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  1. #1
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    Bend, Oregon in the winter for road cycling?

    Hi,

    What is bend Oregon like during the winter for road cycling?

    From data, I can see average temp is about 25 F at night and a high of 45 F during the day, and not much rain. Compared to Western Washington, it seems like a nice place to ride, provided the road condition is good. So that's my question. How are the roads there during the winter? Nice, or is there ice and snow? Are only the main roads going to be clear, or does one still have nice road variety? How are the roads going up to the ski resorts / other climbs?

  2. #2
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Those temps sound typical for March, but in the dead of winter it can get below zero (f) in Bend. And ice and snow are plentiful Dec - Feb. I pretty much count on hanging up the bike Dec - Feb, set up the trainer and break out the XC skis. Winter in central OR is not for the faint of heart.

    SP
    Bend, OR

  3. #3
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Brrr cold! I remember the perfect ice footsteps on the deck the morning after hottubbing in Sisters. Riding road bike was the last thing on my mind that morning. A little MTB action coulda been fun. Only a light dusting of dry snow that day.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  4. #4
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    It could be a real crap shoot. Some days can be nice, but it can be cold and slick too. Along with the cold mornings and the possibility of snow and frost, you'll have to deal with the pumice they put on the road to increase traction on those slippery mornings. Even though it doesn't snow in Bend often, when it does the roadside snow can stick around for quite awhile. Mountain biking is a possibility, but sometimes the hoarfrost can make that a bit tough.

    I've met cyclists who used to live in Bend who have moved just for that reason.

    On the other hand, the cross country, backcountry, and downhill skiing are awesome!
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  5. #5
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    Dang. Guess in the Northwest one has to choose between chilly+wet or freezing+dry. I was hoping bend was a relative paradise weather bubble.

  6. #6
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Some of the best winter cycling I do is in between the storms on the Oregon Coast. January and February can be so nice with the right timing.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Some of the best winter cycling I do is in between the storms on the Oregon Coast. January and February can be so nice with the right timing.
    Yes, the "wet side" has many super days for cycling in the winter. Unfortunately, we have some tire-slashing grit that gets put down by the county road crews, but that's a small price to pay for some great cycling.

  8. #8
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    i wonder if some proper studded tires can make winter biking in Bend more fun/possible. i'll be there over X-mas and hope to put the studs on and tow a sled filled with my two kids—kind of like we used to do with cars when we were much younger before we thought of things like "safety."
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

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    Doesn't Chris Horner live in Bend? I wonder how he's doing and if he trains in Winter.

  10. #10
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    Conditions in Central Oregon can vary quite a bit. If regional snowfall is light, you can sometimes escape it by going north and east of Bend, where the elevation is a bit lower and the climate somewhat dryer. There are some nice rural road rides out toward Alfalfa and Prineville in that area. There tends to be more wind out that way, though.

  11. #11
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Geez, Bend has the best snow in the state, lift served, back country, track nordic and skate skiing, split boarding or snowboarding. Why would you want to cycle there in the winter, I wouldn't!!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  12. #12
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Geez, Bend has the best snow in the state, lift served, back country, track nordic and skate skiing, split boarding or snowboarding. Why would you want to cycle there in the winter, I wouldn't!!
    That's why a lot of pro cyclists, triathletes, mtbr's, etc live here: you can hang up the bike for a few months and still stay crazy fit.

    SP
    Bend, OR

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    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Geez, Bend has the best snow in the state, lift served, back country, track nordic and skate skiing, split boarding or snowboarding. Why would you want to cycle there in the winter, I wouldn't!!
    because biking in the snow/ice also counts as crazy good fun! it's just one more thing you *can* do in the frozen winter.
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

  14. #14
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Crazy good fun in the winter in Bend


    Not so much, but to each his own winter fun

    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  15. #15
    Senior Member JonRags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SClaraPokeman View Post
    Doesn't Chris Horner live in Bend? I wonder how he's doing and if he trains in Winter.

