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Bend fire’s trail closures affecting mtn. bikers


Bend has been slowed by the Two Bulls Fire, but bikers in particular have had to put their brakes on.

And with that, so have business owners.

“We’ve definitely seen traffic slow down in the shop,” Jane Quinn, sales associate for Pine Mountain Sports on Southwest Century Drive, said Monday.

“There’s definitely concerns as a town that’s focused on outdoor recreation,” she said.

Bend has over 300 miles of biking trails, but with the closing of the Mrazek trail and Shevlin Park on only the first official day of wildfire season, some are worried that it be the beginning of a long summer of trail closings.

“Phil’s Trail, Wanoga Trail — all those networks; they’ve been there forever. Those trails are quintessential Bend riding,” said local biker Todd Schetzsle.

Phil’s Trail is one of the most popular bike trails in Central Oregon for residents and tourists. Right up the stairs from Pine Mountain Sports is Cog Wild, a bike tour company that frequents the trail.

Company owner Lev Stryker is confident in the firefighting effort thus far, but still concerned about the flames of Two Bulls reaching Phil’s Trail.

“It could potentially close it for the whole season, and that’s where thousands of people ride through the whole year,” he said.

And with those trails potentially out of commission, businesses like his could shift into the lowest gear imaginable.

“If our trails were to shut down, we’d pretty much have to shut down for the summer.,” Stryker said.

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