eBiking the High Desert of Bend, Oregon
December 18, 2022
Pete Prebus

Bend, Oregon is a scenic biking mecca with so many fun rides to enjoy amidst the Deschutes River and Cascade mountains as a backdrop. There are great bike pathways, roads, dirt roads, and some trails for eBikers to explore the high desert of Central Oregon.

Bicycle riding isn’t the only fun activity to enjoy in Bend. You can make it a great vacation when combined with other events and activities like shows at the amphitheater, festivals, river and lake adventures, and more.

Bend has a great restaurant, coffee, brewery and winery scene. Much of the good stuff is all within biking or walking distance. This is a guide to Bend with just some of the highlights, there is so much to check out!

Best Times to Visit

Summer time is prime time in Bend! There is sooooo much going on and usually the weather is perfect with long warm sunny days, ideal for riding your eBike around town.

Fall is another great time to enjoy crisp sunny days and the changing of the colors.

Spring can be hit or miss depending on the weather. It can be a good time if you catch a good group of sunny days, but you'll also need to be prepared for inclement weather.

Winter is generally not the best time for riding electric bicycles in Bend. If you are into snow sports there are great options with downhill skiing and snowboarding at Mount Bachelor and cross country skiing at the many snow park areas around Bend.

Places to Ride Around Town

There are some great bike & pedestrian paths along the river area. Bend Electric Bikes has a good map of the bike paths around town as well as places to enjoy good food and beverages.

Century Drive is the road towards Mount Bachelor and the lakes. There is a great bike and pedestrian pathway that parallels the road and weaves through the ponderosa pine forest there.

Places to Ride an eMTB or eGravel Bike

Trailforks is a great map based trail and dirt road resource for finding areas where you can ride an eMTB or eGravel bike off road. They have an Activity Type tab that has the option for eBike and it will filter the rides that are open to eBiking.

This Chainbreaker route is open to eMTBs just west of town.

Places to Ride an eRoad Bike

Century Drive (Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway) is the road out to Mount Bachelor and the Cascades Lakes area with many hiking trails. This is a classic road ride with many people riding it daily. The road is in good condition with a moderately wide shoulder. The grade is pretty consistent which makes for a nice rhythm as you climb through the different biozones up to the base of the Cascade mountains.

The McKenzie Pass scenic route is pretty amazing as it climbs from the Sisters area in a Ponderosa pine forest up to a high elevation lava field and the Dee Wright Observatory with views of the Cascade mountains all around. This is a good out and back ride from Sisters. There is also the option to go downhill towards the McKenzie River area but this would most likely require a shuttle ride back to Sisters, unless you have an extra battery and that would be a big ride!

Crooked River Scenic Bikeway is a ride that parallels the Crooked River through a canyon area from Prineville. It's an out and back ride that can be 37 miles roundtrip or longer if you want to ride up to the reservoir above the dam.

Places to Rent an eBike

If you're not bringing your own eBike with you on your trip to Bend, consider renting an electric bike for the day or week at one of these local shops:

  • Bend Electric Bikes is a long standing electric bike shop that is downtown near scenic Drake park and has a good variety of eBike rentals available.
  • Let it Ride has eBike rentals and tours of Bend. They are also located in downtown Bend.
  • Voltaire Cycles has eBike rentals and they are located in Northwest Crossing.

Those are the electric bike focused shops. Some other traditional bike shops in Bend also offer eBike rentals.

Fun Events to Check Out

The Amphitheater has a bunch of fun shows with big names happening during the summer and fall times. It is situated along the Deschutes river near the Old Mill district (shopping & restaurants) and it really is a fun experience to enjoy a show at sunset.

Speaking of music there are free shows in Drake Park during the summer months. Checkout Munch and Music for the schedule. As the name implies there are a bunch of food and drink vendors as well as local craft vendors to check out.

Bend has many festivals during the year including Oregon WinterFest, Bend Summer Festival, and Balloons Over Bend. These are a fun way to check out the local community and enjoy some music and local food/drink.

Beer is a big part of the Bend scene and there are a number of beer events that happen throughout the year. It's a great way to try some local Bend beers as well as other craft beers from around the area.

Other Fun Things To Do

Bend has a bunch of water opportunities with the Deschutes river flowing through town and the many lakes along the Cascades highway.

In town there is the river float from Riverbend or Farewell Park down to Drake Park. About midway along the float there is the Whitewater Park where tubers go down some small rapids and in another channel of the river surfers enjoy a wave.

Paddleboarders and kayakers also can enjoy a paddle up and down river. There are also a number of rafting tours of the Deschutes river that can include a bit more whitewater!

At the many lakes in the Cascades there are great options for paddleboarding and kayaking as well as boats for fishing. Many of the lakes have some of the Cascade mountains as backdrops. And speaking of fishing there are many options for fishing at the lakes and rivers in the area.

There are a ton of hiking trails around Bend and the Cascades. Some of the highlights are Tumalo Falls, Deschutes River Trail, Shevlin Park, Tumalo Mountain, Green Lakes, Paulina Lake. There are many more to choose from!

The High Desert Museum is a great way to see and experience the wildlife and plant life of Central Oregon. There are also a lot of exhibits on the human history of the area. A fun place for the whole family.

Good Food

Bend has an amazing amount of restaurants, food trucks, bakeries, and markets to choose from for such a small city. Work up your appetite with an all-day eBike adventure then stop by one of these restaurants to re-fuel:

Some of the restaurant highlights are Wild Rose, Deschutes Brewery Pub, Bend Brewing, La Rosa, McMenamins Old Saint Francis School, Jackson’s Corner, Pacific Pizza, El Sancho, Barrio, Drake, and more.

Food Cart Pods are popular in Bend with a number of food trucks or trailers around a central beer/wine/drink station. Some of the highlights are The Lot, Midtown Yacht Club, On Tap, and Rivers Place.

The Grove is a food hall where there are a number of different small restaurants together in an upscale marketplace.

Bakery highlights are The Sparrow and Great Harvest. Gourmet market highlights are Newport Market, Market of Choice, West Coast Provisions.

Coffee & Tea

Bend has no shortage of caffeine or decaf options to choose from. Almost one on every block!

For the coffee enthusiast, the highlights are Crows Commons, Sisters Coffee, Backporch, Palate, Strictly Organic, and Thump. Tea highlights are Metolius Tea, TeaCupFuls, and Boba Tea.

The Brew Scene

Bend has one of the highest number of breweries per capita of people in the US, maybe the world! The brewery scene highlights are Dechutes, Bend Brewing, Crux, 10 Barrel, Boneyard, Bevel, Goodlife, Worthy, Silver Moon, Sunriver, Cascade Lakes, and Monkless.

There are also a number of wine options around town like Bend Wine, Stoller, Bledsoe, Elixir, Va Piano, Evoke, Ferm, Domaine Serene, and Flights.

So Much To Enjoy

Well that is just a taste of what Bend has to offer and it should give you some things to put on your list for a visit to this scenic and fun Central Oregon town.

Visit Bend is a great resource for planning more trip ideas, activities, food and drink, and places to stay. Enjoy your Bend adventures on and off your eBike!


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