Rent and Ride
Tips for biking Eugene and beyond by Katie Kalk
It’s summertime in Oregon, and friends don’t let friends drive. Period. It’s time to hang up those car keys and saddle up on a road or mountain bike — the best way to travel under the Eugene sun. If there’s one thing the city doesn’t have a shortage of, it’s bike shops, where buying, renting and repairing equipment is a breeze. Likewise, bike trails zig and zag across the Valley floor, providing perfect riding trips of any length. Be sure to check out some of what Eugene has to offer.
Where to rent
Paul’s Bicycle Way of Life is a full service bike shop with four Eugene locations. Rentals start at $20 per day. (344-4105, www.bicycleway.com)
Eugene Bicycle Works, run by the nonprofit Center for Appropriate Transport (CAT), provides do-it-yourself repair with professional instruction, bike sales and a bike museum, along with rentable bikes starting at $3 per hour or $9 per day. (455 W. 1st Ave., 683-3397, www.catoregon.org)
Revolution Cycles provides bike repairs, rentals and customizations, and even a free beer with a new bike. Rentals start at $25 per day for KHS Green bikes. (1061 W. 2nd Av.e, 302-8049, www.revolutioncycleseugene.com)
Where to ride around town
For a great in town ride followed by a rural scenic trek, try Dillard Road. From UO campus, follow Alder south to E. Amazon Drive, continuing left at 43rd and veering onto Dillard. Dillard winds past Hult Park and Dylard Skyline Park south of the city, curving east to eventually hook up with Hwy. 99. To complete the loop, take 99 north to Franklin.
Another Eugene favorite is the lovely, scenic Lorane Hwy. route, weaving southeast of the city. From Amazon Park, take 29th Avenue west and veer left onto Lorane. The climb takes you up through the Crest Drive neighborhood then continues west onto Crest and out Lorane Hwy. To complete the loop, turn right at Pine Grove Road and ride north, veering right to travel onto Crow Road. Crow hits West 11th, which you can follow back into town, or you can continue your ride north onto Green Hill.
Where to Ride Farther Out
The McKenzie River Trail
For the more serious rider, try the spectacular 26-mile McKenzie River Trail following the length of the river — it’s been hailed by riders and critics as one of the best mountain biking treks in the country. Different portions of the trail cater to all skill levels, but the majority is geared towards the intermediate rider. The first 10 miles weave through a lava field, and then the trail cuts through a 600-year-old Doug fir forest where pools, log bridges and waterfalls abound. Above Clear Lake and halfway between Eugene and Bend, the trail is a favorite of western and central Oregonians alike; Cog Wild Bicycles Tours out of Bend (www.cogwild.com) provides daily shuttles to various trailheads. The trail sees heavy use throughout the season, so expect a crowd. From Eugene, take Hwy. 126 east 50 miles; the trailhead is located 1.5 miles past McKenzie Bridge.
Ride with GEARs
The Greater Eugene Area Riders (www.eugenegears.org) schedule fun weekly rides all over the Eugene area and beyond, choosing routes with various degrees of difficulty. Rides leave from Alton Baker Park, last anywhere from 20 to 100 miles and go all over the place, from the Wendling Covered Bridge in Marcola to places as far away as Sweet Home or Wolf Creek. They provide the plan; you provide your bike, gear and peddle enthusiasm.