Wednesday, we booked a guide with Cog Wild, a local mountain biking touring company to take us on a longer, guided ride. Graham had found them online, and we booked their Bachelor to Bend full day guided tour. The ride started outside of town near Mount Bachelor (another active volcano) and ride back to the town.
We hooked up with Graham (this ride was a bit advanced for Colleen, so she took the day off) at the shop at about 9:00. We met our guide Russ, got the briefing, then after having a discussion about how big we wanted the day to be, we loaded up on the shuttle and headed out of town.
The three of us were riding solo with the guide, which was awesome. He decided to start us off at Swampy Meadow, where we ended up having a 40 km ride back to town. The riding was awesome, with the first part being a mixture of uphill and cross country as we gained elevation. After almost an hour of riding, we were onto a big downhill section that took us down the valley towards Tumalo Falls. The downhill was pretty awesome - a bit technical and tough in spots, but nothing I couldn't handle. It was faster than I was used to going, as the guide pushed us pretty hard.
We took our first break at the Falls, which are quite spectacular. It was a good spot to do it. After our photo op, we were back in the saddle, and had a bit of a cool section that was a mixture of uphill and cross country, as we gained back some of the elevation we had just come down. Eventually we had a pretty short, but tough uphill section that got us back out of the valley, and up onto the ridge. There were a few more uphill stretches, then it was all downhill (mostly) for the rest of the day. Just before our lunch break, Graham had a big crash going over a set of logs, and ended up bloodied on the trail. We patched him up, had some food then descended into Whoops, for what was the consensus for being the most fun section of trail on the trip. It was flowy and fast, with lots of berms and things you could jump. It was a lot of fun.
The ride eventually kicked us out into the section of trails I had riden a couple of years ago when I was in Bend, so it was nice to get back into some familiar territory. Once we completed Phil's, it was an easy ride back into town, and back to the bike shop where cold beer awaited. All totalled, we were out for almost four hours, and covered just under 39 km. Thats a pretty big day for us, but it was a huge amount of fun. Russ was a great guide, and I'd recommend Cog Wild to anyone.
After the ride, we came back to the campsite and headed down to the river. The river isn't deep enough through this stretch to get in, but it was nice to wade, and just cool off in the water.
After getting cleaned up and having a shower, we headed back into town. We made a stop at the Bend Farmers Market. There was lots of great, local produce available, so we bought a few things for tomorrow for dinner. It wasn't a huge market, so it only took about half an hour to check it out and get done what we needed.
We then met Graham and Colleen for dinner at the Deschutes Brewery brewpub. That let me knock one of the local breweries off the list that I wanted to see while we were in town. Dinner was pretty good, and I got to try a couple more of their products. Good beer, even if they are the "major" brewery here in town.
After dinner, we went our separate ways, and Justine and I headed back to the campsite. We got a fire going, and sat around the campfire for a while. It was our first campfire of the trip. We played cards for a little while before we decided to call it a night.