    He also has a home in Southern CA for the winter.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    I love cycling but if I had to chose between doing picture #1 or #2, I'd be choosing #1!

    I'm looking forward to ski season although I'll be commuting to work whenever it's not raining. I plan to make a few trips over to the east side of the Cascades this winter to find some of that powder!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Crazy good fun in the winter in Bend


    Not so much, but to each his own winter fun

    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by saunterer View Post
    Dang. Guess in the Northwest one has to choose between chilly+wet or freezing+dry. I was hoping bend was a relative paradise weather bubble.
    No it's between chilly and wet, and freezing and wet. Freezing and dry could be paradise, but really chilly and wet isn't that bad either.

  18. #18
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    In all fairness, picture #2 is at McKenzie Pass, some 40 miles away from Bend, in a mountain pass. (Either that or right up by Bachelor. Looks like Bachelor)

    Most roads north and east of town are perfectly clear for winter riding.

  19. #19
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    In even more fairness, picture #2 is on Mt Baker in northern Washington, taken in mid-April. I used it as an extreme illustration of cycling too early in the season when there is still plenty of great skiing in the Cascades. One problem I've always seen around Bend in the winter is the way the roads are plowed and sanded with crushed lava cinder, they leave less shoulder and what is plowed has a thick layer of crushed lava, which is VERY hard on tires and brakes. I'm like, I live in the Willamette Valley, why go east to cycle in the winter when it's MUCH better at home, makes no sense to me. I'm very happy to go to Bend to ski, that is a good time.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  20. #20
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    without any fairness, i used to ride all winter long in the the northeast; me and a couple of other masochist types. throw on the Nokians and bundle up properly (disc brakes ignore the ice and snow, with only a little more squeal when it gets below 10°F or so)---we really enjoyed it. plus, you don't have to pay for a lift ticket or drive anywhere to have additional fun. like all my bicycling activities: you walk out the door of your home, and you're already having fun.

    of course, this really only applies to hard-pack or ice; deep powder (>12") is mostly no fun, even if it is one hell of a workout; usually because there's even more soft-pack and ice ruts under the deep powder.

    i live in the willamette valley, too; except for the onslaught of allergies and the 9-month solar disappearance, it's made me soft.
    No slogans, just 14 facts.

  21. #21
    Junior Member invinciblejj's Avatar
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    Bend is actually a good place to ride in the winter. True there are weeks that are better than others but we normally have a month (January for the last couple years) where we will routinely see highs in the upper 50's. We do get a little snow but down in town it melts off within a couple hours. I have my commuter outfitted with studded tires for the morning frost in the winter but still get a fair amount of rides in on the road bikes as well. There are pleanty of back roads to ride and you can either east or south for more roads that are clear or better conditions for mountain bike riding. Both Horse Ridge and Smith Roack Area are great winter MTB riding. It can get cold bt the sun is normally out to warm you up. You might need to suck it up a bit. =)

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  22. #22
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    are roads clear enough for an actual road bike? would a CX bike work better?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by danahs View Post
    are roads clear enough for an actual road bike? would a CX bike work better?
    Yes, they are clear for road bikes. The immediate UGB core roads may have crushed volcanic rock on them (traction device), but as you head into the gorgeous, rural areas, it's smooth sailing. The worst that can be said of it is that it's chip sealed.

  24. #24
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    I will be in bend over thanksgiving... how have the road conditions (for biking) been lately?

  25. #25
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danahs View Post
    I will be in bend over thanksgiving... how have the road conditions (for biking) been lately?
    So far, so good. Been commuting (24mi rt) pretty much daily, and getting out for a couple 2-4 hour rides on wkends (on my 18lb cf road bike). BUT: a lot (of snow) can happen in two weeks, especially this time of year. I'd say keep your eye on the road cams (www.tripcheck.com), bring your bike and cold weather gear, but don't count on being able to ride.

    SP
    Bend, OR
    ...glad I'm still riding but looking forward to xc skiing too.

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