Bridge Pedal

The Bridge Pedal this weekend was quite a spectacle. It's amazing the city of Portland can pull it off—they close or limit traffic on 10 bridges that connect the two sides of Portland. Part of the interstate is blocked off, and 15,000+ bikers take to the streets to enjoy it. Frank over at Bike Hugger mentioned that it's one of the largest bike events in the country. Here's sk and I in full biking regalia on one of the bridges:


(I'm not angry here, just holding the camera funny and couldn't find the button.)

There was a band playing at the top of two of the bridges, and REI had "bike tech" stations everywhere to help people fix any problems along the way. (One REI guy helped me fix a front brake that was sticking.) It was a highly organized, very well-run event. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect.

Even though the ride was festive, and people were nice, it was a bit dangerous. We saw a woman fly over her handlebars landing face-first on a bridge after someone in front her stopped in the middle of the road. And we saw paramedics in a few other places helping out after crashes. You really had to keep moving and be aware of everyone around you to avoid running into people. My only critique of the event is that they should provide a bit more safety instruction to the riders.

But even with the stress of riding with a large pack, it beats sharing the road with cars. Here's a look at the top of our last car-free bridge of the day:


Getting up to the top of a few of the bridges was a lot of work for us novice bikers, but I felt like we had a really good ride. We're both tired today, but there were no injuries, no major soreness, and a good time was had by both! I have a few more pictures at Flickr tagged Bridge Pedal. And then there's the global Flickr tag Bridge Pedal. And you can also check out other Oregon blog posts that mention Bridge Pedal via ORblogs.

Update: Check out this picture of the Fremont Bridge over at Portland Ground.