Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Love it or hate it, it’s Bridge Pedal time!

Posted by on August 8th, 2007 at 11:57 am

Bridge Pedal 2006

Bikes rule the city during
Bridge Pedal.
(File photo)

It’s that time of year again when the entire city surrenders to bicycles for the annual Bridge Pedal ride.

This Sunday close to 20,000 people are expected to register for their once-yearly chance to contemplate freeway bridge views undeterred by the noise and risk of motorized vehicles, and to ride free and proud, unfettered by inconvenient traffic laws and the confines of bike lanes.

Call it Critical Mass for soccer moms, or a massive waste of time. Whatever you think, there’s no denying that it is a cycling spectacle like no other.

Sure some folks complain about crazy course markings (or lack thereof) and even crazier (and more dangerous) novice and unpredictable riders.

I’ve done it for the past two years and while I agree it may not be perfect, I love seeing all the new faces and the feeling of clogging up freeway bridges with bicycles. Add that it’s a huge fund raiser for the BTA and I’m in.

This year I’ll be joined by my lovely lady Juli, my two girls Eleni (4 1/2) and Danica (almost 2), my mom and my stepdad. It should be a great day.

Do you plan on joining the hordes? Or will you sit this one out? Do you love it? Hate it?

To get you in the mood, check out my two years worth of Bridge Pedal images or sit back and enjoy a slideshow from last year’s ride.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

See you out there!

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  • Alison August 8, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    My favorite part is riding over the Marquam and Fremont bridges!

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  • Dabby August 8, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Yeah! Another great reason to sleep in on Sunday morning. By the time polo happens this will all be over.

    Although I do like riding the Fremont bridge.


    White Line.

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  • a.O August 8, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    This will be my first one since 2000. I can\’t wait!

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  • Meghan August 8, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    I will be volunteering as a course helper Sunday, since I\’ve benefitted the last two years from others\’ volunteer efforts. Time to give a little something back and help the Community Cycling Center raise some dough!!

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  • Question August 8, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Do the vests mean that I can\’t just ride across the Marquam bridge without registering?

    I\’ve done the ride a couple of times and it just wasn\’t very enjoyable due to the 99% of the riders that don\’t have a clue how to ride in a large group of people. I would like to snap some photos from the Marquam, but I can\’t justify $20 just to do just that.

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  • John Boyd August 8, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    As someone that really enjoys not liking somethings, one example, texass, I just can\’t fall in line with those that enjoy not liking Bridge Pedal. Sure Providence is creepy and their ER leaves a lot to be desired, but while the struggle to get Alberta closed gets going, this org manages to turn the whole city, interstate included, into a vision of what a bicycle-only Portland will look like.

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  • Ayala August 8, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Wish I could go this year. Unfortunately the greyhound adoption group I volunteer with scheduled their big annual fundraiser for right smack in the middle of Bridge Pedal. Sigh. Next year for sure.

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  • Mark C August 8, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Our whole family does the bridge pedal every year. It\’s a great time as long as everyone accepts the fact that there will be a lot of slow, inexperienced cyclists. Go slow, keep aware, and enjoy the views you only get once a year. Anything that closes the freeway for bikes is OK by me.

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  • Steve August 8, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Mark C. has it right, be ready to go slow and enjoy yourself. This will be my 4 yr old son\’s first and we\’ll try to stay out of the way !

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  • BikingViking August 8, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    For me Bridgepedal is like Christmas with the extended family. There are solid reasons why you\’re not always looking forward to it, but after it\’s over you\’ve got a nice warm feeling and you\’re glad you went.

    See you there.

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  • Kristen August 8, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    BikingViking, I agree!

    I\’ll be out there again this year (my 3rd) with two friends and my boyfriend. It\’ll be fun, plus we get into the Bite for free. Nothing refuels ya like beer at 11AM!

    Look for the Pink Lemonade FC jersey this year, that\’s me!

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  • Todd B August 8, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Any chance to bring back KidsPedal?

    That was a great way to get inexperienced kids on bikes in large groups in a fun way without risking other riders lives during BridgePedal. (This keeps me from riding in Bridge Pedal after a few too many close calls.)

