Posted by Michael Andersen (News Editor) on October 31st, 2012 at 11:50 am
This guest post is by Michael Andersen of Portland Afoot, PDX’s 10-minute newsmagazine about buses, bikes and low-car life.
Dozens of fans of one of Portland’s most unique and durable bike traditions met Tuesday night at bicycle tavern Velo Cult to tell stories from more than 120 mornings of free breakfast on Portland’s bridges.
“It’s amazing to see that this tradition of giving out coffee and donuts has continued for 10 years,” said Ayleen Crotty, who said she and Amy Stork started serving the first regular breakfasts during Portland’s legendary “Summer of Bike Fun” in 2002.
Somehow – like another Portland tradition launched that year, a naked bike ride – the idea stuck.
“We’re going to do it until we’re doing Breakfast on the Bridges for bike commuters on the Fremont.”
— Lilian Karabaic, volunteer
Thanks to modest donations from local businesses – the current sponsor is Trailhead Coffee Roasters – and a gradually shifting team of three to five regular volunteers, Breakfast on the Bridges has been served to bicyclists and pedestrians on the final Friday of almost every month since. (It currently takes place on the Hawthorne Bridge and the lower deck of the Steel.)
Many of Tuesday night’s stories involved romance.
Timo Forsberg bragged that his mornings on the bridge had given him not only a “new livelihood” – he’s now a demand management specialist for the Portland Bureau of Transportation – but a future bride. Carl Larson said he’d met two future girlfriends. And onetime Bicycle Transportation Alliance staffer Lillian Karabaic told the story of the time she “abused database privileges” to seat herself at the Alice Awards next to a cute young man she’d met on the bridge.
Weather has never been an obstacle to the tradition, which continues through the winter.
“The colder it gets, the cooler the people you will meet on that bridge,” observed volunteer Robin Bogert, who said she likes to invite prospective romantic partners to attend on chilly mornings and gives them extra points if they actually show up.