A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A question on bikes: Where to ride?

Written January 24th, 2021 by Hasso Hering


A bike map, available at the Visitors Association, can be helpful to cyclists new to Albany.

Somebody asked me about bike rides in Albany, where to go and so forth. Here are some thoughts based on my experience over the past few years.

The easiest way to get started is to pick a neighborhood and cruise the residential streets. There’s very little traffic, especially on weekends. You might start with your own neighborhood just to get used to riding on city streets, watching for cars and for people crossing the street, and staying aware of your surroundings while pedaling. Once you tire of that, pick another neighborhood to explore.

Or you can try this:

♠ Follow the Dave Clark Clark Riverside Path from Monteith Park east. It will take you past the Wheelhouse office building and the DeLuxe Brewing Company to the Willamette Neighborhood, Bowman Park and, if you keep going on the dirt trail past Bowman, to Simpson Park.

♠ You can extend the riverside route by touring the Talking Water Gardens. It helps to have fat tires because the paths are surfaced with gravel or decomposed granite, and some are hard to ride because they’re covered with wood chips.

♠ Follow the Periwinkle Bike Path from Oak Street near Lowe’s, going south to Grand Prairie Park and back. At the Queen-Geary Street intersection, the best way to cross, especially with kids, is to walk your bikes to the intersection and get across with the help of the signal.

If you want to go a short distance outside of the city, head out Queen Avenue from West Albany High School and turn right at Riverside Drive. Cross the old Oregon Electric rail line and then turn right on Bryant Drive. Pretty soon this turns into Bryant Way and leads back downtown, unless you detour through Bryant Park first.

There are plenty of alternatives, some a little longer. When I have the time, I sometimes ride out of town on Old Salem Road and tour the new residential sections of Millersburg, seeing how many new houses have sprung up. Or I duck under the freeway to take Murder Creek Road to Kamph Road, then turn right on Scravel Hill and return to Albany on Knox Butte Road.

For a bit of nature, it’s fun to take a mountain bike down the Takena Landing Trail on the north side of the Willamette, or the Simpson Trail on the south side. Or there’s the Oak Creek Trail off 53rd Avenue in South Albany. But don’t try it unless it’s been dry for a few weeks. Wet weather turns some sections into bogs.

On the paths and trails, you’re going to encounter walkers, some with dogs on long leads or no leashes at all. Go slow and be ready to stop. Caution and courtesy are two C’s the trails demand.

On second thought, I’m pretty sure that people with bikes don’t need suggestions on where to ride. Riding a bike is freedom itself. And freedom means you can go anywhere you like. (hh)

At the Oak Street entrance of the Periwinkle Bikepath last month.

10 responses to “A question on bikes: Where to ride?”

  1. Terry Fuston says:

    I’m curious why you don’t mention good long rides along the lines of 30 miles or more. Short rides are fun, but really not long enough.

  2. HowlingCicada says:

    For those who like e-maps, this might be the same one:

  3. Gordon L. Shadle says:


    Only in the sense of rich peddlers like you being free riders, scofflaws.

    As a transitioning progressive I say Oregon needs to increase its ridiculously low bike excise tax from $15 at point of sale to at least $500.

    If the state won’t increase the tax, the Albany city council should do what it does best – unilaterally impose a new bike “fee” on rich folks who aren’t paying their own way.

    And if the council refuses to fulfill its obligation to tax the rich, the Biden administration should demand federal legislation under the banner of equity and unity.

    Like the linked article states, the current state tax “doesn’t have much air in its tires.”


    It’s time to inflate the tires. Tax, spend, regulate. More is better. It’s for the common good.

    • Walkabout says:

      Oh ? Good idea Tax kids $500.00 to go for a bike ride. Why not $500.00 a month and a $1.00 per mile carbon tax because you gotta breathe. We need More Taxes so we won’t fix the roads ?

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        Well…political transitioning is an ongoing, and sometimes bumpy, process. I am feeling better about myself since I started.

        I don’t feel good about the $500.00/month bike tax you suggested. It may reduce the number of riders like Hasso.

        But I’ll consult with my life coach to see how Ze feels about your idea.

        The $1.00 per mile carbon tax you advocated gave me a tingly feeling. Just think how much it would help the global warming problem. I’m in!

    • centrist says:

      non sequitur

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Where to ride?

    That is easy to ask given the hegemonic white, elite, and masculine bike culture that exists in Albany. You are its biggest, most vocal, advocate.


    Your articles based on your biking ignore the barriers that reflect larger systemic inequalities.

    As a transitioning progressive, I demand that you cease and desist. Please stop using your blog as a tool for racism.

    Or, publicly acknowledge your white privilege as a biker.

    We are watching, Hasso.

    • Jennifer Stuart says:

      Bwahaha! This is hilarious, Mr. Shadle. I sense a tongue-in-cheek here. Transitioning progressive?! Yet ever the curmudgeon. First time one of your posts has made me laugh.


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