Bend Area Touring

Bend To Mt. Bachelor

2 Sep 2010 (44 miles-ish) - the first time

This ride takes the classic form one always hopes for: up THEN down. The other way can kind of be a drag, no? Yes. But it's not that the climbing happens right away in this one. Instead, the first third is mostly flattish, even if mostly HOT on a day nearing 90F in town. The level coasting soon changes, however, even if the heat doesn't.

Up next, the second third strikes me as the most steadily uphill section. This fortunately also means that some views begin, mostly found looking to the flat areas below and to the east. That's where one can take in old lava flows and related objects - such as the Newberry Crater. All that lava has to come from SOMEwhere!

Mt. Bachelor is another such beast - a volcano. It's also over this middle section of the ride that it steadily comes into view. It's far from an ugly sight, either, which is especially nice since that's the point of the ride. Basking increasingly in its glow, I stop roughly where the road comes up to view the ski resort up ahead. Come winter time, I assume that it is probably nearly the road's sole reason for being.

The final third of the ride allows the heat to dissipate a bit. This also allows for a stretch of a few miles where the uphill eases almost to flatness. It starts up again, just before allowing for a small downhill and the junction to La Pine, then it's a final uphill. This allows for some speedy climbing before I find myself at the lodge.

Actually there are two lodges, but the first one is closed off. Even the road to it is. So it's on to the second entrance only a half-mile later. Or not. That's because, just about when I reach the turnoff, I find some gorgeous views of Bachelor's impressive neighbors - the Sisters (all three of them) and Brokentop. Wow - now that's the place to do lunch, I think. This would be especially true if they have a shadow to hide in, but ultimately that which a scrawny pine offers will make do.

Under the pine I engage in a little grubbing, then even a little half-assed yoga to stretch out some kinks, but mostly I do a lot of staring at these impressive volcanos under such perfect lighting. Not bad! There's still loads of sun, too, now without oppressive heat - how much of the year could be this perfect? Eventually, though, the time comes to descend.

There's nothing doing in that regard, of course, even if there IS a tiny uphill to roughly get things started. Then it's only down down down, easy sleazy. I top out at 55kph without pedaling at times, while WITH pedalling I manage about 65kph for a short spell. That's about all I can manage, however - the grade is generally not that steep.

And then that's that. I roll back into town not the least worn for what's torn - which comes mostly courtesy of the saddle. Well, that makes for two rides in three days in Bend... NEXT!

DIRECTIONS: Take Route 372 out of town. That's taking 14th to the south in the Westside (west of Downtown), which shortly turns into Century, which turns into Route 372. These changes to the road's name happen as you head straight through a few roundabouts, then it's continued straight sledding to the Lodges at Mt. Bachelor Resort.

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