Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Bridge Pedal open thread

Posted by on August 14th, 2011 at 8:13 am

Bridge Pedal 2010-74

(Photo © J. Maus)

The 2011 Bridge Pedal has started!

If you are one of the 20,000 people hitting the course today, chime in below and share your impressions of the event. Did you do the full, 10-bridge ride? How did you like the new route? Did you see any crazy stuff out there?

UPDATE: (I’ve replaced the live Twitter stream with a press release from Portland Fire & Rescue)

News Release from: Portland Fire & Rescue
Posted: August 15th, 2011 1:07 AM

Portland Fire and Rescue answered 20 calls for medical assistance during The Providence Bridge Pedal Sunday. Lt. Matthew Silva, Fire Liaison to the Portland Office of Emergency Management, supervised 8 firefighters who patrolled the course and provided medical aid where needed. The firefighters used 2 rescues, 1 brush unit, and 2 specially modified ATV’s to get through and around the congestion that over 18,000 bicyclists bring to the streets and bridges of Portland during this event.

Of the 20 calls for help, American Medical Response transported 6 individuals to area hospitals. Two of those transports were for individuals with serious traumatic injuries and one transport was for a man who had suffered a heart attack. It is unknown at this time the conditions of any of the patients.

Portland Fire and Rescue recognizes that bringing thousands of cyclists together can cause accidents. That is why PF&R assigns these firefighters to this event to assist and to be at the right place at the right time. One firefighter, who was utilizing an ATV, was near the man who suffered the heart attack. The firefighter was able to quickly get to the individual and assist the bystanders in administering CPR. The firefighter then stayed with the man’s 6-year-old child until Portland Police were able to transport the child to a family member after the man was transported to OHSU.

Portland Fire and Rescue reminds everyone that properly fitting bicycle helmets continue to save lives everyday. Please wear your helmet when you ride.

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. Thank you.

  • noah August 14, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I did the 12-bridge ride, and boy do I smell like creosote.

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  • Jeff Wills August 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I did the 12-bridge ride, and boy do I smell like creosote.

    12-bridge? You did I-205 and I-5 to/from Vancouver, also?

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    • matheas michaels August 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      10 bridge ride kicked butt! St. Johns bridge, Sellwood bridge, and everything in between excluding the rail bridge. Well worth it. Check out the vids on my YouTube channel, I’ll post them later tonight @matheastube/youtube. By the way noah, I’m pretty sure you didn’t do 12 bridges 🙂

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      • R. Sewell August 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

        We did the 12-bridge ride. It involved taking a wrong turn and doing Hawthorne/Ross Island twice…

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  • Rita August 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I was signed up for the 10 bridge, and disappointed. What happened to the route up to St Johns? We were supposed to go over Steel and then up, but the route just didn’t. We checked in at volunteer services and heard there was a cone – laying snafu. Really? You charge 10k people an extra $5 for 10 extra miles of riding and can’t fix bad course markings in a couple hours? Part of our group tried to ride it anyway, and there was no support up that route at all. Wtf?

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    • Dex August 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Such a disappointment that was…

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    • Jeff August 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      Agreed – Same experience. VERY disappointing. Also seemed much slower this year, especially the start.

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    • Dave D August 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      Coming off the Steel(?), there was a T where the 10-bridge riders were to go left (to St Johns) and everyone else right. Maybe that was the problem? No signs to mark it, but I was lucky enough to hear the audible directions. With the big bottleneck before the Fremont, I’m guessing not everybody made it across by 11:30 deadline.

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    • David August 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Along with what now seems to be 100s of others, My GF and I along with an out of state guest were turned away from the route at the Colosseum after crossing the Broadway. We were told that the Steele Bridge closed at 9:30 (it was exactly 9:30 by my watch) and that we could only turn north towards the Fremont. Very disappointing.

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    • Rick L August 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      Hundreds of us 10 bridge riders were disappointed we got directed the wrong way. What a cluster F it was at the start and at the Fremont. A real downer compared to last year. Hopefully they will get it right next year.

