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Bridge Pedal: How was it for you? (Updated with photos)

Posted by on August 9th, 2009 at 11:49 am

Bridge Pedal 2009 from the air-65

St. Johns Bridge
Bridge Pedal 2009 from the air-37

The Hawthorne as it should be.
Slideshow below/Gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

Just got back from an excellent time at Bridge Pedal.

Bridge Pedal 2009 -41

Peter Koonce and family
rolling up to the Broadway
Bridge.

I didn’t do as much riding on the course as I usually do, but from what I saw, it was a very smooth event. This is the first year I can recall not seeing any bad crashes on the notorious downhill sections. I also didn’t notice any bottlenecks or major congestion points.

I started with the 11 Bridgers early this morning. It was a thrill gliding down I-405 through Northwest Portland and then joining with the 8 Bridge riders just prior to the Marquam Bridge.

My trip in the helicopter was exhilarating and something I’ll never forget. It was awesome to see so many people waving (I event recognized several of you and wanted to shout… but then realized how silly that would have been), and seeing all the highways and bridges free of cars and filled with bikes was inspirational beyond words.

Bridge Pedal 2009 from the air-47 Bridge Pedal 2009 from the air-51 Bridge Pedal 2009 from the air-42 Bridge Pedal 2009 from the air-12

After the chopper ride I melded in with the 6 Bridgers. What a great group of people! So many kids and families and older folks. I think Bridge Pedal really nailed it this year by keeping much of the families and kids totally separate from the 8 and 11 Bridge rides.

Bridge Pedal 2009 -3

Big crowds at start
of 11 Bridge Ride.

Seeing little ones ride carefree on the carfree roads and bridges always warms my heart. And how about that Hawthorne Bridge!? It was so great to see a full lane taken up by people on bikes… sort of makes you wonder what that would be like in real life, doesn’t it?

I ran into Bridge Pedal staffer Sarah Bailen-Smith at the rest stop near Widmer Brewery and she was pumped. I think the big high-5 she gave me pretty much summed up how she felt about the day.

I only heard two bits of downer news. A friend of mine said that a 7-year old kid had lost his grandpa and — Mr. Bridge Pedal himself, Rick Baumann — reported that vandals had tipped a few porta-potties. But on a ride with upwards of 20,000 people that shuts down the city for half-a-day, it’s pretty amazing how it all comes together.

How was your ride? Did you see anything interesting/amazing/memorable? While you think about it, sit back and watch the slideshow below (or browse the gallery).


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

58 Comments
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    alex August 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    it was great. i had 405s and the marquam bridge all to myself…

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    Erin August 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Just getting home… Had a fabulous time! First time ever!!

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    John Lascurettes August 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Lots of fun. We took our boy on the tagalong for the 6 bridge ride. Got a map from the Mayor. http://twitpic.com/dagwj

    Someone forgot to communicate to the freight line that the train route was closed for the hours of BP. We got blocked off for about 20 minutes near the end of the line on Naito. The train went right over (and cut through) the carpets that were over the rail lines. Created a huge mob at the finish line because of it.

    Didn’t see any crashes and people (even the once-a-year riders) seemed to do a good job of not bumping into each other.

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    John Lascurettes August 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Oh and I briefly met and said hi to K’Tesh on the Fremont Bridge.

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    Peter Koonce August 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    We had a good time. Rode the bakfiets through the 6 bridge ride + riding there from Sellwood. Should have done the 8 bridge route!

    Hoping to see a picture of us on Flickr cruising up the approach to the Broadway Bridge.

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    Andrew Berkowitz August 9, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I always love the Bridge Pedal, and this year seemed smoother than ever. No bottlenecks on the 8 Bridger, no crashes, perfect weather. Huge thanks to all the organizers and volunteers!

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    aloy August 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    It was awesome! There were very few traffic issues, plus we were late, so after we parted from the 6-bridge riders we sometimes had the street all to ourselves for a minute or so at a time.

    We meant to get there earlier to avoid some of the less-predictable riders, but it didn’t work out, and the two of us had probably 20 close calls with about 5 kids and about 15 adults! And the adults were all superheroed out, too. But we were really cautious (most of the time) and it all turned out okay. It was a lot of fun. I liked the nectarines! And the bagels were way better than last year’s.

    We love Bridge Pedal!

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    DR August 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    We did the 8 bridge this morning. The flow was great, none of the stacking up I heard about a few years ago. We had a great time and will be doing the whole shebang next year. It was very well planned out.

