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Best Rides on a "Bike Share" Bike

Published: April 28, 2021

 

Hop on one of those big blue bikes that you see all over downtown Eugene and across the UO campus for a fun, short bike ride! These "bike share" bicycles are designed for easy, affordable and environmentally-friendly transportation for errands and pleasure rides.

To use them there a few things you need to know before riding off. You'll need to download the PeaceHealth Rides app or set up an account on their website, secured with a credit card. There are several plans you can choose from, ranging from a $1 for the first 15 min, then ten cents every minute after to a monthly fee of $15 which includes 60 minutes of riding each day (additional daily time is ten cents a minute). Rental rates are incurred whether you are actively riding or the bike is "on hold". University of Oregon students get discounted rides.

In advance of your trip, you can reserve a bike or take your chances on one being available nearby. The City of Eugene offers adaptive bicycles also. Helmets are not provided, but strongly encouraged. You can pick up a helmet at a sporting goods store, big box store or bicycle shop. To ride, you must be 18 years old. Bicycles have eight gears, seat heights are adjustable and they are equipped with bicycle bells and always-on front and rear lights. Bicycles are GPS-tracked, and while you may ride the bikes outside the mapped perimeter, the bicycles must always be returned to any of the 40 self-serve bicycle stations (to avoid out-of-area fees), or during select special events, to a "geo-fenced" temporary site.

What do you need? Besides a bicycle helmet; comfortable closed toed shoes, a bottle of water and a cycling map (PDF) —available at the Downtown Eugene Visitor Center— are important. Freshen up on Eugene's cycling rules (PDF). All the bicycles have big baskets — perfect for your picnic lunch, your disc or basketball, shopping bags, plein air art kit or business portfolio.

PeaceHealth Rides bike share program is designed for trips that are only around 15-20 minutes long and up to three miles. For longer rides, consider a bike rental from a local bicycle shop.

Here are our best recommendations for a few short, enjoyable rides:

1. The Campus Loop

Ride around and across the University of Oregon campus within Agate St, 19th Ave, Alder St and Franklin Blvd. This is a great way to tour the university's beautiful architecture, campus art installations, the tree arboretum and more. Alder Street has a wide dedicated bike lane past sorority row and campus buildings. Your circuit could include The Duck Store (student book store), the campus pub scene on 13th, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Erb Memorial Union (EMU) student hub, and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Explore the South University Neighborhood around Hayward Field and Matthew Knight Arena. Some real community treasures include the unimposing, but exquisite, Maude Kerns Art Gallery and the historic Pioneer Cemetery with its mossy monuments. Cool your wheels at Prince Pucklers with an ice cream cone and fill up your bike basket with Duck souvenirs from the book store or fresh produce from the Fairmont Farmers' Market. Please remember that cycling on sidewalks is prohibited — stick to bicycle lanes or the street.

2. Downtown Eugene Urban Ride

The Story Teller Ken Kesey by Peter Helzer, Photo by Colin Morton

Cruise downtown Eugene to see all the international murals from the 20x21EUG mural project. Roll by Kesey square — pose with the statue of Ken Kesey (a local, famous author)— and pick up some VooDoo donuts or a Sizzle pizza pie. Downtown's urban scene offers outstanding dining, boutique shopping and, on Saturdays, the colorful Saturday Market featuring amazing artisan gifts and delicious food carts. Adjacent downtown is the upscale Market District with high-end retail from athletic shoes to brand name fashion. Pick up a cup of coffee from Provisions Market Hall and fill your bicycle basket with a bouquet of flowers from Rhythm & Blooms. You might as well add a baguette from Provisions for that perfect "Parisan" look! Please walk your wheels on sidewalks.

3. The Whiteaker Neighborhood

Whiteaker district Eugene

The artisan Whiteaker Neighborhood is also know as the "fermentation district" because of their many craft breweries and distilleries. But remember—cycling and drinking don't mix! Please bike sober. Along with tasting innovative spirits, enjoy unique shops, galleries and outstanding local dining. Ride your bikes along Blair Blvd, W 4th Ave and Monroe St. A couple key places to stop: Bricks & Minifigs if you have any sort of Lego interest; Falling Sky Deli for a pastrami sandwich; Sweet Life Patisserie, beloved among locals for its sweet treats.  

4. Rolling Through Riverfront Parks

Ruth Bascom Bike Path in Springtime by Melanie Griffin

Hop on a bike share and ride the miles of beautiful bike paths along the Willamette River, known as the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System. Multiple bike bridges cross the river so that you can segment your ride to be shorter or longer. This riverfront ride loops through Skinner Butte Park (on the south side) with its lovely gardens, including a historic cherry tree and a flourishing rose garden; and Alton Baker Park (on the north side). Bring along your discs for a round of disc golf! Stop at McMenamins North Bank restaurant for outdoor dining overlooking the river. There are bike stations at Skinner Butte Park and the Autzen footbridge as it crosses over into Alton Baker. Autzen Stadium, PK Park, Eugene Science Center and the Cuthbert Amphitheater are in the vicinity, and for some special events temporary bike stations may be located there.

5. Valley River Center Shopping

Cycling on the Willamette River Bike Path by Brandon Fralic

Make use of the big basket on your bike! Ride over to the Valley River Center shopping mall and then pedal your purchases home. Eugene's largest indoor mall is anchored by Macy's and JcPenny's. Stores include American Eagle, Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, H&M and more, and many are offering curbside service. Valley River Center is also home to Round One Entertainment with bowling and games — please check as pandemic protocols have limited some activities and access.

6. An Excursion into South Eugene

Beyond the campus area, ride in bike lanes skirting beautiful green city parks toward South Eugene. Watch the runners on the chip trails that encircle Amazon Creek. Amazon Park features a small skateboard park, public swimming pool and large swaths of grassy fields. Shop at Sundance for organic foods or visit Provisions South for that perfect cup of coffee. South Eugene has a relaxed, residential vibe with beautiful parks and a sprinkling of dining options.

7. Roll Down Willamette Street

Starting at the Eugene Train Station bike hub, cruise Willamette Street which runs centrally through downtown, from Skinners Butte to the faraway Spencer Butte. This straightaway street has great shops and restaurants all along it. Enjoy sidewalk dining at Claim 52 Kitchen, pick up fish 'n chips at Newman's Fish Market, or treat yourself to a chocolate shake from Mandy's. The Bier Stein has outdoor seating too! And if you haven't had a Yumm Bowl yet, this is your chance at the Meridian. 

8. PeaceHealth RiverBend in Springfield

A separate "island" bike share station is located at the PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. From here you can ride bike paths along the McKenzie River and enjoy some reflective solitude. Ride over to The Shoppes at Gateway, which include Target and Hobby Lobby. 

The bike share program is a partnership between the City of Eugene, the University of Oregon and Lane Transit District; is sponsored by PeaceHealth Oregon; and operated by Cascadia Mobility. 

Whether you fly into the Eugene Airport, take Amtrak to the Eugene Station or ride the LTD bus… More Info
Author: Taj Barnhart Morgan

Taj Barnhart Morgan is the Director of Content Strategy for Travel Lane County. A journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, Taj has two decades of special event management and hospitality marketing experience in San Diego, CA and Maui, HI. Passionate about mothering, and back to her Oregon roots, she is discovering the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region all over again through the eyes of her daughter.