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  • dwainedibbly August 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Mrs Dibbly & I did the 6 bridge ride and had a blast & a half. The worst part was when I got a flat 2 blocks from home on our way to the start! Coming down the slope off the Fremont had me wishing for a cyclocomputer (and that we were on the tandem).

    We saw one young girl (blonde, pink patterned helmet, on a pink & white Schwinn) who had crashed just before the arch of the Fremont. It must’ve been a slow crash at that point and I think she was ok because we saw her & her dad again farther along the course. I hope she’s ok, and kudos for getting back on the bike when quiting might have been easier.

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  • Jason McHuff August 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I haven’t done it, but I still think it would be better if it was more like Sunday Parkways. The routes would be open between certain times and people could start anywhere they wanted. If they want to insist on registration, they could set up “toll booths” at the entrance to the bridges to make sure everybody has done so.

    In exchange, it would be hoped that riders would be spread out enough so that (at least) one lane of traffic in each direction could be allowed on the bridges and at least one way open on surface streets. They could possibly flag traffic to use one of the lanes of the Sellwood. The freeway bridges would be one-way; just like the Fremont has been on the weekends.

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    • ML August 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      You might want to do it before you criticize it. There are so many people riding and so much planning evolved you need to know how many people will be there and I think that toll booths would extremely jam everything. It was already backed up at the start and before Fremont. There are things that could be even more efficient but I think the organizers did a great job.

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      • Jason McHuff August 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

        I don’t mean to criticize it, just offer a suggestion. And by “toll booths”, I only mean checking to make sure everybody is registered and have a place to register for those who haven’t.

        Riders would be able go when they want instead of at a set time so there wouldn’t be so many at once. Plus, if they wanted to start in St. Johns or Sellwood they could do so.

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    • Dabby August 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

      That would never work…..

      Never never.

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    • ron August 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

      It’s not Sunday Parkways, nor is it an organized ride for serious cyclists. It is an event to promote cycling among everyone, from young kids to Lance-wannabes. They did a great job organizing the event, even in light of a couple of minor snafus.

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      • Jason McHuff August 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm

        I understand that. And by “Sunday Parkways” I don’t mean opening the event to non-bicyclists, just doing away with the formal start/finish points and time and instead have more of an “open course”.

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  • Dolan Halbrook August 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Just got back from doing the 6 bridge route with my son. It was a lot like previous years, though all things considered the backups weren’t too bad. I hope whoever was receiving CPR just before the end (on the freeway no less) made it; it was a scary sight. Anyone know what happened there?

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    • roger noehren August 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      this is from oregonlive: A man suffered a cardiac arrest Sunday morning in a downtown section of the Providence Bridge Pedal route.

      A crowd stopped to watch emergency services perform chest compressions on the man, who was lying on Interstate 405 near the Southwest Salmon Street overpass. The man was removed from the scene, but authorities have not released his identity, condition or where he was taken.

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  • Kathleen McDade August 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Did the 6-bridge, which turned out to be a breeze! Huge backup for Fremont Bridge, though, where people were trying to bypass the line by riding on the sidewalk and on the wrong (not part of the route) side of the road. Not very helpful!

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  • Ann August 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Did the 6 bridge ride for the first time this year. Had a great time! At 8:45 the wait for the start line looked like it could be an hour- crazy!- so I went back over the Steel Bridge, down the esplanade, and joined at Water St. Pretty sure it made for a much better experience. Maybe a 5 minute delay at the Fremont, no other issues. Wobbly kids (and adults) were a little scary, but not a problem after I got used to it.

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  • Joe Rowe August 14, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I can’t wait for 2013. The 14 bridge ride will include the New 17 lane CRC interchange. Wahooo. Plus a tour of the best shortcut through neighborhoods in North Portland. BIke it Sunday. Commute it Monday! yeee ha!

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    • Dabby August 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Yeah that new bridge is gonna be sweet.

      Seriously build it now…. We need it.