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    Curt August 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I had a great 8-bridge ride. Not backups to speak of but due to the train on Naito at the end. There was one ambulance crash incident on 405 on the downhill leading toward the Marquam bridge (probably around 8am).

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  • Mediated » Bridge Pedal 2009 August 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    […] the Marquam bridge, the Fremont Bridge (above), and the St John’s bridge (below).  Check out bikeportland.org for more coverage of the […]

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    buzz August 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I am really kind of bummed that I missed this after reading this post. I just heard 18,000 people and thought it would be a nightmare. I will be doing it next year.

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    Mark August 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Good time. Seemed as id having the 6 bridge riders sepaate helped tremendously. Previous, the line up to the Hawthorne was stop & go. This year, no problems. They narrowed down that section to 1 lane and that helped a lot.

    Saw 1 rider down past the Marquam. Still on the bridge, but not on the downhill portion. She had a sling on her arm. Didn’t look broke, but she didn’t look real happy either.

    My 13 y/o was all bravado early in the week wanting to do the 11 bridge. By Sat night he had changed his mind to the 8 bridge. One of the volunteeers mentioned it before the Fremont. We were joking that we were really, really fast 11 bridge riders. Just after, the first 11 bridger rode past.

    I don’t know if the numbers were down, but the route seemed almost sparce in sections.

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    IceArdor August 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I ran into K’Tesh on the St John’s bridge. I was expecting to see him with his trailer and balloons again like in years past–I guess this year he decided to blend in with the crowd. I showed off my K’Tesh-inspired reflective bike and helmet.

    Everything went smoothly. No horrible Ross Island delay like a couple years back. I was a bit upset that I rushed past the donut stop on the 11-bridge route before realizing the cutoff at 8:20 had just passed. I never found another donut stop. Darn.
    There’s certainly room for a improvement, but all in all organization is getting better. Let’s hope next year’s Bridge Pedal goes as smoothly as this year.

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    Jeff WIlls August 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I did the 11-bridge. It was great! I started right at the front and just hammered the whole way. I didn’t think the pavement on I-405 was as bad as advertised, and getting out in front alleviated traffic somewhat. The herd still clogged on the second pass across the Marquam (Moo!), but every other crossing was no problem.

    The northbound stretch on St. Helens (heading to the St. Johns Bridge) is still a problem- people don’t seem to know which side is for slower traffic. Not a big deal, really- there was enough room for passing the 8-bridge riders.

    I had most of the southbound run to myself, but somehow a car driver got on Greeley & Interstate. It was kind of fun to see the cop stop her at the intersection with Russell while we were blowing by.

    Finished up and packed up by 10AM- not a bad average considering.

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    Martell August 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Yeah the train after the Freemont on the 6 bridge ride really slowed things down and bunched everyone up. It wasn’t too bad though. When we merged with the 8/11 riders, I saw a few looks like “what the” and wanted to tell them things weren’t that bunched for most of the ride.

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    Amanda August 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I did the “12 bridge” ride (followed a bunch of folks over a ped bridge that went over the train tracks when our way was blocked by a freight train near the end…okay, I guess that last bridge wasn’t exactly ridden). Very cool to see so many people out for it, and the weather was absolutely perfect.

    Overall, it was much better than my first Bridge Pedal experience, where I nearly tipped over from having to slow down so much. That said, I wish they wouldn’t route the walkers over the Fremont. Making the second pass, with all the natural congestion that the booths engender, then walkers trying to cross…I was having to hopalong for a bit there till I could safely get some forward momentum going.

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    Beate August 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Did the 11-Mile ride and had a great time. A few hick ups as the re-routes were earlier than advertised and I never got to cross the Hawthorne or St. Johns (the ladder route missed a person that would tell me to go straight through the cones – since there were no “yellows” in sight that I could have followed. So I ended up with a shorter ride, but it was still great.

    Along I-405 I wondered what out-of-towners could think driving on the other side: Maybe “wow! I heard that Portland is a bike friendly city, but building highways JUST for bikes? – now that is awesome!”

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    ScottG August 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I did the 11-bridge ride. Showed up 40 minutes early and was at the front of the first group. Saw a guy crash on his way down the Fremont, just minutes into the ride. People immediately started tending to him so I kept on going, trying to stay ahead of the swarm. Once the 11-bridge route merged with the others I resigned myself to the chaos and took it easy, and had a great time.

