Bend cyclist and writer Katy Bryce's new guidebook, "Mountain Bike Bend," came out early this year. We sat down with the author to talk shop.
Source Weekly: What's unique about Bend's trails?
Katy Bryce: It's very accessible, and very family friendly. Our trails are fairly mellow when you compare it to Tahoe or Moab that are steeper and rockier. But we also have a lot of diversity. I've included the McKenzie River valley in the book. I have three trails in that area, which is totally different geography from here. Big trees and wet and ferns and moss and stuff like that. Everything in here is about a two-hour drive or less, and within a two-hour drive you can access sagebrush and juniper and you can go to a rainforest. But a lot of the trails are within a half hour from Bend. Also, the connectivity of our trails is unique. You can literally ride 100 miles in a day, if you can, by connecting and looping all kinds of trails together. I think that's really unique here. Not a lot of places have that.
SW: What's the longest ride you've ever taken in a day?
KB: In my life? 100 miles. I've done a lot of mountain bike touring and the biggest day I ever did was 100 miles on the Great Divide mountain bike route.
SW: What inspired you to write this guide book?
KB: I've lived here just over 20 years. I started mountain biking in 1995 when gear was a lot different, and started mountain biking in Bend in 1997 when I moved here. I've been involved with the mountain bike community for a long time, especially with COTA and my husband actually builds a lot of the trails in the area, so I know a lot of the area
SW: What's it like to put something together like this?
- Katy Bryce
KB: The actual writing part, like the typing, was pretty easy. It was the project management that was hard. I had to identify the trails I wanted to include in there and then go ride them—which was the fun part—but I also provided the photos and the maps as well, so it was quite a project. I also did it partly over the winter. Fortunately, the winter I did it was a pretty mild winter so I could ride a lot of the stuff. If this had happened last winter, I would have never made the deadlines. It was a great experience. Getting photos is a challenge because you realize when you're out mountain biking you're in the trees and taking photos in the trees is really hard, so I'd be out riding with friends and I'd be like "Stop! I need to get a picture of you right here."
SW: Does the book include bikepacking trails?
Katy: We kind of wanted to just keep it as day trips for now. I've done a lot of bikepacking and I think this is a great place to do bikepacking, and the tricky thing here is finding water. If you go up Phil's, it's a ways to get to a creek. We just don't have a lot of surface water up there. But there are a lot of great areas to do bikepacking. You know, take care of the places you visit and leave no trace.
SW: What's your take on riding alone? Do or don't do?
KB: The thing I think of immediately is getting hurt. If you're by yourself and you get hurt or crash, what do you do, you have to get yourself out of there and somehow take care of yourself. But if you're out on a popular trailhead there's a good chance you're going to see someone who can help you. I've been biking alone for 25 years so I don't think about it.
"Mountain Bike Bend" is available locally at Roundabout Books, Dudley's Pine Mountain Sports, Paulina Springs in Sisters, and other retailers.
Intern Leigha Threlkeld contributed to this report.
Mountain Bike Bend author talk
Fri., May 19
900 NW Mount Washington Dr. #110, Bendhttp://katybryce.com/