Bear Creek Greenway Bike Trail
Between Ashland and Medford is graded and paved bike trail that meanders along Bear Creek and well away from automobile traffic. I rode the section from Phoenix to Ashland in both directions. Phoenix, the more or less flat path has excellent grading and asphalt pavement, while access to the creek is somewhat limited and the trail exposed. Midway, I found some problems of tree roots making the pavement bumpy and rough, but roots were at least marked by spray paint so as not to surprise the rider with jolt. In the midway area, Bear Creek opens into a lagoon wetland area, and there's a section of recreational park. Near Ashland, the trail pavement improves a lot but climbs a hill past the city water treatment plant. Any type of bicycle will perform OK, but road racers will have the edge along this trail. There are a number of bridges all along the way, and just before town, there's a llama ranch.
Cycling is Big Here
Displacing club tennis and golf, cycling is the nouveau riche and nowhere else is it more apparent than in Ashland. Mountain bikes, road bikes, trailers, trikes, recliners--they are all her. The city has very strict enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle lane right of ways, so automobile and RV drivers beware. In addition to the Bear Creek bike path between Ashland and Medford, there's also good bike lane access to Jacksonville and elsewhere within the Rogue River Valley area. These between-town and in-valley routes are generally flat or low slope, so one doesn't need to be a mountain climber, but then there are also some good hill climbs in the area. Summer days can be quite warm, but rarely beyond what a cyclist can bear. There are three well stocked bicycle shops in Ashland that can provide more information and service. I received service to replace a tire at one of them, and found service excellent. Also, there are a number of clubs with websites, such as the one below.
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