    Overall it was a great experience but I doubt I will do it again, as it would have been mostly frustrating had I not been so lucky in my timing.

    Saw K’Tesh, Thomas, and Steph volunteering. Thanks to you and everyone else who made this event go so well!

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    Bryan August 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Good weather, good people. This was the first time I’ve ever ridden a tall bike for more than 10 miles but I did pretty good even though I took a wrong turn and did 11 bridges instead of 8.

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    joe August 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I had a great time. No real bottlenecks except maybe the St.Johns Bridge.

    I did have to call in to 911 for a guy, east end of the Fremont. He was riding full steam along the shoulder, outside a barricade (one of those A-shaped things) that was blocking off a storm drain.

    The way the grate is, his road wheel went right in, and he went over the bars.
    Look like he may have broken an arm and collarbone. Hope the guy recovers. 🙁

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    Michael August 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Terrific! They are getting this all down to a science. Good job, BP team!

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    K'Tesh August 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Met several friends, and a lot of people who know me(Hi folks!)

    Had a lot of fun, despite the 3:30am wake up call to get out to my position on the 11 bridge route… (You’re almost to the BEER!!! BEER That Way!!!)

    Took over 270 images… I’m already uploading them, but it’s going to take a lot of time, and I need a nap.

    Check this often over the next few days:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufobike/sets/72157621868826485/

    Ok, so it was root beer, I hope you all had fun anyway! 😉

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    Art B August 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Great fun…my first Bridge Pedal. Started near the front on the 11 bridge ride and was able to really go until we met up with the 8 bridge group. Finished at 9:15, Everyone was great, there were a few near misses when people crossed over to the edge of some bridges to stop. Saw many older folks like me. Might do it again next year

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    eli bishop August 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    i was on the 8 bridge-ride (my first time on st. john’s!). i saw 2 riders down on the marquam & an ambulance behind us; another 2 riders down on interstate, but not serious. i loved the root beer garden on the marquam & the taiko drummers on the fremont. the st. john’s snack stop was a surprise to me and difficult to navigate. but just two blocks later a lovely family was offering bridgepedal riders fresh lemonade and still-warm homemade brownies for free: wow! delicious & kind.

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    hanmade August 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Yeah, it was great, and best weather for riding, too. Great volunteers. I did see one crash just after coming off the Freemont at the start of the 11 bridge. It looked like a 13ish girl down on her side, many people helping out, I hope she is OK. No bottlenecks except for that durn train at the end, but not a big problem. the Japanese drummers on the top of the Freemont were awesome!

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    Brian Johnson August 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    The event was great– perfect almost! 🙂

    On the section of 405 just before climbing up onto the Marquam– I got alllll the way over so I was riding smack in the middle of an empty freeway! What a rush!

    I’m always a little surprised at the number of people who seem to forget how to share the road once they’re on a bike (although, maybe they’re new to riding) and weave and swerve all over the place and slow down or stop suddenly in the middle of bike traffic. This sort of behavior is a little unsettling since I was towing my young son on a trailer bike.

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    Bob R. August 9, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    We did the 8-bridge this year. Last year we did the 6-bridge. We’re not the most fit or active people in the world (but better than we used to be), so the 8-bridge was a real push for us, but we made it.

    An observation: After the ride, we left downtown over the Burnside Bridge, and noticed a sea of 6-ride particpants basically walking… the bridge was completely congested.

    Any word on what it would take, monetarily and logistically, to either allocate more lanes on some of these bridges, or spread the event out longer in the day or over 2 days? I think there’s a lot of room for growth in attendance, if something can be done about the congestion. It really feels like this event is at-capacity as currently configured.

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    Portland Newbie2 August 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Great ride! I use to travel here from another state to attend. It’s awesome to be a transplant. I did the 8 bridge ride as usual and had a great time.

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    Cecil August 9, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    From my volunteer perspective staffing the barricade at 1st and Taylor it was a fascinating 4 hours of watching both motorists and cyclists completely disregard all traffic laws. This intersection was not one that was part of the route, and so was not closed to traffic except for one direction, But all the drivers and the cyclists treated it as a free-for-all. Motorists would turn the wrong way on Taylor to get to the parking garage on the corner of Naito and Taylor (it did not help that the attendant from the parking garage came out and directed cars to turn the wrong way down Taylor) and those motorists who obeyed the law and turned left from 1st onto Taylor were confronted with the throngs of cyclists who had parked further west downtown and who had chosen to ride the wrong way down Taylor to get to the waterfront. Fortunately no one collided with anyone else, but there were a lot of near misses!

