Coast to Coast 2022 Adventure Day 4: Bend, OR to Burns, OR

Alan Gilbert
4 min readJun 29, 2022


This post is part of a series detailing my 2022 coast to coast cycling adventure.

Day 4 was the first of two very long days, each of which were over 130 miles. Why? Because there is nothing between Bend and Burns and next to nothing between Burns and Vale. This is what it takes to ride across eastern Oregon.

Day 4 Highlights:

Song of the day: Sandusky by Uncle Tupelo
Start: Bend, OR
End: Burns, OR
Distance: 131.1 miles
Elevation: 3,684 ft
Breakfast: Leftover pancakes and breakfast sandwich
Lunch: Stop at Hampton Station Cafe, which no longer exists
Dinner: Burgers at the Apple Peddler in Burns

With an epic 130+mile day ahead of us and temps predicted to hit 100, we got an early start. We planned on 5AM but it turned into more like 5:30. At that hour it was cold. I found myself trying to will the sun to rise more quickly to warm me up. Of course, I wished for some of that cold later as the mercury rose.

The road east out of Bend was beautiful — well paved, quiet (at that hour), and scenic. We managed to avoid US 20, the Central Oregon Highway, for a while, but after about 20 miles we linked up with what would be our constant companion for the next two days (and 250 miles). Then something unexpected happened. After all of the amazing sights — The Pacific Ocean, The Cascades, Sisters, and Bend — the landscape completely opened up in front of me. I could see forever. And it was like the warmup was over and now it was time to get to work. It was as if America said “Here I am. I am beautiful but I am also rugged and dangerous. I will thrill you but I will also test your resolve and try to break you.” It was exhilarating and I found myself singing the song I was listening to out loud, even though there were no vocals or lyrics.

Though all of that rugged beauty was laid out ahead of us, we could not help but constantly look back at The Cascades. Especially during the morning golden hour.

Dave and I could not help but constantly look back at The Cascades on our way out of Bend

Here is the route and stats for our epic day.

The road from Bend to Burns had no real towns or stores, or even gas, until Riley, over 100 miles into our ride. We took a break at one closed cafe and ate lunch an another.

There’s not a whole lot between Bend and Burns
Two of the very few signs of civilization between Bend and Burns — both were permanently closed

A couple of times during our lunch break at the Hampton Station Cafe, people pulled up expecting to get food or gas. One person told us he did not have enough gas to reach the next town, and sure enough we saw him up the road, pulled over and out of gas, waiting for AAA to rescue him.

Riley is one of the few towns between Bend and Burns

When we finally, finally reached Burns, after 131 miles of pedaling against 15 MPH headwinds and 100 degree temps, I think Dave and I were a bit shell shocked. But Dee, Dave’s wife and our support angel (my wife prefers this term to “SAG”) had cold beverages and a bag of kettle chips waiting for us.

Dee, our support angel, knew just what I needed after 131 miles



Alan Gilbert

I build teams that build things.