      Hey Joe,
      How come you ruin every thread recently with your attitude about a bridge we very much need?

      Is it small bridge syndrome?

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  • Tom August 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Did 10 bridges and the seventh Bridge Pedal. This was one of the best. Like the start at Lincoln, even if it was farther from my house. St. John’s is always crazy with stopping and picture taking. Overall a great community day.

    Most cars we saw smiled and a semi on 405 waved and honked.

    See everyone next year.

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  • Yellow Jersey - vharriso August 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm


    6 Bridge Ride was simplicity, I did the 10 bridge last year but elected to ride with a group this year. It was a excellent overall experience! I was riding on behalf of the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Oregon.

    Every vendor was great and thanks to all the volunteers even with a few mishaps. $1 vintage shirts were a VERY NICE surprise and this should happen every year.

    I suggest every rider take the ride preparations that the Bridge Pedal website advises if you are not a everyday cyclist or commuter. No one should jump off the couch and attempt this ride unless you are fairly athletic. It is largely misunderstood that this ride doesn’t take conditioning and extreme awareness! You have to be ready to ride even if you are a pro in order to deal with obstacles that may arise.

    Parents did a good job with children, although sometimes I believe it disrupts the child’s riding when parents give too many instructions while they are riding. It confuses some and can cause sudden maneuvering or accident, best thing is just to let them ride and allow adult riders to adjust to them.. but I understand. If you are riding with a child on your bike you should really be prepared to work hard, and carry them over each bridge with unfavorable roadways in certain places. Every rider should always be working together, enjoying the ride, and never forget your sharing the road with over 2000 riders. Safety always a priority, riding according to your ability.

    Again overall GREAT EXPERIENCE, when you understand what your getting into. Can’t wait until Bridge Pedal 2012!!

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  • K'Tesh August 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    My images are going up right now…


    Forgot the spare battery, so I had to just ride for much of it (which was OK w/me, as I was having fun).

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  • Jay August 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    This was my first BridgePedal. I was lucky enough to not miss the St Johns Bridge turnoff which lots of people apparently did. I had an absolute blast. Started at just after 7:00 Am and was finished by about 11:15. It certainly didn’t feel like 36 miles but my guess is the last month of bike commuting has conditioned me a bit! 🙂 My favorite parts were the Fremont of course and the St Johns; which for some reason after 12 years in PDX it was the first time i’d been on it. The climb up to it was murder though–I ended up walking halfway up that hill! Oh well, hopefully next year I wont. A big thanks to everyone who helped put it together. Jonathan, were you up in that copter that was circling for hours above us? 🙂

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  • Tom August 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    KGW says owe Bridge Pedal is the 2nd biggest, who is bigger?

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    • dwainedibbly August 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      The current issue of Bicycle Times has a story about the 5 Boroughs Ride in NYC. They say it has 32,000 riders. Perhaps that’s the one they’re referring to?

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  • Dex August 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    My group found ourselves heading off course, so we stopped and asked one of the guys that directed the traffic of riders. They said that the route was changed. So we went on forward, only to find out that we all suddenly in a bottle neck waiting to enter the fremont bridge. It was right before 10 am.

    It’s just very discouraging, how it all went.

    All but one of us decided to end the ride shortly afterwards.

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  • dwainedibbly August 14, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Anybody see the quadracopter shooting video at the start? I wonder if he’ll be posting somewhere.

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  • Heather August 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I tried to do the 10-bridge ride and had a similar experience as others. We knew we had to turn left to get on the Steel Bridge after we crossed the Broadway but we were told by the officer at the intersection that the Steel bridge was closed and that we had to go right. This was at 9:30. This meant we also missed biking up to St.Johns. It was incredibly disappointing, especially since we had friends in town specifically to do the ride. We also had to stop and walk our bikes a lot more this year than previous years. The Bridge Pedal had always been my favorite Portland event but I think I’ll just volunteer for it next year.

