Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 4th, 2010 at 10:42 am
– Gallery/Slideshow below –
(Photos © J. Maus)
On New Year’s Day, about 60 people assembled under the west side of the Morrison Bridge to start 2010 off with a bike ride. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance has led this traditional ride for as long as anyone can remember, and this year, the leader was one of their Walk and Bike Ambassadors, Carl Larson.
Mr. Larson led the brightly-clad group (for some reason this ride leads all others in neon-colored rain jackets) over the Hawthorne Bridge and then south on the Eastbank Esplanade. The ride’s first stop was the former location of the infamous Caruthers Street stop sign (it has since been removed). Carl, in his typically funny deadpan delivery, addressed the crowd: “This is likely the last time any of you will ever stop at this spot… and it might be the first time you’ve ever stopped here as well.”
We then rolled south on the Springwater down to the sample the bike boulevard/traffic calming improvements on SE Spokane St. in Sellwood and then headed west across the river via SE Tacoma and the Sellwood Bridge (yes, we took the lane).
After crossing the bridge we wound our way onto the Willamette Greenway Trail. Wow. What a horrible excuse for a multi-use path! It’s narrow, has very sharp turns, and winds awkwardly through various bits of private property with menacing signs that make you feel as though you’ll be shot on sight for leaving the path. Compared to its sister trails on the other side of the river (the Esplanade and Springwater), it really is a joke.
Eventually we left the riverfront and headed downtown for a stop at the Zoobomb Pyle, where Carl gave an informative overview of the art of Zoobomb and how their artistic rack sculpture came to be. I peeled off from the ride at this point, but rumor has it there were stops at the new Bike Shrine at St. Stephens church and a roll along the PSU cycletrack and a stop at the remodeled PSU Bike Co-op.
Thanks Carl and the BTA! This ride was a perfect way to bring in the New Year. I met some new friends, caught up with old ones and even had a nice conversation with City Council hopeful Jesse Cornett (who I hope to sit down with for a more formal interview soon).
Check the slideshow below for more faces and places from the ride: