Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 12th, 2008 at 12:25 pm
Anyone who has attempted to ride across the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington knows that it’s not for the faint of heart.
The bikeway/sidewalk is barely wider than a cargo trailer and there’s an incline and descent to deal with while big rigs rumble past on one side and the river looms large on the other.
I’ve made the crossing several times and I personally find it manageable. That being said, it has never crossed my mind to consider riding on the bridge roadway instead; but that’s what BikePortland reader Bob M. says he saw the other day. Here’s his story (taken from an email):
“We were traveling west on SR 14 looping onto I-5 when my partner said “I think I see some cyclists on the road.” Well as we looped onto I-5 and entered the flow of traffic to cross the bridge we counted 5 folks riding right next to the barriers on I-5.
I didn’t know what do do. Stop and advise the cyclists to carry their bikes over the barriers to the bike/pedesterian walkway on the west side of the bridge or slow down behind them and do interference.
Wow. While I am a pretty hard core commuter (25+ years) riding with the traffic on I-5 over the bridge is something I would not do willingly. Anyone know these folks and if they made it over the bridge safely?
Have any of you ever tried to do this? Or even though of doing it? Seems like a pretty scary proposition to me, but then again, maybe it feels safer for some folks (by the way, the motor vehicle speeds on the bridge are 45-55 mph).