Dallas has joined efforts in welcoming our two- and three-wheeling friends to town, from building a bike hostel above Latitude One to looking at bike trails, repair stations and generally increasing access for those who prefer to travel via bicycle.
Cycling can be a healthy and fun pastime. Jumping on a bike and hitting the open roads in Polk County — especially on a clear day — is freeing.
Polk County has historically been the destination of a number of organized rides, from Bike MS to Cycle Oregon. These large groups of cyclists have tended to stay in Monmouth near Western Oregon University, or camping in public parks in that area. Highway 99W is along a popular bicycling route, and Monmouth is the first place that has a repair station — and other bicycle amenities — since some cyclists start in Portland.
Independence has opened its doors to cyclists with its biker-boater campground near Riverview Park.
Dallas has been missing out on this key group of enthusiasts. As people ride their bikes all around the county — on wine tours, with groups, raising money, for pleasure — they are not stopping in Dallas as much as they should.
We are glad to see Dallas adding things that are attractive to cyclists. We hope that we’ll see more helmeted people on wheels coming through town, shopping and eating at our local restaurants.
Let’s give them more reason to stop in and stay a while.