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Biking Benton County

Biking Benton County

Now that heavy snow should be a distant memory in the Willamette Valley, it's a good time to warm up with a bike ride.

Corvallis and Benton County boast more than 60 miles of bike paths to tempt the avid cyclist. From trails through city and county parks to leisurely rides along the Willamette River, there's just about everything you need, with no heavy strain necessary.

A favorite of locals is the 12-mile Corvallis Bike Loop. It circles the town on paved paths that follow along the Willamette and Mary rivers, past Oregon State University and through many of the city parks. Only three miles of the trip are in bike lanes on city streets.

Corvallis is a bicycle town, ranked ninth in the country for the highest number of people per capita who ride a bike to work. Add a few thousand university students and this could just be Oregon's two-wheel heaven.

The Corvallis Visitors Center has information at 800-334-8118, or www.visitcorvallis.com. The Mid-Valley Bicycle Club, www.mvbc.com, offers more than 60 downloadable route maps categorized from "flat" through rides with "some hills," all the way up to the more difficult, "hilly rides." They also post an online schedule of group rides.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@yahoo.com.

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