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    Charlie August 9, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    For the most part things went smooth. I did the 11 bridge ride and was finished by 9:15. The largest problem I experienced was the rest stop near the Mississippi / albina max stop. As a through rider I had difficulty with people reentering the course on a steep hill and weaving back and forth to get up it. I think it would greatly help if the pre ride literature reminded people that, just like with a car, the left lane is the fast lane. The ride up to St. Johns was like a huge game of frogger as I tried to get through all the 8 bridge riders.

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    Phr3dly August 9, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Saw two crashes on the 11-bridge ride. One coming down off the Fremont. From about 20 feet back of the crash it looked like a woman on a tri-bike swerved and hit an older gentleman. She was fine, he scraped up his cheek.

    The other was another two-bike crash. One gal looked in pretty bad shape.

    But great weather and, as always, it’s a blast to ride down the middle of an interstate!

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    Lois with the Cat Ears August 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Saw many lovely moments but the best was just as we were starting the 11-bridge ride, coming up the Freemont Bridge at about 7:15, I noticed a fellow rider who was in her 70s, possibly even 80s. Totally inspirational-didn’t see her again all day, but if anyone knows if she made it through, I’d love to hear how her day went. As great as it is to see kids falling in love with biking at events like these, seeing folks staying in the saddle as the years accrue, is cool/inspirational in a whole nother way.

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    naomi August 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    I live in the Pearl and woke up around 10:30 or 11am to the Fremont Bridge top level slathered senseless with tiny specks, thousands of them.. lovely bicyclists. I sat on my balcony, sipping my coffee and watching the swarm of cyclists move and felt proud of Portland. Events like this, I like to sit back from afar and watch in awe 😉

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    Nathan August 10, 2009 at 12:12 am

    First timer here. Six bridges on a Bakfiets with my two-year-old. Whooo, that thing gets some speed and momentum coming down off the bridges!

    We’d avoided the ride before because of the traffic jam stories, but ran into no problems at all other than the usual small issues with people not skilled in group riding. We had a great time and will definitely do it again next year.

    The other passenger in my bike was a Nikon taking a shot every 2 seconds. 3806 photos. Enjoy this time-lapse of the entire ride distilled into less than 3 minutes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTXWHCVP3pE

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    rekon August 10, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I think that it would be interesting if someone overlayed cars onto the photos of all of the bikers on the various bridges to illustrate 1) just how many people were riding 2) what traffic would have looked like if all of the bikers had been in cars and 3) how much space cars take up versus bikes.

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    Bob_M August 10, 2009 at 7:15 am

    I was the volunteer with the straw hat at the west end of the Ross Island Bridge at Kelly. I missed riding, but it was great fun watching the parade of happy strong and fit Portlanders. Toward the end there were lots of kids who had run down their blood surgar, but many more smiles than frowns.

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    amos August 10, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Great photos, Jonathan!

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    rex burkholder August 10, 2009 at 7:31 am

    What i remember is hundreds of smiles…and flat tires!

    I helped out at the Bike Gallery pit stop on the Fremont Bridge. Must have pumped 400 tires in those 5 hours! Fixed some brakes, straightened some handlebars and raised some seats (but left the real work to the smart techies from BG)

    Next time Jay needs to bring a compressor!

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    KD August 10, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I love the ‘pedal – and so do my kids…..but the trains this year were a big problem. I was on the 6 bridge ride and we got caught twice by stationary trains. Once in the NW industrial area and then at the Steel Bridge. At the former, people began riding down the side of the railroad to get round the train. At the latter, frustrations boiled over and several riders climbed over the train with their bikes to get past. The train sat stationary for over 20 mins and created a huge back-up.

    We had the same problem last year at the same point in the race. Cant someone talk to the railroad or change the route to avoid the railroad crossings.

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    Kim August 10, 2009 at 9:01 am

    My family did the 6 Bridge ride (first time doing the Bridge Pedal for all of us) and had a great time. The only congestion we had was at the end – didn’t realize a train had held people up at the time but we weren’t complaining. Had a lot of fun with the crowds and coming across people we know. The volunteers were great. We all agreed we want to do it again next year.

