A scenic way to burn calories

June 21, 2013 09:24 am

It’s a beautiful evening in Baker City and you would like to get in a little exercise.  

Might I suggest a short bicycle ride?

Baker City has some wonderful bicycle routes that could satisfy a ride for any beginner cyclist. Bicycling is a great way to burn calories, stay fit and enjoy this spectacular valley we live in. 

According to the exercise app on my iPad, bicycling at 10 to 12 mph for one hour will burn 560 calories, compared to 285 calories burned by walking at 2.8 to 3.2 mph.  

Cycling at a moderate rate is considered a leisurely pace where you are constantly pedaling but still able to hold a conversation.  

Before we start riding there are some safety rules. The first is making sure your bicycle is safe. 

Are the tires inflated? Do the brakes work?  Are the wheels securely attached to the frame?  

The local bicycle shops are a good first stop to make sure your bike is in working order.  

While you’re in the bicycle shop check out their line of helmets. Cycling is not an inherently dangerous sport; however, a helmet is a very wise choice. 

For riders under 16 years of age, it is the law (ORS 814.485). I have had two accidents in my 50 years of cycling and both times my helmet kept me out of the trauma unit.   

If you have a helmet, check it’s age. Most manufactures recommend replacing your helmet every five years. 

A helmet should also be replaced if the outer shell is cracked or missing, the foam inside is cracked, it doesn’t fit properly, or it has been dropped.

If you are going to ride on a public street, make sure you are seen. Brightly colored clothing and blinking lights will help. The best protection is to realize many vehicle  operators do not see cyclists, so ride defensively. 

Safety glasses are a nice addition to your biking attire to keep the gnats and fall parachuting spiders out of your eyes. 

Now let’s get down to business — where should you ride? 

If you are just getting started, the Leo Adler Parkway path along the Powder River in Baker City is a great starting ride.  

All the routes start at the Geiser-Pollman Park.  

For a 5-mile route: start at the park heading east on Campbell.  

Go under the freeway and past the Always Welcome Inn. 

At this point Campbell turns to Atwood take a right at the “T” intersection and follow the road which curves to the north. 

Turn left onto Highway 86 and follow the road into town.

For a longer, flat route, the 17-mile Chandler Loop is a mostly quiet and pleasant ride.  

Start at the park and ride east on Campbell, taking a left on Cedar.  At the Oregon Trails West RV Park continue straight onto the Old Trail Road (service road on the west side of the freeway). Take a left onto Chandler Lane.  Take a left on Davenport Road, and when you connect with Highway 30 ride south to Baker City.

Baker City provides many more opportunities to ride for fun and exercise.  As you ride, talk to some of the folks you meet along the route and ask about their favorite rides.


Mitchel Bulthuis has enjoyed the freedom bicycling provided since he was a young boy some 50 years ago.  Since moving to Baker City in 2000, he has participated in the informal Elkhorn Cycling Club that meets for road rides during the summer on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. starting from Flagstaff Sports, 2101 Main St. in Baker City.