The BOBCATS (Bend Oregon Bicycle Club and Tandem Society) were delighted to sponsor the 20th annual NWTR held July 1st through July 4th, 2005 in Bend, Oregon.
Our venue was the beautiful Summit High School. Located on Bend’s west side, Summit is surrounded by stunning views of the Cascades. For those of you who have not yet been fortunate enough to visit this area, Bend is a major tourist and recreation destination in the northwest. A city of 60,000 that rests at 3,600 feet above sea level, Bend boasts more than 275 restaurants, lovely views of the mountains, and quick access to an abundance of outdoor activities.
Friday, July 1st, 2005
Tumalo River Route: A lovely unsupported out-and-back ride of about 20 miles, this is one of the locals’ favorite after work rides. Start at Skyliners Road, around the corner from the registration site at Summit High School, which will take you up a gradual incline that ends at a bridge overlooking the picturesque Tumalo River. On your way to the river, you’ll climb on smooth winding pavement through Juniper and ponderosa pine -laden forests. There is very light auto traffic on this secluded road. At the fork at the top of the incline, veer right to view the Tumalo River. To the left is the Skyliner Lodge which dates back to 1935 and was built by the depression-era Works Progress Administration to serve the local ski club. Today, the historic lodge houses the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s Cascade Science School. After taking in the views, enjoy the long downhill coast on the way back to town.
Saturday, July 2nd, 2005
All routes leave Summit High School parking lot and head down the road towards the popular Shevlin Park. We will be traveling Northwest of Bend through the beautiful ranch and forest country between Bend and Redmond. Be sure to take in the spectacular views of the Cascades as we ride towards Tumalo Reservoir. After refueling at our first rest stop, we’ll spin onward through rolling ranch land while enjoying spectacular views of the Cascades. When we reach Gerking Market Rd, be sure to watch for the Alpaca Farm on your right. Keep your eyes peeled for other interesting farm critters – our favorites are the ever-present llama and the shaggy Highland cattle.
Twin Bridges Route (Short): will cover about 25 miles of rolling hills. continues with rolling hills along the base of the Cascades, following a popular local route called “Twin Bridges”. We’ll then drop down and cross the Deschutes River . After our second rest stop, we’ll have a slight drop into the small ranch town of Tumalo. After crossing Highway 20, we’ll climb towards Tumalo State Park, a cool green setting surrounded by juniper, ponderosa pines, willows and alders. This is a great place to stop for some R & R or a dip in the Deschutes River before heading back into town. We’ll have a fairly strenuous climb up and out of the valley along OB Riley Road with some stunning views of the Cascades waiting for us at the top. Then, we’ll follow the route through town leading us back to Summit High.
Medium Route (Medium): about 50 miles total. Head north toward Eagle Crest Resort and Cline Falls State Park. Eagle Crest is a 1700 acre destination resort known for its golf, fly fishing and gorgeous views. Then turn south and we’ll work our way up to the east ridge above the Deschutes river. We’ll have incredible views of the mountains as we ride this ridge. We’ll continue on through ranch and forest land to the Deschutes River. We’ll then follow the Short Route past Tumalo State Park (remember to stop and enjoy this cool spot and dip your feet in the river). Then, up OB Riley as we enjoy views of the valley and the distant Cascades. From there we meander back into town and Summit High.
Smith Rock Route (Long): covers a 75 mile loop out to Smith Rock State Park that will take us across Highway 126 and meander north past Redmond and toward our lunch destination of Smith Rock State Park. The stunning reddish-orange peaks of volcanic ash at Smith Rock reach up to 550 feet above the winding Crooked River. This unique rock formation covers 650 acres and boasts some of the best technical climbing in the northwest. Our lunch stop and the highlight of this route is the Smith Rock picnic grounds where we’ll sit atop the basalt rimrock overlooking the Crooked River. The views of the river and peaks are drop-dead gorgeous so don’t forget your camera! After lunch, we’ll climb out of the Crooked River valley and pass through the town of Redmond on our way back to Bend as we travel on the Old Bend-Redmond Highway. Our last rest stop is by the banks of the Deschutes (Short Route’s lunch stop – see description), then we follow the Short Route back into town.
Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
Again, we’ll have three supported rides of varying lengths. The Short Route is 30 plus miles, the Medium Route is 50 miles and the Long Route is 80 miles. Today we’llexperience relatively flat terrain through Western high desert landscapes. All three routes will enjoy quiet two lane country roads and very gently rolling hills throughout the day. will begin the mass start at Summit High School. There are three overlapping loop rides today. All three rides sport rolling terrain with short hills, gradual grades and no major climbs.
