Back in March when the city was looking for a slogan, I humbly suggested "Bend: so much awesome, so little time." It didn't win, but c'mon, rings true, doesn't it? There is so much to be done and behold around these parts, trying to squeeze it all in on even the longest of timelines is a daunting task. With that in mind, I present you with three easy bike rides, each doable in roughly three hours, all full of Central Oregon Awesome.
Bear Creek Road-Alfalfa Market Road Loop
Starting midtown and pushing east past the UGB and Bend's once rural homesteads, this route jogs down a quiet stretch of Highway 20, heads north on pastoral Dodds Road and cuts back west on Alfalfa Market. A mellow 30 miles with a gentle 410' elevation gain but still offering stunning sunrise views.
Sisters – Fryrear Loop
For a pastoral ride with Cascades views, this loop heads east from Sisters on Hwy 20 and 126, north on Goodrich, east on Holmes, crosses 126 to stay south on Fryrear, jogs back northwest briefly on 20, and returns to Sisters via Gist, Plainview, Cloverdale, and Camp Polk roads. This particular variation is a 30-mile ride with 918 foot elevation change and one significant climb of 140 feet over 1.37 miles.
Bend - Tumalo Loop
A 24-mile ride that really shows off the beauty of Bend's autumn. Beginning downtown in Drake Park, heading west on Newport, northwest on Shevlin through Shevlin Park and across Tumalo Creek, cyclists are treated to a checkered chimera of seasonal colors. From Shevlin Park riders head north via Johnson Market where the color is a blandish sage-steppe green but the smell is undeniably juniper pine. From there, it's a short jaunt on OB Riley to the cute-as-a-button town of Tumalo where one can find both good coffee and good pizza. Tumalo Road leaves Tumalo heading first north then east and marks the turning point in the loop. Riders head south on Deschutes Market and west on Butler Market just beyond Pine Nursery Park as they return back to Bend, taking 8th Street then Greenwood to complete the circle.