This past July, Steve Martin was riding his bike through northeast Pennsylvania. At some point, his wallet bounced out of his pocket where, hours later, it was found by a street cleaner. Instead of trading in the wallet to some tabloid or eBay collector, the Good Samaritan tracked down the venue where Martin was performing and handed the wallet to the stage director. In turn, Martin insisted on thanking the man in person.
But, the point of the story isn't Martin's aw-shucks good luck and down-to-earth friendliness; it is that Martin is a cyclist!
Yes, there is a reason the 68-year old remains thin and trim.
For decades (but not anymore), Martin even did his own stunts. I mean, have you seen the scene in Roxanne in which Martin leaps, vaults, and flips his way to the top of Daryl Hannah's three story home? Impressive! Watch out Chris Sharma! Martin's got moves to make any rock climber envious.
This week, in recognition of Martin's miraculous feats and unforgettable roles, we recommend three Steve Martin-approved and inspired activities.
Movie: Roxanne (1987)
C.D. Bales (Steve Martin) is a Colorado fire chief and a can-do guy, but his ridiculously large nose has always made dating difficult. Bales, however, is wonderfully acrobatic, as he proves in the famous breaking-into-the-house scene. Take a page out of Bales' book and get dynamic during your next bouldering session.
Bachelor Boulders and The Depot:
These two bouldering sites are on the edge of town and thus easy to access before or after work. The long horizontal traverse at the Bachelor Boulders, near Mt. Bachelor Village and just feet from the Deschutes River, is a perfect warm up. Or, if looking for climbing endurance, do laps back and forth on the lengthy, low-to-the-ground bouldering problem. Directly across the river and equally easy to get to is The Depot, home to more classic problems like Ginsu (V5) and The Wizard (V6), as well as moderate highballs like The Big Easy (V1). Aspiring C.D. Bales athletes can walk to both areas via the River Trail near the Bill Healy Bridge.
Bend Rock Gym:
It's getting colder outside, which can lead to good friction on the rock. But there comes a point of diminishing returns—when your toes and fingertips are numb it's time to head indoors. And what better place to practice acrobatic leaps, a la C.D. Bales, than above a well-padded floor? Bend Rock Gym is a cavernous space on Bend's eastside that features an enormous bouldering area as well as several two-story-tall climbing walls (and they're building more!). Thrifty climbers should visit on Thursdays when a day pass costs only $10 (regularly $15, $10 for children 15 and under, adult 10-visit punch card for $120). For all those looking for a pre-work session, take note: The gym is now open at 9 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or, avoid the busy after-school hours (4-8:30 pm) and arrive late—Bend Rock Gym is open until 10 pm on weekdays and 8 pm on weekends. Bend Rock Gym, 1182 SE Centennial Ct. 541-388-6764. bendrockgym.com.
Movie: Three Amigos (1986)
Activity: Horseback riding
Horses are the fourth, fifth and six amigos in this dusty 80s favorite. Lucky Day (Steve Martin) and his pals rely on their steeds adventure after adventure and even make their ultimate escape via horseback. Here are a couple of nearby horse trails where aspiring cowpokes can live out their Wild West fantasies:
Cline Buttes, Canyon Area Trails:
This mellow cold-season riding destination offers a variety of terrain and is plenty suitable for beginners. It's scenic, too. Scrubby sagebrush, gnarled junipers and a 75-foot-deep basalt canyon await. Cline Buttes' central location makes it a good pick whether coming from Redmond, Sisters or Bend. To get there, turn off of Fryrear Road, about a half mile south of the transport station. Look for the obvious trailhead.
Tumalo Reservoir area:
For easy access outside Bend, Lucky recommends Tumalo Reservoir. Don't ride in the actual reservoir (it's illegal) but instead enjoy the miles of scenic trails and dirt roads in the surrounding area. Most of them are on public land, operated by either the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service. Park at the junction of Tumalo Reservoir Road and Sisemore Road (where it turns to dirt). For a lesson, give Bend's Suzi Lewis a call: 541-550-9787.
Movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Activity: Road trip
Neal Page (Steve Martin) says, "Get out of town!" And take a buddy—preferably someone with the same unshakable optimism and remarkable gift of gab as Del Griffith (John Candy).
Seriously, when was the last time you and a pal planned a mountain biking trip to Ashland, Oakridge or Hood River? Fall is prime trail season—firm, tacky soil and no crowds make for outrageously fun riding conditions. Be sure to buy a map at the local outfitter and start exploring!
Fall also marks the start of cyclocross season in earnest. Look at the Cross Crusade schedule (crosscrusade.com) and plan to attend one of the insanely popular races this season—it's a simple hop over the hills in the Willamette Valley. Even though the nine-race series attracts more than 1,000 racers to each event (it's one of the world's most popular 'cross series, seriously) each race has a category for everyone from newbies to pros. The series starts Oct. 6 and runs through Dec. 8.