Today’s adventure begins in Tumalo State Park, a sunny 330-acre chunk of heaven on the banks of the Deschutes River. As you warm up your legs and fill your lungs with the sweet smell of dew-fed sage and juniper, you’ll ride past Shevlin Park on quiet country roads on your way to the outdoor playland that is Bend, Oregon.
As you cruise through bike-friendly Bend you will undoubtedly notice a common theme–Bend loves beer. There are 21 (and counting) breweries in Bend proper and you can get a growler filled almost anywhere–including the car wash. If you ask nicely, they may make an exception and top off your water bottles for you.
Once you reach the southwestern part of town, you’ll start climbing the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway towards Mt. Bachelor. It may occur to you that you are about to pedal up a mountain, but rest assured, we kept it mellow so as not to scare anyone off. It’s a 5%-ish 10-mile ascent with the payoff being unbeatable views of Mt Bachelor. Most of the landscape on this stretch can be attributed to the masterful handiwork of ancient volcanoes and glaciers.
Shortly before we reach Mt Bachelor, our route turns onto a Forest Service Road that provides a glorious 15 miles of downhill towards the resort community of Sunriver. Once in town, we follow S. Century Drive and Huntington Rd for another 14 miles of mostly flat cruising to the town of La Pine (French for The Pine) and the finish line of our first day’s ride.
That’s it. That’s Day 3. Enjoy an evening of good music, new friends and some La Pine High Hawk hospitality as you get ready to do it all again tomorrow.