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.
down into Johnson Creek.
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.
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.
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.
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.