One of the joys of e-biking is the opportunity to remove yourself from the noise and fray of primary city streets while still being able to traverse town quickly. The bike path along the train tracks through Ashland is just such an alternative. You can ride from slightly beyond Tolman Creek Road all the way to 4th and “A” Street in the railroad district. From there you take “A” to Oak to Nevada to the dog park and the Bear Creek Greenway, and that’s where the adventure really begins.
The Greenway is an eighteen mile paved trail that parallels Bear Creek along the ribbon of land between Highway 99 and I-5 from Ashland to Medford, and finally, just beyond the Jackson County Fairgrounds. It’s amazing how much there is to see and enjoy in that narrow space between the two roadways that we’ve all traveled countless times. If you’re considering a bicycle commute from Ashland to Talent, Phoenix, or Medford, this is definitely the route of choice.
Never too far from Bear Creek, the Greenway travels through numerous stretches of thick trees that provide dappled light and shade from the summer heat and in autumn, a colorful display of changing, falling leaves. There are countless views of the creek and lots of bird watching opportunities along the way. Approaching Medford the ride becomes an urban amalgam of over and underpasses, twists and turns, and access to neighborhood parks that I didn’t know existed until I rode the length of the Greenway for the first time.
Concerned that you or your bike will run out of juice before getting back to Ashland? Consider a stop in Talent at the Downtowne Coffee House. Dan Goyette, the owner, is installing an electric bike charging station on site. He shares our vision of the future and wants to accommodate e-bikers as best he can. Bring your charger and grab an “opportunity charge” while you tend to your own gastronomic desires. (His hazelnut vanilla cremosa is my favorite!)
So, if you’re curious about what’s involved in riding “all the way” to Medford and back, know that its a splendid adventure made easier and more enjoyable via electric bike. Electric assisted bikes ARE allowed on the Greenway (scooters and mopeds are NOT). Just remember to abide by the 15 mph speed limit and be courteous to other trail users. The Bear Creek Greenway is a treasure to behold now and into the future; do your best to help us remain welcome visitors. Ride safe, be smart, have fun.