Head to sunny skies and groomed track on a winter road trip to Bend. (Photo credit: Lana Young)

If you’re fatigued by the long corridor of winter, we suggest you put a bend (or just Bend) in your travel plans. Set your compass for Central Oregon, where new shops and studios, bicycle tours and groomed track await you.

Bike through history
Wheel through Bend’s past on a guided tour with Let It Ride Electric Bicycles. Owner and Bend native Kevin Rea tells the story of the town’s growth from a 19th century pioneer town to a 21st century playground. Rea’s Pedago electric cruiser bikes are great fun, and he brings hot chocolate to fight the chill. Ask about dog-friendly options.

Flight of Flavor
A tiny delight, The Sparrow Bakery on Railroad Avenue produces a huge quantity of delicious treats, like the Ocean Roll (a buttery cardamom cinnamon roll) and the breakfast sandwich — poached egg, bacon and pesto aioli on a freshly baked croissant. Wow. Don’t expect to get a table, but do expect to become a big fan.

Arts and Crafts
The Workhouse, an open studio just across the courtyard from The Sparrow Bakery, is housed in a 1912 vestige of the ironworks that supported Bend’s old lumber mill. The rustic workshop is home to a broad range of talented local artists making clothing, jewelry, paintings, metal work and home décor.

Wild Weather
For a special winter treat, visit the “Rain, Snow or Shine” exhibit at the High Desert Museum through July 2016. This temporary exhibit explains the dynamic natural forces of weather and how they affect our lives.

Go Nordic
Take advantage of Bend’s high and dry climate on Nordic skis. Skate or classic ski the 56 kilometers of groomed track at Mt. Bachelor, or head off into the forest on ungroomed trails from Skyliners and Swampy Lakes Sno Parks. Contact the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District Office for information. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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