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    Quentin August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I had a great time riding with my friends, until I was injured about halfway through the ride. Riding on the large, open space of the 405 freeway was a thrill, and I loved the buzzing sound (like angry bees!) of dozens of freewheels coasting through the peaceful tree-lined neighborhoods on the way to the Sellwood bridge. One thought that stayed with me the whole time was how cool it would be if everyone’s morning commute to work were more like this.

    At the east end of the Hawthorne bridge shortly after the plywood section ended, with lots of empty space in front of me I accelerated and started the slight left turn defined by orange cones. I felt a hard sudden impact from behind and to my left, and before I knew it I found myself on the ground tangled up with another rider.

    I accept some of the blame for not looking over my left shoulder before the turn, but I also don’t think my turn was sharp or unpredictable to anyone behind me, and I must have been going close to 20 m.p.h at that point and wasn’t expecting someone to pass me in the turn. My friends who were behind me remarked that they saw the other guy going across the Hawthorne bridge like a maniac and thought he was sure to cause a crash.

    Strangely enough, what I found more upsetting than the crash and my injury (a fractured shoulder blade) was just the fact that the guy was such an (wash my mouth) about it afterward. I asked if he was OK and tried to talk with him for a minute but he was extremely hostile and wouldn’t take any responsibility for riding too fast or too close, and he never even asked if I was OK.

    I met a few other riders in the ER and I’m glad everyone’s injuries were relatively minor. My shoulder will heal without surgery or a cast, and overall the ride was a very fun experience and I would do it again. If I learned anything from this ride, I’m going to make a do-it-yourself rear-view mirror out of a beer bottle cap and attach it to my helmet!

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    Alexis August 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

    We did the 8-bridge ride (a compromise between my super-athletic mother and commuter me). I have never riden more than 5 miles in a day in my life. I learned how to ride a bike less than 6 months ago. But I made it alive (barely) and am really glad. I was really tempted to walk my bike up the hill to the St. Johns but I went into super low gear and climbed my way up slowly and painfully. My knees are in agony, my butt hurts from the bike seat, my hands hurt cause I couldn’t turn the lights on at 5 am to search for my fingerless gloves…. but overall it was fun.

    The congestion wasn’t bad, except at the rest stops. We were pretty much in the middle of the pack and never really had problems with people in our way. A few people were jerks, especially some of the 11-bridge riders super eager to pass us. One guy flew WAY too close between my mom and me. A lot of people seemed ignorant of the fact that you pass on the left, you notify with enough warning for me to move over a bit, and do not pass close enough for us to practically cuddle. A few people were jerks/idiots, but overall it was fine and a lot of fun. Except for the pain.

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    Linda Ginenthal August 10, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Loved it. The top of the Fremont Bridge from 8:45am to 11:45am – best spot in the house. And how did you get to go by helicopter Jonathan! What a fantastic bunch of shots. Thank you!

    On to Sunday Parkways! (August 16th)

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    James August 10, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Have been training our 1 yr old for the last 6-months to handle 6-bridge ride. First with wearing the helmet and riding in a milk crate, then in our new cargo bike. Our family had a blast. Even waiting at the train crossings was a chance to chat with the folks around us.

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    Karen Chrisman August 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    This was my first bridge pedal but it won’t be my last. What a great time and what a thrill to ride over the bridges and on the highways with thousands of other riders! Thank you to all the volunteers for your hard work to put this awesome ride together. We really appreciated someone being at all the turns since we’re not used to riding in Portland. (We’re from Corvallis) Then just as we started fading, there was a rest stop with food and drink to revive us!

    I haven’t been riding a road bike for very long and I was nervous about riding in such a large group, but everyone was courteous (except for an occasional 11-bridge rider who flew by having forgotten it was a ride not a race.)

    Thanks again and we’ll see you next year!

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    A August 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    This was my first ride, and I had an absolute blast. I’ve heard stories about bad jam ups on previous rides, but did not experience any real problems on this ride.
    I did the 11 bridge ride with a start fairly close to the front of the pack, and finished in about 3 hours. I think the separation between the riders for the first part of the ride was a good choice.
    When we joined up with the “8-bridger’s” for the trip to St. Johns, it was crowded but not awful for an event of that size. I look forward to doing it again next year!

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    David E Hollingsworth August 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I had done the 2006 10-bridge ride when visiting Portland, and I was really impressed with how the changes cleared up many of the bottlenecks.