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  • Graham August 9, 2007 at 12:44 am

    I\’ve only done one Bridge Pedal, last year, and I loved it. Seeing not one, but two freeway bridges overrun by bicyclists was magical.

    Which is why I\’m surprised by the ambivalence. Maybe I haven\’t been doing it long enough to be jaded? I mean, \”massive waste of time?\” Such a huge undertaking is bound to have flaws, but pulling off something improbable as turning over a city\’s worth of bridges to bicyclists is just such a beautiful thing, why nit-pick?

    Inexperienced riders? Soccer moms? Awesome, great – those are the people we want to be out there, getting a taste of how fun it is to be on the road.

    The more experienced among us can make things safer by forgoing our usual commuter pace for a day and keeping an eye out for the inevitable crazies. Roll with it.

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  • Darren August 9, 2007 at 8:04 am

    Even if you hate the ride or the execution, you got to love and support the idea. In fact, we need to ask for more, maybe not as big, but certainly more often, more closed roads, more celebration, more bikes in the mainstream. Can I get an Amen?

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  • Todd Boulanger August 9, 2007 at 8:06 am


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  • MT August 9, 2007 at 8:09 am

    I call this \”my most excellent weekend of the summer\” and have for 7 years now.

    My daughter is 6, and has been in the pedal (well, stride the first year) every year of her life. This year she\’ll be on a tag-a-long behind dad, with mom pulling a trailer for a \”sag wagon\”.

    Let\’s hope she\’s awake on the Marquam for a change!

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  • DK August 9, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Good idea but bad organization. Getting better, but watch out for the MLK viaduct screwing it up again- if in the route. And there\’s always that misdirected show-off who never misses their chance to lead the herd astray. Have fun…and have a banana and water for me.

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  • Bearhat August 9, 2007 at 11:23 am

    this will be my 3rd year and it is by far one of the best biking experiences in portland. the fremont bridge is the best. see you there!

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  • Slammy August 9, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Hey #5, that\’s like asking if you can go to a Skynard concert for free just to see Free Bird, and not the rest. Life is about sacrifice, and you are being selfish. Marquam and 405 are obviously the money shot for your donation… get in line with the rest of us.

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  • Rick Glos August 9, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    #13 /agree

    Great to see so many bikers and as a recent transplant from MKE/ORD (last year 1st timer), it\’s great to see a city close expressways for bicycles.

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  • tonyt August 9, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    As someone who has wrenched for this ride many, many times, PLEASE, for your own sake, and the sake of all others around you, get your bike out NOW and ride it around the block and make sure it works and maybe, just maybe, you could put air in the tires too!

    Oh, and maybe wipe off the dust that\’s collected since the last BridgePedal. 🙂

    By the way, a fun game is to count all the people who have their helmets on backward.

    It can be a love it AND hate it kind of thing. Kind of like watching a train wreck. Morbid fascination.

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  • peddling_pilgrim August 9, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    What kind of \”close calls\” from the kiddies? I\’m thinking of coming up from Eugene for the event, with my recently updated roadie with a new wheelset, etc… and was wondering am I going to have to walk across some of the bridges in my cleated shoes because it\’s so slo?

    Anyway, this is what someone I know who just registered for the ride said. The pics on Flickr look cool, but am I just going to be dodging \’tards with ipods for hours?

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  • Darren August 10, 2007 at 7:51 am


    The earlier your start time and the longer your ride distance the better off you\’ll be. On the other hand if you get boxed in by a family on department store bikes its best to just sit up, make pleasant conversation and enjoy riding your bike on the freeway in a very progressive and beautiful city. Thinking of the folks around you as \”\’tards\” will just downgrade your experience and the world\’s opinion of you.

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  • Jack August 12, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Bridge Pedal?

    Why not call it the bridge walk and stand…and walk………..and stand.

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  • laura August 12, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    The queue for the Ross Isl. bridge at 10am was pretty frightening, wasn\’t it! Backed up on Division Place almost to the Viaduct. Thank goodness we were just riding on Division Pl. to get home!

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  • studionn August 12, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Great idea and parts were fun but organization needs to be better to handle such a large group. Could not cross some of the bridges due to long waits and walk only options. Fix it please!

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