Painted Hills Tour (3 days)
WE'VE OPENED THIS UP FOR ADDITIONAL RIDERS, AS WE'VE SOLVED LOGISTICS CHALLENGES AND HAVE SECURED MORE BEDS AT THE HOSTEL.
This is a fantastic 3-day tour of the scenic Painted Hills area in Wheeler County. Mostly, it's a modified version of the Oregon Scenic Bike Route, one of the very best the state has to offer.
Our "home base" will be the Spoke'n Hostel in Mitchell, but we won't start or end there: we'll start the ride in Fossil (2.5 hrs from Bend) and end in Kimberly, with two overnight stays in Mitchell in between. The hostel is a lovely converted church intended primarily for wayward cyclists traversing the country. They can accommodate 15-17 guests (mostly in bunk beds), but for logistics reasons, we'll cap our group at 15 riders.
The logistics plan is have one car with us at all times as our on-road support vehicle, providing sustenance to all and a needed lift up tougher climbs for those that want it. We'll take turns driving each day so the "off-bike" time is spread out amongst the group.
Day One has us meeting in Fossil for a 42-mile jaunt to Mitchell. We drop down to the John Day River, then climb one of the most scenic sections of roadway you'll ever see, eventually finding our resting spot at the Hostel. For anyone interested, a late afternoon side trip to the Painted Hills NPS Visitor Center about 9 miles out of Mitchell is worth the effort. Afterwards, there are excellent dinner (and breakfast) options available in beautiful downtown Mitchell.
Day Two has us taking on the infamous Twickenham Loop, a challenging but beautiful ride that starts and finishes in Mitchell. It's 66 miles and 6,600 feet of climbing, so there might be some fights on this day for driving duties. But, it's mighty beautiful the entire way.
Day Three has us leaving the Hostel for a 49-mile ride north to Service Creek, then east along the John Day River. We'll call it quits in Kimberly, where the good folks from Spoke'n Hostel will meet us with their van. We'll load up bikes and people and they'll ferry us back to our cars in Fossil.
Overall, the three days provide quite a bit of riding challenge, but that can be mitigated to each rider's needs by how we share driving duties. We've reserved sleeping accommodations for 15 riders at the Hostel. Most beds are bunk, so it's a bit cozier than we might be used to, but they've done a nice job making it a very welcoming place--especially for cyclists. The charge for each rider will be around $35/night, plus $10 for transport. That totals about $80 each, plus an appropriate gratuity.
Call David Garcia with questions: (602) 421-9230
Registration Is Required