Bike Trails: Biddle Road offers short lunchtime ride options
With the greening of the valley, it looks like spring is dancing on the hillsides and warmer weather is surely not too far off.
Higher temperatures and nicer weather offer opportunities for some to ride their bicycles to work while others drive to work with bicycles mounted on their vehicles. Both hope to escape their workplace during the lunch break for a quick workout or pleasure ride.
Working in the north end of Medford near the I-5 interchange can present a challenge for getting out and elevating your heart rate without getting bogged down at numerous stop signs and noontime traffic.
If you can get to Biddle Road, near the airport, here are a couple of short rides that will allow you to pace yourself over some long stretches without having to stop too often.
There are numerous places along Biddle Road, north of the Exit 27, to start rides. However, for today's route, I will start at the corner of Chevy Way and Biddle Road.
Proceed north on Biddle Road, then turn left on Airport Road which takes you westward over to Table Rock Road. Turn right and proceed through the signal light at Biddle. Alternatively, if you don't mind the traffic on Biddle, just stay on Biddle and turn right at the traffic light at Table Rock Road.
Once on Table Rock Road continue northward, crossing Vilas Road at Four Corners (mile 2.2). If your pace is quick, you can complete a 14-mile ride by riding past the State Forestry Headquarters (on your right) and turning right on East Gregory Road. Follow East Gregory Road to the east, where you will encounter a sharp left hand bend to the north and then a sharp right hand bend as you pass the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Headquarters at mile 5.2.
When you approach Agate Road, turn left, heading north. Stay on Agate Road, crossing Antelope Road, to Avenue G and turn left, heading west. Take a left on Pacific Avenue near the Kodak plant, right on Antelope and then left back onto Table Rock at mile 9.3.
Head back to town on Table Rock Road, retracing your route back to Biddle Road.
If you want to ride at a slower pace or have less time for your lunch break, follow the above route along Table Rock Road, crossing Biddle and then East Vilas at Four Corners. Turn left on Wilson Road, left on Upton Road, left on Penninger Street, passing the county fairgrounds. Turn left on Biddle and then right on Table Rock to get back to your starting spot.This route is only 8.6 miles.
Depending on the time of day, traffic on Biddle and Table Rock roads varies from moderate to moderately heavy. Both Biddle and Table Rock Roads have nice wide shoulders to ride in. Be cautious at the stop lights at Biddle and Table Rock roads and at Four Corners (Table Rock and East Vilas). Have a great ride.
Use your lunch hour to burn calories, wake up your body and refresh yourself for a productive afternoon of work. Check with your employer; maybe you can get a few more minutes tacked onto your lunch hour if your boss sees increased afternoon productivity after your bicycle ride.
Bicycling enthusiast Bob Korfhage of Phoenix is a former president of Siskiyou Velo bicycle club.