There are few activities as well-geared to providing fun while promoting fitness than mountain-biking. And there are few places where riding is so accessible and has such broad appeal as what is available in Sisters.

“We’re literally surrounded by epic mountain-biking,” said Casey Meudt, owner of Blazin Saddles cycling shop in Sisters.

He notes that mountain-biking is a low-impact exercise that more and more people are turning to as a family activity.

“You’re out in nature and you’re a little more engaged with terrain you’re approaching on the trail. The kids are having fun, the parents are having fun — and everybody’s getting exercise.”

As mountain-biking has exploded in popularity over the past couple of decades, bike technology has improved vastly.

“Basically, there’s a bike that’s perfect for whatever a person is using it for,” said Brad Boyd, owner of Eurosports cycling shop.

Someone interested in mountain-biking should determine what kind of riding he or she is interested in — the kind of terrain, the intensity level, the projected duration of rides — and inquire with cycling experts at local shops.

“We’ll put you on and have you ride two or three different bikes on the trail and decide for yourself,” Boyd said.

Meudt notes that large tire sizes — three inches — are becoming increasingly popular.

“Especially for our area later in the season like this, it’s a night-and-day experience going over the soft, sandy ground,” he said. “You have a noticeable flotation.”

He notes that most riders’ priorities are to feel safe, confident, and stable on the trail.

As for those trails — Sisters Trails Alliance is celebrating a decade of the Peterson Ridge Trail System, a multi-use system that has become a destination for many users… and especially mountain-bikers. The Sisters Stampede runs on the Peterson Ridge Trail each Memorial Day weekend.

The versatility of the system and its accessibility adjacent to the city of Sisters make the Peterson Ridge Trail ideal for a wide variety of riders.

“If it’s your first time ever mountain-biking, you’ll have fun,” said Meudt. “If you’re a pro mountain-biker, you’ll have fun.”

In addition to the obvious exercise benefits of mountain-biking, it’s also a safe and low-stress alternative to increasingly crowded roads.

“You don’t have to worry about traffic and cars,” Boyd said. “It’s just lovely to be out.”