Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on September 9th, 2007 at 4:24 pm
(All photos by Jonathan Maus)
Our first morning started out with a stinging chill. It didn’t take long though, before folks were shedding their layers and enjoying the warm sun.
As we headed south from Sisters (en route to Bend) we skirted around Highway 20 to enjoy nearly car-free backroads. We rode in the shadow of the Three Sisters mountains and rambled by ranches with names like El Rancho Horso Manuro (not kidding) and B-Bar-B.
The route was an ideal first day. Flats and gentle rollers; just right for stretching the muscles and clearing out the cobwebs for the tougher days to come.
I’m enjoying the camaraderie and spirit that infuses Cycle Oregon. It seems like every few minutes of riding I bump into a friend or an old acquaintance.
I chatted with Jeanette Kloos, President of the Friends of the Historic Columbia River Highway. You might remember my story about her effort to rebuild the Historic Highway. She shared good news about her first-ever Gorge Ride. 379 people participated and she plans to make it an annual event.
Just before our first rest stop I met Beaverton resident Jim Athey. Jim is a co-owner of Eola Hills Wine Cellars in the Willamette Valley. He told me about his Bike Oregon Wine Country rides that happen each weekend in August.
Heading south, the wide-open ranges and ranches of the Sisters foothills gave way to a growing sense of surburbia just north of Bend. I was amazed at how much new development is happening there.
We lunched just north of Bend’s Old Mill District. It was quite a spectacle to see so many bikes and colorful jerseys buzzing about. The infamous bathroom line was in full force…
We made our way onto Highway 97 near Lava Lands State Park and up and over Lava Fields Pass (elev. 4,510). We couldn’t really enjoy the scenery too much though. Not only were we close to high-speed traffic, but there was a man-eating rumble strip that occupied about 25% of the width of the shoulder. I noticed one crash and heard later that a woman hit the strips and bashed into someone else. Why can’t they put those things on the other side of the white line?!
This ride is heaven for bike geeks. I spotted some cool rigs today…
Tonight we’re camping on the fields of La Pine High School.
Stay tuned; I’ll post as much as I can as long as I can find a good signal. Hope all’s well in Portland!