Traditionally sought for the mountain biking, downtown Bend gets overlooked for its casual biking appeal. It’s relatively flat and dense with some great food, beer and neighborhoods to explore. Plus, it’s home to an annual Halloween-themed cyclocross weekend, right next to Deschutes Brewery! Our travel guide offers all the resources for you to plan your #WanderbyBike experience in Bend.

Table of Contents:

+ Bend 101

About Bend

  • Places for Bikes City Rating: 2.0 out of 5. Comprehensive and holistic rating on ridership, safety, network, reach and acceleration. Compare this score to Boulder's at 3.4.
  • Walk Score: 33. Walk Score measures the walkability of any address based on the distance to nearby places and pedestrian friendliness.
  • Transit Score: 24. Transit Score measures how well a location is served by public transit based on the distance and type of nearby transit lines.
  • Bike Score: 53. Bike Score measures whether an area is good for biking based on bike lanes and trails, hills, road connectivity, and destinations.

  • League of American Cyclists Community Rating: Silver

Maps

  • Bend Bike Map - the city does not publish a bike map, but you can use Google Maps with the biking layer (like above) or biking directions.

The largest city In central Oregon, Bend is deservedly known as a gateway to All Things Outdoors. With a population hovering around 100,000, it’s also just big enough to have some really cool stuff going on, but still small enough to feel cozy. Bend has its share of normal industrial jobs, but its proximity to some of the most gorgeous outdoor activities in America causes Tourism to remain firmly atop the list of economic drivers. If you enjoy doing it outside, the chances are pretty great that Bend has it in spades… Hiking, biking, rafting, golf, rock climbing, skiing, exploring lava tubes, all in pretty much any combination you want, possibly all in one day. Just south of town in Sun River, you can visit the seriously underrated Sun River brewery and bike all the planned paths with your kids for several hours. The climate is semi-arid, with Bend situated between scrub pine forest and high desert, so your dry summer days will hit the mid 80s, while your clear summer nights will still dip into the high 40s. It is incredible weather, set amongst breath-taking scenery, populated with kind people.

Like many gorgeous, smaller places, Bend is also grappling with the effects of its success as a tourist destination. The draw to live there is undeniable: They have no less than twelve (TWELVE) breweries, seemingly limitless food options, acres of beautiful park space, Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, and arguably the best mountain biking trails in the state, all a stone’s throw away… and because of it, almost none of the locals could afford to buy a home today in their own neighborhoods if they had to. Cash “second home” purchases from out-of-staters have begun to swell again, leading many locals to fear another boom-and-bust cycle similar to 2001-2010, when houses nearly doubled in price, then abruptly halved.

So come to Bend, marvel in its splendor, check out Crux and Boneyard and Deschutes breweries, get killer Mexican food at Barrio, then go work all those carbs off outdoors. Just try not to impulse buy a second home for 15% over list price with cash.

 Colorado Avenue cycletrack. Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

Colorado Avenue cycletrack. Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

+ Biking in Bend

Etiquette

Expect a higher than normal percentage of athletic cyclists in the mix around town, with fit people on pricey bikes using the paths to get around. Having said that, you’re still in Oregon, which means people here are almost unfailingly nice, and not pushy. Thus, there’s nothing to worry about beyond the usuals: Stay to the right, signal your intentions with hand signals, let people know when you’re about to pass them, and bells are useful things that all people should have, dernit.

Safety

All children under 16 must wear a properly fitted helmet. Interestingly, the city also states that “younger children should always be supervised and not allowed to ride on the street. They should always ride on the sidewalk.” It is left to you to decide what “younger” means numerically, and they make no distinction between different kinds of roads or infrastructure. Let common sense be your guide, and do what feels safe. Lights are required to be on at night, front AND rear. Walk bikes in crosswalks.

Security

We had no bad experiences in Bend, and have no reason to suspect anything unusual about their bike theft scene. There are a lot of pricey bikes in Bend, though, and there are two ways of looking at that: 1) All those expensive bikes might attract more theft, or 2) those pricey bikes might be a lot more attractive to steal than your worn-out beater bike. After all, you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your friends… if you must leave your bike outside, use a quality u-lock to get the frame and at least one wheel, and let any potential thieves go after easier, more attractive targets. We also suspect most lodging hosts are down with you bringing your bike in your room, so don’t be afraid to ask. In Bend, that person probably loves their bike too!

