Bridge Pedal

I did the Bridge Pedal for the third time yesterday. It is a signature Portland event where they open the bridges to bicyclist and 18,000 people come out for a mass ride. A big draw for me is that they close to the top decks of the two big freeway bridges which are normally not accessible to bikes or pedestrians. The views of the city and the bridges covered in people were great. It was a perfect day, sunny and not too hot.

I originally planned on doing the 6-bridge ride which is just the downtown bridges plus the ride to the downtown start. This year, the 10-bridge ride came down to the Sellwood Bridge and went right in front of my place. I couldn’t resist and joined the stream. We went down the Marquam Ave to the Hawthorne Bridge. Past that point, all the different rides sort of merged together. Then, we went over the Hawthorne, Ross Island, and Marquam bridges. Then, we went over the Burnside, Broadway, and then the Fremont Bridge. I thought it was less crowded than last year; I didn’t have to walk up the Marquam. There was some confusion with different groups of riders merging together and routes crossing but I didn’t have a problem.

I decided to do the longer ride to the St. John’s Bridge. I hadn’t been up north in previous years. That added probably 10 miles to the total. The climb to the top was struggle. I ended up walking most of the way. Unfortunately, my camera exhausted its battiers so I couldn’t take any pictures to document the achievement. After that, we came down Willamette Blvd and Interstate Ave to the Steel Bridge and the finish. Then, I had to ride back home down the Springwater Trail. I discovered that my legs give out after 35 miles. Unfortunately, the whole ride was 36 miles and the last mile was slow and painful. That is the longest I ever ridden, beating the previous Bridge Pedals of 20 miles. I spent the rest of the day sitting down because I could barely walk.

Marquam Bridge

Tram Tower and Ross Island

Fremont Bridge