the thousands-of-riders-strong July 4 Freedom Ride, to daily commuters, to local and visiting mountain and road riders, to Mt. Bachelor's new downhill park (coming this summer!), Bend is home to a diverse array of two-wheeled fanatics whose enthusiasm has not only upped the quality of life in Central Oregon but provided a significant boost to the local economy.
In this year's Bike Issue we hone in on a few of the archetypical Bend cyclists—The Bro, The Pro, The Clown, The Commuter and The Mechanic. We also expand the bike theme throughout this issue. Learn about cycling's impact—or lack of—on cinema (Screen, Page 33), the region's best rides as told by notable locals (Outside, Page 39), the pros and cons of the Cycle Pub (Culture, Page 29), and where to meet for a social ride—whether it's a mock race or casual pedal (Culture, Page 29).
Air up those tires, lube the chain and get pedaling—bikes are one of Bend's most important cogs.
Click HERE for a directory to all the Bike Issue stories.