    This year I did the 6-bridge with my son on a tag-a-long. Memorable moments: listening to the Get A Life marching band; waiting for the start while someone walking with a fully folded bike shouts “does anybody know Bromptons”; following behind and to the left of (to help keep others from trying to pass too closely) a Prius that had wandered onto the course after OMSI; zipping past the Mayor before realizing who he was; hearing the spontaneous chorus of bike bells while waiting for the train; trying to instantly learn to track stand just before the finish because unclipping 20 feet away seemed wrong; pointlessly shouting “Jonathan” to the helicopter and waving; trying to count the number of magic dust helmets[*] and giving up before getting to the first bridge; discussing with my son all the variations of trailers, tag-a-longs, tandems, bakfiets, `bents of various configurations, tall bikes, etc.

    [*] Apparently some people believe that helmets are like magic dust that prevent accidents and you just need to drape it somewhere near your cranium to get the intended effect.

    I can see how some people pooh-pooh the event as having a high newbie ratio — I felt more comfortable on the ride home along Burnside & Sandy than during the event itself — but it’s a lot of fun and I suspect it plays an ambassadorial role for transportation cycling.

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    Michael August 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Upon reflection on the comments about some mis-conduct, I have to pile on a bit…

    There were some riders who can’t seem to shake the spirit of competition for this one ride. Too many speed demons wearing yellow bibs were treating the slower riders as moving slalom gates. I encountered them on many stretches, but they seemed to be most annoying going out St Helens Road, perhaps due to when I was there, or simply because it is a great place to go flat out fast.

    Hey, yellows! That trailer I am pulling rather slowly has my 1 1/2 little grandchild! I am pulling as fast as an older guy can and hope to maintain pace to the end. I am riding very straight and predictably. Some of you, on the other hand, are bent over in racing position trying to score some phantom points, or beat your buddies to a bet. Knock that SH!T off! This is OUR day. You have yours for racing. This is an egalitarian event and there is no place for you and your extreme ambitions.

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    Anonymous August 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I was kinda bummed that I missed the ross island and hawthorne….I got to the start at 6 :45 but couldn’t start for a while, because of the damn vest line….next year, new seasons. I saw k’tesh along Macadam and yelled hey….don’t think he recognized me. oh well. celebrity sightings….

    hhhhh

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    Pasture Ted August 11, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I had a fantabulous time. I loved seeing so many kids out on the 14 mile ride, very impressive. I’m sure some of them and their parents have been biking places all summer to get in shape for the ride, which is all the better.

    I think the “congestion” issue can be answered by a longer time frame. Have the rides open for starting for a couple hours each. Then you can have lots more people do them without jamming things up any more.

    A couple other thoughts —
    * the counterclockwise freeway loop is closed from the Fremont Bridge all the way around to I-84 (3/4 of the loop). Why not close it the whole way and let the speedsters do a couple orbits of downtown before they head up to St Johns? It would be loads of fun, a 6.5 mile loop, at 20 mph you could orbit is 3 times before heading out.

    * Railroad tracks — this year and last year I watched someone wipe out on diagonal tracks Naito Parkway. Both got back up okay, but fill in those gaps for the ride!

    * Speedsters — if you’re not happy with the pokeslows, get your nieces, nephews, or neighbors out for the ride and have a good time. Gauge the ride by how much fun your newbie friends have, not how many times you need to make an awkward pass of a slower bicyclist.

    * The two freeway bridges are the overall highlights, but I loved the Broadway Bridge, a very urban feel, with heavy 2 way traffic.

    It’s all a vision of what we can create by allocating more road space for bikes, and improving end-of-trip facilities. Portland has the potential to become a bicycling city like none other in the world. Unlike Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Davis and others, Portland’s hills, distances and weather create a stouter breed of bicyclists than those found elsewhere. And with its successful tradition of getting ordinary folks transformed into deliberate, happy cyclists, there’s the potential for growth to fill the Broadway Bridge, both ways, all day, with bicyclists.

    Hurrah to Providence, Portland, all the volunteers, and everyone else that makes this such a fabulous experience for bicyclists, both green and skilled.

    Pasture Ted

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    Pasture Ted August 11, 2009 at 12:20 am

    * One more thing — they were closing the Fremont Bridge just as I was approaching it. Does anyone know how many people on the 6 bridge ride didn’t get to do The Fremont? Seems that they could leave it closed another hour and make sure that everyone gets to experience it.