Meet for the Mass Start at the Old Mill District in the heart of Bend – An easy 2-mile ride from Summit High School and only 1 mile from downtown Bend. We’ll take off together from the parking lot of the Old Mill shopping area near the Powerhouse building (look for three tall smokestacks).
The ride will begin with a great view of the Deschutes River and its beautiful stone banks. We’ll roll through downtown and wind our way east to the high desert territory of Central Oregon. On our way to the town of Alfalfa, we’ll pass ranchland and rolling, open, sagebrush covered fields reminiscent of the Old West. Look for horses, llama, cattle, sheep and our favorites, the donkeys. Our first rest stop will be near the town of Alfalfa, a small ranching community of about 1500.
Stop for treats at the Old Mill shops but be sure to save room for the Banquet!
After this rest stop, the Medium and Short Routes head back towards Bend. The 2nd rest stop is at Big Sky Park on the way into town.
Pilot Butte Route (Short): After refueling, the Short Route riders go back through town, passing the locally famous Pilot Butte State Park. This 4139 foot butte is an old cinder cone that’s been a Bend landmark since the first pioneers used it as a reference point for navigating across the High Desert. The top boasts a 360 degree view of the Central Oregon landscape, including a marvelous view of the Cascades. A quick jaunt through town and we’ll be back at the Old Mill District. Those in need of a treat are invited to visit the ice cream and candy shops at the Old Mill.
China Hat Butte Route (Medium): The Medium Route will spin farther into the Central Oregon ranch lands before returning to town. We’ll have a nice view of the Cascades, and, as we wind our way around, we’ll be able to see China Hat Butte (named for the shape). To the south we’ll see in the distance Newberry Crater and the famous lava beds. After a quick tour through the Deschutes River Woods, we’ll have smooth and fun descent back into the Old Mill District.
Powell Butte Route (Long): After the Alfalfa rest stop, the Long Route continues east on Alfalfa road and then north on Millican towards Powell Butte. We’ll meander all the way around Powell Butte on some very lightly trafficked country roads as we experience breathtaking views of the white-peaked Cascades. We’ll also be able to see Smith Rock and our route from Saturday in the distance while traveling through these farmlands. After circling the Butte, we’ll travel back to Alfalfa and then follow the Short Route back into Bend and the Old Mill.
Monday, July 4th, 2005
Encore Route: If you’re able to stay for the 4th of July festivities in Bend, you have your choice of events. We’ll have maps available for an unsupported ride up to the majestic Mt. Bachelor. This 50 mile out-and-back ride from downtown Bend shouldn’t be missed! Spin up a significant but gradual ascent to the base of Mt. Bachelor. The Mt. Bachelor ski resort offers chairlift rides to Pine Marten Lodge where you can have a fabulous lunch overlooking Todd and Sparks Lakes and the High Cascades country. The views are the best in the region! Then, after lingering over lunch, enjoy your coast downhill and back into town.
Firecracker Century Ride: If you want an additional supported ride, one of our local bike shops, Webcyclery, is hosting their annual “Firecracker Century” ride with both metric and full century routes. The full century starts in Bend and travels east to Alfalfa where it meets up with the start of the metric route. Then both cruise through the striking Crooked River Canyon past the Prineville Reservoir. To find out more about this event, or to register, go to www.webcyclery.com.
Saturday, July 2nd, 2005
Ice Cream Social and Vendor Fair: Save Saturday evening to attend our Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Social and Vendor Fair to be held at Summit High School. Indulge yourself after a long day of riding with some delicious ice cream while discussing the highlights of your ride with old and new friends. Wander through the Vendor Fair to see the latest and greatest in tandems, bike fashions and gear. Local and regional bike and tandem shops will be set up with their best merchandise for you to browse.
Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
Social Hour and Banquet BBQ: Sunday evening’s Social Hour and Banquet Bar-B-Que under the stars (and tent) is a must-do! We’ve reserved a special spot in the heart of the Old Mill District to host our annual Rally Banquet. Located about one mile from downtown Bend, the Old Mill District sits adjacent to the Deschutes River. This site hosts shops, a music amphitheater, water-front views of the Cascades and frequent sitings of water-loving wildlife. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the resident Osprey as they tend their nests. The Banquet menu includes an old-fashioned Bar-B-Que with all the fixings. Vegetarian choices are available, too, so please indicate on the registration form if you desire a Vegetarian entrée. The Banquet will be a lively, family-friendly celebration of the completion of two days of high desert riding. So, please join us and savor the sumptuous surroundings, delicious food and delightful company.