Springwater bash celebrates bounty of the Three Bridges

The Three Bridges Project might have had its official opening back in October, but that event was marked by wind, rain, and speeches by planning wonks and political bigwigs.

It was great (if you’re into that sort of thing), but on Saturday it was the public’s turn to celebrate and instead of wind, rain and speeches there was sun, smiles, and free cookies.

I rode down to the festivities with my two daughters to check out the party, explore the trail, and of course watch a performance by the Sprockettes.

Three Bridges opening celebration

The new trail extension
down into Johnson Creek.
File photo

As we made our way to the main festivities I noticed a sign to a detour down into Johnson Creek. Soon we were on a narrow, newly paved trail, winding through lush creek beds and wetlands. The trail then turned into a gorgeous, wooden boardwalk right over the restored natural area. It was a gorgeous setting, but Eleni (my 4 year-old) didn’t want to miss the Sprockettes, so we pedaled on.

At our next stop, the trail was alive with activity: a brass band played classic American standards; Bike Gallery employees did test rides of the latest Trek bikes; the Sprockettes prepared to dance; and PDOT employees passed out resources and delicious cookies (that proved to be the most popular thing at the event).

Soaking it all in was my new friend Larry (he also goes by “Free” as in Freebird as in Lynard Skynard). He spends a lot of time on the trail and he was “enjoying all the smiling faces.” He said he takes the trail all the way to his uncle’s house in Boring.

Three Bridges opening celebration

From L to R: Linda Ginenthal, Dan Bower, and Janis McDonald of PDOT
File photo
Three Bridges opening celebrations

I also finally met Mike McFayden and Dave Hemming. Mike and Dave are part of a growing number of bike industry insiders making their home in Portland.

Three Bridges opening celebration

Dave Hemming (L) and Mike McFayden
File photo

Dave does publicity and marketing for Marin Bikes (you might remember his unfortunate introduction to Portland) and Mike is the publisher and ad sales guy for Mountain Biking Magazine. They both want to get more involved in the local bike scene. I’m sure we’ll be seeing them around more in the future.

The main event for the girls and I were the Sprockettes. Eleni and I are working on a routine so I wanted her to pay extra attention to the girls’ moves. While she watched, I shot some photos and had a great time being so close to the action.

After the show, I caught Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves doing a post tune-up test ride of one of the Sprockette’s bikes.

It was truly a celebration, and I’ve never seen a trail so alive and full of energy.

On the way home I shared a ride with the Mizee family and their tandem, tag-along-bike, trailer combination. As we may our way back to north Portland we came across a family of ducks in the middle of the trail.

cute chicks on the Springwater Trail

We saw some cute chicks on the trail.
File photo

The were waddling east across the railroad tracks and into the Oaks Bottom wetlands area. Unfortunately a few of the chicks couldn’t make the leap over the tracks. Momma duck was hysterical and the chicks were frantic. They needed help, so I hopped over the fence gave them a little boost.

It was the perfect way to end a day on the trail.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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options guy
17 years ago

Arrgh! I missed the Sprockettes! Oh well, I was talking to an inspiring gent at the other end of the festival (19th & Ochoco) who started bike touring after he retired. He’s 81 now and he looks 20 years younger. Just like the BTA says – if you ride a bike every day from now until you’re 81, you’ll live to be 81 – and still riding a bike!
Don’t fret – if you missed out on the delicious cookies from Mehri’s Little Flower Bakery, you’ll get another chance. Mehri’s is one of the stops on the Sweet Summer Cycle ride, part of the Portland By Cycle series of rides Transportation Options is leading July 10 through August 29. Check the website (click my handle) for all the rides…