Cruise Yourself: Seeing Bend by bike | Culture Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Culture » Culture Features

Cruise Yourself: Seeing Bend by bike

Big wheels keep on turning. Imagine yourself as a 20-year-old college student without a care in the world, save maybe Nike's working conditions in Indonesia.


Big wheels keep on turning. Imagine yourself as a 20-year-old college student without a care in the world, save maybe Nike's working conditions in Indonesia. You've got three months of free time before fall term and only one problem, no money.

In the post sub-prime and post-post world, what's a student to do? Pumping gas is always an option (this is Oregon after all) but there are some Karma issues and even good old unleaded is feeling the pinch as folks move to carpooling, biking, and, gasp, even walking. Restaurants have been hit hard, too. Rising food price and a downturn in customers have put the pinch on what was once a go-to industry for students.

Long time friends Peter Daucsavage and Spencer Hill started thinking early about how to turn a buck while home from school and came up with a novel idea. Brainstorming over Christmas the pair decided that they would try to cash in on Bend's summer tourism economy by offering cruiser bike tours of downtown Bend and the Old Mill. Operating with a shoestring budget the two, and a third partner Lucas Zettle, launched Bend Bike Tours. For $30 the pair offer a guided tour of the heart of Bend from Drake Park to the Bill Healy Bridge that includes fun "Did You Know" nuggets like Clark Gable once worked at the Brooks-Scanlon Mill and former Bulletin publisher George Palmer Putnam was married to Amelia Earhart.
Neither Hill, nor Daucsavage are history experts. But they grew up in Bend and took a self-guided crash course in local history at the Bend Chamber of Commerce and Des Chutes Historical Society. And what they lack in historical chops they make up for in self-effacing charisma -- the stuff that, if we ever had it, got pounded out of us long ago by 9-5 jobs.

Our tour started in Drake Park and was probably a little more laid back than the average tour as it was a freebie for family friends and one khaki slacks wearing, soon-to-be-totally-sunburned media nerd. We meandered up the west bank of the river, stopping to do things like look at the Old Mill Smokestacks - no real story there, just big self explanatory stacks, according to the guides, although we did learn that the mill recycled all of its prodigious sawdust, which was then used to fire the boilers. We also learned that the mills' small gauge railroad was the largest non-commercial rail line in the country - or something like that.

Business has been a little on the slow side, said Hill, who also owns a landscape (or at least aeration) company, but they've managed to schedule a few tours most weeks and got a call for another outing while we were cruising through the historic district at the tail end of our ride. Hill said that at this point the goal is pretty much just to break even. (Welcome to the not always glamorous world of self employment, boys.) But they're having fun and judging by the smiles on our groups' faces, so are the clients. Daucsavage, who is thin as a reed with a tousle of sandy blond atop his head, serves as the primary emcee for the tours and is also the DJ. He's a bit of a techie and managed to jerry rig a sound system on the back of his bike using a wooden box, some batteries, old computer speakers and, of course, an iPod. We cruised to the soothing sounds of Todd Rundgren, The Cars (Who's Gonna Drive You Home) and Paul Simon. Thankfully, the blue sky overhead reminded us that we were not, in fact, trapped in an elevator.

Hill, who is studying mechanical engineering, said he isn't sure just what the future holds for their pedal powered startup, all three owners are returning to school in the fall and are most likely to pursue internships next summer in their fields of study. In the meantime, though they'll just keep cruising.

Bike Tours of Bend
390-8646 or 610-5223. Rides by reservation. $30 adults $25 children (includes bike). $5 discount if you provide your own bike. 

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Intern

  • The Other Half of the Yoga Equation

    The Source Issue 45 (Nov. 10) contained wonderful information about the forms of yoga offered in our vicinity. Most of the information covered pertained to the socially enjoyable forms of yoga enjoyed by the folks who use yoga mats and bendy posturing as they concentrate on improving their blissful breathing techniques. These physical forms of yoga are the beautiful compliments to the mental, mindful and meditative forms of yoga that balance the larger yoga (yogic) equation. Yoga is basically a non-denominational practice aimed at balancing the physical (body) existence with the meta-physical (mind) reality. The ensuing mind-body balance creates the union required for an increased "understanding" (consciousness) of the "living experience."
    • Jan 25, 2012
  • Walden's Corporate Servitude

    In the time-honored American tradition of peaceful civil disobedience, I am proud to be one of eight Central Oregon citizens arrested on December 5 in Congressman Greg Walden's Bend office. At our January 26 trial we plan to present a compelling defense. This act of dissent follows years of futile attempts to encourage the Congressman to hold open, unscripted town meetings accessible to a majority of his constituents. The Congressman has grown so suspicious of impromptu encounters with ordinary citizens that on Saturday he required a Bend Police Department intervention that enabled him to enter the Water Project meeting at the Chamber of Commerce through the back door. (Greg, we are nonviolent people who believe that democracy thrives on open dialogue and transparency; there is no reason to avoid us.)
    • Jan 25, 2012
  • Doors of Equality Swing Both Ways

    I had to respond to "What's Wrong with Siri," (News, 1-4) since Apple's Siri isn't the problem. Three hours before I read, "What's wrong with Siri," I went to a store in town and complimented the cashier that this was the nicest "dollar" store I had ever been in.
    • Jan 11, 2012
  • More »

Latest in Culture Features