Our tour started in Drake Park and was probably a little more laid back than the average tour as it was a freebie for family friends and one khaki slacks wearing, soon-to-be-totally-sunburned media nerd. We meandered up the west bank of the river, stopping to do things like look at the Old Mill Smokestacks - no real story there, just big self explanatory stacks, according to the guides, although we did learn that the mill recycled all of its prodigious sawdust, which was then used to fire the boilers. We also learned that the mills' small gauge railroad was the largest non-commercial rail line in the country - or something like that.
Business has been a little on the slow side, said Hill, who also owns a landscape (or at least aeration) company, but they've managed to schedule a few tours most weeks and got a call for another outing while we were cruising through the historic district at the tail end of our ride. Hill said that at this point the goal is pretty much just to break even. (Welcome to the not always glamorous world of self employment, boys.) But they're having fun and judging by the smiles on our groups' faces, so are the clients. Daucsavage, who is thin as a reed with a tousle of sandy blond atop his head, serves as the primary emcee for the tours and is also the DJ. He's a bit of a techie and managed to jerry rig a sound system on the back of his bike using a wooden box, some batteries, old computer speakers and, of course, an iPod. We cruised to the soothing sounds of Todd Rundgren, The Cars (Who's Gonna Drive You Home) and Paul Simon. Thankfully, the blue sky overhead reminded us that we were not, in fact, trapped in an elevator.
Hill, who is studying mechanical engineering, said he isn't sure just what the future holds for their pedal powered startup, all three owners are returning to school in the fall and are most likely to pursue internships next summer in their fields of study. In the meantime, though they'll just keep cruising.
Bike Tours of Bend
390-8646 or 610-5223. firstname.lastname@example.org. Rides by reservation. $30 adults $25 children (includes bike). $5 discount if you provide your own bike.