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  • andyv August 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I did the 10 bridge and had a great time! It was slow in the beginning and over the steel and st johns bridges, but it didn’t get me down. I finished a bit before 11 and I would definitely do it again! A few close calls mainly involving kids, but pretty flawless for me.

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  • Doug S. August 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Does ANYONE know why so many 10 bridge riders were detoured, missing the St. John’s bridge??? I heard two stories: there was a major wreck, causing the detour, and that the Steel Bridge closed at 9:30 (unlikely). This was my 10th year doing the Bridge Pedal, and I’m quite disappointed! I lost my wife, who successfully completed the 10 bridge ride because of the mysterious detour. 🙁

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    • Scott August 15, 2011 at 9:48 am

      I spoke with a lot of 10 bridge riders who were disappointed not to get to St. John’s. We were in a large crowd milling about the rest stop right beore the Fremont asking each other WTF? There were hundreds of 10 bibs in that crowd alone.This was at about 9:40, plenty of time to get back to the Fremont.

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  • Spiffy August 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    saw a lot of people coming back from BridgePedal today… in cars… with bikes strapped to the back… damn posers…

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    • C-Dawg August 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      +1. I understand folks from the burbs and beyond using cars, but I saw quite a few bikes on car racks from my area (SW Portland). All within 4 miles of the start/finish.

      I didn’t call “poser”, but I did give my best “tsk tsk, I’m so disappointed in you” fatherly look.

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    • michelle August 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

      we traveled 3.5 hrs for this event and didn’t have the week to ride to pdx. some posers aren’t

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    • Charley August 15, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Gimme a break. Or, rather, give them a break. No need to hate and name call.

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      • Hugh Johnson August 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

        Some just can’t see beyond their own narrow little world view. Just be glad people are participating in this event and making it as strong as it is. Yes gasp some people may come from great distances to this event in…wait for it…a car! oh no!

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  • browse August 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I did the 8-bridge ride, and had a great time. My group must have gotten lucky, as we didn’t face anything worse than a minor slow-down heading onto the Fremont Bridge at the very end. Good times!

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  • Lazy Spinner August 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    It seems like things never change! Both times I’ve done it the course was poorly marked, the traffic volunteers were essentially clueless, and you got directed into a bottle neck of much slower riders with no bike handling skills.

    Happy I enjoyed a virtually car free ride through much prettier rural scenery around Forest Grove instead of this “Sooooo Portland!!!” event.

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  • Jeff Wills August 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    The current issue of Bicycle Times has a story about the 5 Boroughs Ride in NYC. They say it has 32,000 riders. Perhaps that’s the one they’re referring to?

    I think you’re correct. They claim 30,000+ :

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    • dwainedibbly August 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      Even a blind squirrel fins a nut once in a while. 🙂

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    • pkoonce August 15, 2011 at 6:55 am

      I have done the 5 Borough Ride and it is fantastic. If you ever want to enjoy a great bicycle adventure, that’s a great one.

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  • Jeff Wills August 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Dave D
    Coming off the Steel(?), there was a T where the 10-bridge riders were to go left (to St Johns) and everyone else right. Maybe that was the problem?

    Reading the maps, the 10-bridge and the 8-bridge both went left at Interstate after the Broadway bridge, before the Steel Bridge. They then went across the Steel and then north on Naito to start towards St. Johns. At Interstate, the 6-bridge went right, then up Russell, towards the Fremont Bridge.

    I don’t know what schedule they were running on, but if you followed the 6-bridge riders, there was pretty much no way to retrace and get back on the 8- or 10-bridge route.

    I had no problems following the route. There was quite a crowd of people at the St. Johns rest stop.

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    • David August 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Dave D, Going left was the route but at9:30 riders were prevented from taking that turn by the officers at the intersection.

