Make the McKenzie Connection!

Outdoor Center ready to roll

At counterRAINBOW: Ways of getting out and about - from riding bikes to paddle boarding or from rafting to shuttles - now have a new central point to start from, thanks to a new business that will host a grand opening this weekend. The Horse Creek Lodge and the Blazin Saddles Bike Shop partnered for the new enterprise, housed in the former Rustic Skillet Restaurant’s storefront.

The Bike Shop & Outdoor Center was planned to offer, “A great opportunity for rafting trips, mountain or road bike rentals and stand up paddle board rentals,” says Alyssa Brownlee of Horse Creek Lodge. “It will also be a great place for people to come in and get info for the area’s trails and other recreational opportunities.”

Casey Mendt, co-owner of Sisters based Blazin Saddles  agrees. In business since 2010, he’s seen a steady flow of customers coming to his shop from Portland, Seattle, Redmond and “all over the planet.” Surprisingly, most of those customers buy, rather than rent.

“We sell way more than we rent,” Mendt notes. In both cases, though, the equipment they stock is built to last. “The bikes we rent are a few thousand dollars apiece and are a little bit higher end models. That really makes your experience better out on the trail.”

Sporting both front and rear suspension systems, the bikes are a fit for what riders can expect to encounter locally. Except for the lower portion of the McKenzie River Trail, that means rocks and roots aren’t uncommon.

To find out more, stop in the shop from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday and Monday or from 9 to 5:30 on Saturday and Sunday. They also offer a well staffed service department, parts, other trail gear and road riding cycles.

Image: High end bikes and sporting equipment rentals, as well as parts and apparel, are now available on the McKenzie, thanks to a new retail outlet near milepost 47 on Hwy. 126.

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