Bend Culture

You might put the percentages differently than we did, but we’d put the ratio in Bend at 75% “Rugged Oregonian Outdoorsy” and 25% “Affluent Outsider.” It’s incredibly subjective, of course, and it also varies greatly depending on where in town you are. But those are the two predominant feelings we got biking through town, eating, watching cyclocross, etc. It feels very “Oregon,” very honest and beautiful, but there are pockets of obvious, sometimes jarring wealth as well.

blog

Posts coming soon!

 Crux Fermentation Project, Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

Crux Fermentation Project, Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

+ Best Bike Rides in Bend

COMING SOON

Ambassadors Needed! Live in Bend and love food, music, art or just being outdoors? Curate a route for us by inquiring here.

Other Best bike rides…

 Colorado Avenue bike tunnel mural. Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

Colorado Avenue bike tunnel mural. Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

+ Bikes

Rentals

BIKE SHARE

  • Zagster - $1.50 for 30 minutes for upright city bike with basket and lights

RENTAL SHOPS

  • Bend Electric - $25+ for an electric city or family (long tail) bike

  • Bend Velo - 15+ per hour for a Breezer city bike

  • Hutch's - $?+ per day (includes delivery) for a Mountain Bikes, Road & Gravel Bikes, Road eBikes, Fat Bikes, City Bikes, Youth Bikes

  • Let it Ride - $?+ per hour for electric Pedego brand cruiser or tandem bikes

  • Life Cycle bike rental delivery - $?+ per hour for Jamis city, mountain, hybrid, road or Burley trailers and trailer bikes

  • Wheel Fun Rentals - $35+ per day (includes delivery) for a cruiser, fat tire bike, city, tandem, kids, trailer bike, trailer or those funny 2 or 4-seaters

Tours

  • Bend Electric Bike Toursr - $50+ per person (includes bike) for tour themes: Best of Bend, Brewery, Arts & Culture, Sunset and Family Time

  • Cog Wild Tours & Shuttle Service - fully supported bike tours ranging from day trips, multi-day (hotel), multi-day (camping), road cycling and corporate team building. Shuttle service also available.

  • Let it Ride Bike Tours - $60+ per person (includes bike) for tour themes: Short & Sweet, Deschutes River and Taste of Bend

SPINLISTER

 Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

+ Eats, Drinks and Sights

5 places to...


mobile apps

We curated these eating, drinking and sightseeing bucket lists for on-the-go exploring:

 Doubletree Hotel. Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

Doubletree Hotel. Photo by Kyle Ramey of Bikabout

+ Hotels & Airbnbs

Hotels

Airbnbs

Get $40 off your stay by clicking here.

 Cascades East Transit. Photo by Bend Bulletin.

Cascades East Transit. Photo by Bend Bulletin.

+ Transportation

SHUTTLE FROM PDX TO BEND

  • Breeze - $48 one-way, daily service from Portland Airport to Bend at 2pm. Added later, 6pm departure from PDX on Friday and Saturday.

CITY TRANSIT

  • Cascades East Transit (Map) - $1.25-1.75 one-way, $7 per day. "Cascades East Transit’s Bike and Bus Program lets you combine bike and bus trips. Bike racks accommodating at least two bikes are mounted on the front of each bus. Many of the buses have space for three bikes. Signal the driver that you will be loading a bike and please use the inner most position."

TRAIN

  • Cascades (Vancouver, BC - Seattle - Tacoma - Portland - Salem - Eugene) - $5 roll-on service and reservation required

  • Coast Starlight (Seattle - Portland - Los Angeles) - $20 trainside checked service and reservation required

cars

AIRLINES

These bike friendly airlines service Portland and Redmond Airports.

 Founder Megan Ramey, riding with her daughter, Annika, on Riverside Boulevard, a street that might be ripe for some bollards to make it safer for families.

Founder Megan Ramey, riding with her daughter, Annika, on Riverside Boulevard, a street that might be ripe for some bollards to make it safer for families.

Support Local Advocates

Bikabout donates 25% of annual revenue to local advocates. You, too, can power better biking in Bend by donating to Bend Bikes!