I am looking for a good route around Bend OR. Some friends and I are planning on a cycling weekend there later this summer. We are hoping for something close to a century. I've only been there once and know very little of the area. Same goes for my riding buddies.
Any suggestions for a good route, including places to meet for a start and stop?
The ride up to Mt. Bachelor is great if you are up for some climbing. The summit lift usually is running and I would recommend paying for a ride to the top for the incredible view (bring a way to lock your bikes up at the base of the mountain). You can continue on to Elk lake to extend the mileage or return back to Bend. I recommend Decheutes Brewery (downtown) as a good starting and stopping point :-).
Keep in mind that you are only a 2hr drive to Crater Lake NP from Bend. The ride around the park is absolutely spectacular. Here's a Diamond Lake - Crater Lake loop that I've ridden in the past: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/119593 . Be sure to bring plenty of water, most stops along the rim are just overlooks. The link below details where you can get water. If you go in September then this route may have snow so keep an eye on the weather. If you wanted more mileage then you could drop down to the southern entrance & ranger station (and back up) or head west along the Umpqua river. You could also bring along some street shoes and climb Mt. Scott (3mi) or The Watchman (1mi). Expect high traffic levels during summer weekends.
Thanks for the input you guys. I think that we have settled on a route similar to one found on that Deschutes cycling guide that screenwasher linked that includes much of the Cascade Lakes Highway. I understand getting back on Hwy 97 can get a little dicey due to high traffic, but can't really see any way around it.