Road cycling: Put your skinny tires on the road!
Take a tour of rural backroads. Dig in for a heart-pounding
mountain climb. The Sisters Country offers something for every cyclist, from weekend warriors to elite riders.
With flat farmland roads and winding mountain climbs all within a few miles' radius of Sisters, this area has become a magnet for cyclists from all over Oregon – and beyond.
Cycling is so attractive here that the State of Oregon is currently in the process of designating three routes in the Sisters Country as scenic bikeways. One goes over McKenzie Pass on Highway 242; one takes riders east across rolling countryside and farmland to Smith Rock; the third is a series of loops along the Metolius River in Camp Sherman.
The area offers a wide variety of cycling experiences from
easy tours to challenging
climbs and everything in between. Traffic is generally not a problem and the weather is consistently good from March through October.
"The nice thing about Sisters is there are enough backroads that you only have to jump on the highway in a few places," says Brad Boyd, an avid cyclist and owner of Eurosports sports shop in Sisters.
And Jacquie Zanck of Blazin Saddles, notes that even on Highway 126, bike-friendly shoulders make riding safe for the whole family.
Avid cyclists recommend several routes for cyclists. Both shops will provide you with maps with routes highlighted and tailored to your particular needs and interests. Maps are available online from the Sisters Trails Alliance at www.sisterstrails.com.
If you are unfamiliar with the area or just enjoy riding with a group, Eurosports offers Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning rides from March through October. Ride difficulty and pace is determined by the overall fitness and skill level of the group on any particular day. The group stays together and nobody gets dropped out.
For extensive information on local rides, visit www.eurosports.us/local_rides.
Blazin Saddles welcomes cyclists of every persuasion, from elite riders to people just getting interested in the sport. They'll be happy to help you get started safely on the roads of Sisters Country.
Sisters Athletic Club (SAC) is another focal point for cycling in Sisters. The club sends many riders to Cycle Oregon each year. A ride book at SAC offers opportunities for riders to hook up for excursions.
Cyclists should be aware of the particular demands of Sisters Country.
Take plenty of water along. Many of the best rides don't offer the chance to refill a water bottle. Temperatures can vary wildly from the flats to the summits. Wear leg and arm warmers and a windbreaker on your rides into the mountains.
The weather is changeable and thunderstorms can brew up quickly in the summertime.
Road conditions are generally good. Some of the back roads can be rough and there may be cinders on the road shoulders from snow management early in the season. The cinders are usually swept away by the time spring riding season rolls around.
In the springtime there can be ice in shaded areas in the