We began our ride from the trailhead closest to town, and decided that we would only go out as far as we wanted and would then turn around and make our way back, as it was an out-and-back route. We packed some sandwiches for a leisurely lunch on the river bank, then set out.
Our chosen trailhead was located about a mile from the banks of the actual river, so we pedaled through dry, open land on sandy double and singletrack. Make no mistake, Bend gets hot in the summertime, and with no shelter from the sun, the first section was sweltering. However, once we dropped down to the river, the cool breeze off the water and the tall trees along the river banks made for a considerable improvement.