The Duke of Furl
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Lake Limerick, near Shelton, WA
Bikes: Cannondale T800
The family and I arrived home the other day from a short trip to Sunriver, Oregon. This was the first time I had been to that area of the country and I have to say that the trip was great! I enjoyed by far, the most pleasurable cycling experienced in quite a long while. The area is inundated with cycling paths which were great for getting around with the kids. I had a trailer (with two kids in it) attached to a Trail-A-Bike (with one kid on it) which was attached to my bike when we went on short jaunts around the area. The kids had a blast biking to the park, the swimming pool, the horseback rides, etc., etc. Never have I been in a community with such a resounding cycling theme. It's as if the developers laid out the bike paths first then the rest of the development. If only that mentality was the norm.
As for the paths, they were great for getting around at a reasonable pace. There was a VERY high degree of etiquette demonstrated by about 99.9% of the people we encountered on them and there were no unleashed dogs running rampant, no in-line skaters to contend with and only a few pedestrians. Kiosks with free maps and signs in intelligently-placed areas indicate areas of interest and direction. The only downside was that they were generally busy enough to not allow a quick pace if fitness or ticking of a lot of miles was the goal. To accomplish either of those you had to get to the other road systems around the area (bikes are NOT allowed on the roads within Sunriver, according to the signage).
Getting on the major road systems outside Sunriver proper was easy and the traffic encountered was always courteous. I biked around Mt. Bachelor for a few days and had not one bad experience.
All in all I was very impressed with the area and am even more impressed with the effort that has obviously been expended in the Bend area to accomodate cyclists. As I said earlier, if only more areas of the country could follow suit...
I have heard rumor the the Portland area is very similar in its accomodation of cycling but don't know that firsthand. What I do know is that what I saw of the Bend area blows Seattle away (in my opinion) and Seattle is supposed to be one of the best cities for cycling.
Anyway, if ever you have a chance to get to Sunriver and do some biking, I don't think you'll be disappointed.