    * And another thing — Portlanders are great about not buying Wal Mart bikes for themselves. I hardly saw any Huffys, Roadmasters, Magnas, etc. under adults. But it seemed that most of the kids’ bikes were Wal Mart Bikes. Few Treks and Gary Fishers, but a ton of Magnas.

    Those Magna frames weigh about 25 lbs each. It’s nuts. They’re heavier than an adult frame. Think how much happier the 50 lb kids of Portland would be to bike if they could ride a 10 lb frame instead of a 25 lb frame.

    I’ve always been impressed with Portlanders’ insistence on quality bicycles, but was surprised to see that it didn’t translate to their kids. Definitely need some public education in this regard.

    * and, the “kids free under 15” policy is genius.

    Pasture Ted

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    Alexis August 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I’m sure it’s expensive and a hassle to get the rights to close chunks of the freeway, even on a sunday morning. They did plan it so as many people as possible could get to the fremont (having the longer ride people start earlier so they could finish at a reasonable time, etc). Their website did give a warning to later 6-bridge starters to pace themselves so they could get to the fremont in time.

    And for most of the train tracks they DID cover them. The train that went through near the end of the ride ripped through a lot of those carpets apparently.

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    Kt August 11, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I was disappointed in the Oregonian’s coverage in one respect (Monday’s paper):

    They insisted on calling it a race.

    Look, folks: just because it’s an organized ride doesn’t make it a race.

    All organized events are not races. You wouldn’t call the Sole Support for Parkinson’s walk a race, would you? Same deal.

    We didn’t do the Bridge Pedal this year (we were on the road back from Leavenworth as it was happening), but it seems like there is a subset of riders who do the Bridge Pedal who try to ride it as fast as they can. And it makes for a dangerous and not enjoyable time for the rest of us.

    A message to those riders: Can’t you take ONE DAY off from racing around everywhere??? Seriously.

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    Pasture Ted August 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Quentin (41) wrote
    >>Strangely enough, what I found more upsetting than the crash and my injury (a fractured shoulder blade) was just the fact that the guy was such an (wash my mouth) about it afterward. I asked if he was OK and tried to talk with him for a minute but he was extremely hostile and wouldn’t take any responsibility for riding too fast or too close, and he never even asked if I was OK.<<

    I hope he’s paying your medical bills. You got his information, right? If not, is there any way he can be IDed at this point — photos, bike, tatoos, choice of cuss words, other distinguishing characteristics?
    Pasture Ted

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    Craig C August 11, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    First time ever and we will return. I was very impressed with the organization. Thanks very much to all of the city employees, cops and volunteers. Started near the front of the 11 bridge and finished at 10:00, but I never felt like I was going fast at all. Very leisurly pace. I like to think I was one of the slow courteous guys in a yellow bib. Saw quite a few hot shots all decked out in brightly colored gear with the latest in bike technology who seemed to be upset that there were slower riders in the way. Well, that’s what this ride is. Everyone participates. I even saw fat guys on full suspension MTBs and giant knobbys wearing yellow. Everyone had fun. If you don’t like it or saying “On your left” too many times is too upsetting, then go enter a race. I’m 48 on a hybrid and my 22 year old son had his fast road bike and we both cruised along at a nice pace. We will absolutely participate again. Thanks again to everyone who made it happen.

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    Katie August 21, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Overall, it seems like the event was a huge success. From what I saw, the organization was impressive considering the number of riders. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to experience much of the course. I started the 11-bridge ride, but only made it across the Fremont and around 405 before I hit a rut in the pavement at the entrance to the Marquam and took a pretty hard tumble. I was transported in an ambulance and ended up with a broken collar bone and rib and a lot of scrapes and bruises. I just wanted to say thank you so much to the other riders who stopped to attend to me so quickly. I was knocked out, but once my friend noticed I wasn’t riding with him anymore, he turned around to see several people aiding me including a couple of riders who were doctors. Thank you so much! I’m sure it was a scary thing to witness. I had to have surgery, but am recovering well. If only they had repaved 405S one weekend earlier! It was my first bridge pedal, so I’ll have to return next year to get the whole experience.

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    Molly Turner August 10, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    How was the entertainment on the nridges? My son’s band played on the Marquam and had a blast!!!! Any pics?

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    Anais Serrano August 9, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Can anyone speak to what happened to the down rider on Greeley today? It looked very bad.

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