Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 9th, 2009 at 11:49 am
St. Johns Bridge
The Hawthorne as it should be.
(Photos © J. Maus)
Just got back from an excellent time at Bridge Pedal.
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.
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.
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).