[PLEASE NOTE: This post is from 2005. If you’d like to comment on the 2007 Bridge Pedal, please do so here. Thanks.]
Sam Adams, recently voted “Best Local Blogger” and “Best Member of the City Council” by the Willy Week, is asking for your feedback about how to make next year’s Bridge Pedal even better.
There were several bottlenecks where we were forced to walk and I’ve also heard of several people that were accidently mis-led on the route. Sam is especially interested in the logistics and planning of this event because he was recently given the responsibility of transportation issues for the city of Portland.
So get over to Sam’s blog and leave your input.
I’d love to see it on a Saturday next time. I can’t participate on Sunday.
This was my third year doing the Bridge Pedal. Like others, I wish it hadn’t been so crowded — it was no fun to get off of my bike and walk — but I’m reluctant to say anything too negative about the Bridge Pedal because it’s such a wonderful opportunity for people in the Portland area. Obviously, the Bridge Pedal is a victim of its own success, but I’m sure next year the organizers will have taken a look at what could be improved from this year and they’ll be ready for the crowds.
Overall, it was a wonderful time and I was really glad we were able to bike all 10 bridges. This is one of the best reasons to live in Portland.
It appeared that one of the trade-offs in having all 10 bridges be part of the event was that fewer lanes were closed on some of the bridges. At least, that was my perception from years past. And there’s just no way they could have filtered all those people onto the Springwater trail without a delay — just too many bodies trying to fit into two small a space.
I think they definitely could have arranged the booths on top of the Marquam Bridge a little bit better to have allowed a lane for people who wanted to bike through. But I bet they’ll have this all figured out next year.
Hard to complain about an event that is so wonderful. Many thanks to all the people who give so much time to make this happen both throughout the year and on the day of the event.
All in all we had an awesome time!
Could the even be split into two days? Bicycle traffic got so bad at some points that we couldn’t ride and had to walk our bikes. If perhaps one of the races could be done on the day before there wouldn’t be so much traffic.
That’s a good suggestion, but I doubt the organizers would want to deal with the permits and road closure issues for two separate days. I think perhaps a good solution will be to cap the number of registered riders. The organizers should also be more vigilant about enforcing start times.
Please pull out a map and review the course, as it winds past Montgomery Park. Notice that nice wooded 5400 acre park with 29 miles of pathways open to bicycles, the place known as Forest Park? Rick Bauman, the great guy who organizes the Bridge Pedal, and I had a great idea for this 10th Anniversary Bridge Pedal: a Forest Park Loop! Yep, a limited amount of riders would take a left from NW Vaughan on to NW 26th, then hang a right on to Thruman and ride the 1 mile to the Thurman Gate. This is by far the most popular entrance to the park. I’m sure you’ve eard of the complaints from those friendly folks at the top of Thurman and the street parking there on weekday evenings!
The riders would ride Leif Erickson 6.3 miles to Saltzman Rd., turn right and cruise down to St Helens Rd. and join in with the regular riders. Our reasoning for this loop? As a Board Member for the Portland United Mountain Pedalers,www.pumpclub.org ,we recently produced a new map with the fine help of the Friends of Forest Park, Portland Parks and RECREATION and the Mamzamas. This new map is to educate the local cyclists as to which trails ARE open to cyclists. Our goal for having the ‘Forest Park Loop’ of the Bridge Pedal was to show riders how easy the climb from the NW 28th area really is, and that doing so will help eleviate the parking problems at the top.
Do you want to know what the Parks and RECREATION Dept. said? ‘Sorry, there are no bicycle events allowed in any city park that is not held on a paved pathway.’ Have you ever been on Leif Erickson? It’s a gravel ROAD, what kind of damage is a group of cyclists going to do to the surface? They allow marathons to run on that road AND they allow running events on Wildwood!!!!!!
If you would like some help acheiving ‘Platinum Status’ for PDX, somethng has to be done to allow a place for mountain bikers to ride their bikes in a setting they prefer, singletrack type trails, not gravel roads. We should not have to get in our cars, drive 1 to 2 hours just to enjoy the kind of trail experience that could be easily created in Forest Park.
As the Western Oregon Representative of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, I would like to meet with both you and Mr. Saltzman, and see what can be done about satisfying this pent up demand for real mountain bike recreation in the Portland area. Trust me, the 4+ miles in Powell Butte and the gravel roads in Forest Park are not enough. With 55 bike shops in town, selling more mountain bikes EVERY DAY, it’s time we moved forward.
Thank You for your time.
Posted by: Roger W. Louton | Aug 18, 2005 9:18:31 PM
As a long time course monitor, my suggestion would be to see if there is some way to stagger the start LOCATIONS as well as the TIMES for different groups so that people are spread over the whole course more evenly during the entire event.
Some people might even prefer to start closer to home, wherever that may be, or somewhere less crowded, especially if they aren’t planning on attending the after event stuff downtown.
This was my seventh and last time participating in the Bridge Pedal. My wife and I (alond with our 4 year old son) expected crowds and to wait a little, but that was way beyond what was reasonable. After waiting for about 30 mintes to start (that is normal and expected), we waited several minutes just to be able to walk over the Hawthorne Bridge.
We then had a quick 5 minute ride and then we waited for just over an hour to walk over about half of the Ross Island Bridge. When we finally got to ride on the Ross Island Bridge, it was so crowded that it was dangerous.
With the Hawthorne and Ross Island Bridges taking so long we didn\’t spend much time on the Marquam so we could try and make it to the Freemont (it was getting close to 11:00 by this point…and we started waiting in line to start at about 8:20). Just after the Marquam Bridge we had to wait for a train to go by very slowly, so that put us too late to do the Fremont Bridge.
After the Burnside Bridge, we skipped out on the last part of the 6 bridge ride and had a sub-par experience at the Bite. It was just an all-around bad experience, which is very disapointing because I have always enjoyed myself doing the Bridge Pedal, but this was such a bad experience that I will no longer be participating in it.
It seems as though one of two things need to happen to keep this event running smoothly: either limit the number of people who can participate or extend the time of the event until mid or late afternoon. Extendeing the event to continue later in the day would be my choice. Those of us with kids wouldn\’t have to get them up so early – we could start later (like 10:00 or 11:00 am) and the longer route riders could be finished before the shorter route riders even start.
One observation: Merging the 10 bridge and 6 bridge riders at the entrance to the Hawthorne Bridge was a huge mistake. That was the source of basically all of the problems experienced by thousands.