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  • Doug S. August 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    There was a volunteer right after the Broadway Bridge saying, “10 bridge riders, go left at the bottom of the hill”. But when we got to the bottom of the hill, they had cones out forcing everyone to go right, as well as volunteers preventing anyone from going left. That’s where it all went wrong, and I really would like to know what happened…

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    • Ann August 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      Based on the bridge reopening time of 10, it looks like the police/volunteers were correct. That doesn’t answer the question of why they didn’t allow enough time for a whole lot of people to get through the course, especially since the St John’s bridge was available until 11:30 or noon. The Steel bridge is crossable at any time of course, so you could have detoured yourselves there.

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      • Scott August 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

        Part of our group tried, but the rest of the route was unmarked by the time they got across. Hwy 30 without traffic control would not have been a safe or fun way to get to the St. John’s bridge.

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  • Anthony S August 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Yeah, I would like to know what happened as well. Same thing happened to my group of 10 bridge riders. We were told the route had changed so we went with it but soon found ourselves on the Fremont Bridge with no alternate route for us, we decided we were done and went to breakfast. It was a good day out with friends but we were disappointed we missed the Steel and St. Johns bridges.

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  • Andy August 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    This was my first bridgePedal. I did the 10 bridge course and had a blast. Fortunately, I didn’t have any troubles. As I was coming off the Broadway bridge onto Interstate, the volunteers were telling u “8 and 10 go left. 6 go right”. From there, it was on to the Steel bridge, then onto Naito towards the St. Johns bridge. I was probaly in the first half of the mass, so maybe things got messed up after I went through. I’m sorry to hear about your experiences today.

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  • Ken Ray August 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I tried out the Bridge Pedal today for the first time and rode the 8-bridge route. I very much enjoyed the experience and plan to ride again next year. I wish the route from the St. Johns Bridge to the Fremont Bridge didn’t include the long downhill ride on Greeley, only to climb back up from Interstate and Russell (especially near the end of a 26-mile ride). Taking Ainsworth east from Willamette Blvd., then south on Vancouver Ave. would have been a flatter and easier route.

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    • Joe Adamski August 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      If we can get North Portland Greenway trail built, you won’t have to endure Greeley again. It would make BP a much more fun event to cruise along the river after making the SJ bridge..
      Agreed, Greeley Sux.

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      • Dabby August 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

        That greenway will not be able to support the masses of a Bridge Pedal when it is built regardless. It would be a huge pile up…

        It will be a MUP, not a 8000 person Sunday expressway…

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  • John A. August 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I came up from Salem to do my first Bridge Pedal today and had a great time. Thank you very much to all the volunteers that took their morning to help out.

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  • Jeff Wills August 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Joe Adamski
    If we can get North Portland Greenway trail built, you won’t have to endure Greeley again. It would make BP a much more fun event to cruise along the river after making the SJ bridge..
    Agreed, Greeley Sux.

    Phoo! Going down Greeley is the most fun of the whole ride- I spun out my high gear (probably 45+ mph). We had both lanes , so I was right on the center line.

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  • Schrauf August 15, 2011 at 7:39 am

    It is an overcrowded disaster every year. Everyone knows that. A driving enthusiast does not take her car onto I-5 near downtown in Friday rush hour traffic when there is also a Blazer game at 6pm and then act surprised when every alternative route is at a standstill.

    If the organizers cared, they would limit participants to the first 10,000. They could also reduce the ride options to two and keep them better separated. Apparently they do not care.

    If you are a crappy restaurant serving crappy food, and yet there is a line out the door because there happens to be some perceived cool factor or hip factor, do you bother to your improve your food?

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    • C-Dawg August 15, 2011 at 8:14 am

      The problem with making it smaller is that the organizers wouldn’t be able to justify closing the ride off to traffic. It would be like most other rides in Portland; some traffic help from police/volunteers, but generally riding in & around cars/trucks. That would make it less appealing to families, and though I have a low tolerance for children, even my cold, black heart was warmed by seeing 99.9% of kids having a great time with their parents yesterday.

      Yes, it’s crowded. But the roads are closed to traffic, and it’s not a race. Once you get out of the start, it thins out just fine.

      If crowded bike riding isn’t for you, that’s cool. But maybe you could rejoice that 20,000 or so folks had a wonderful day.

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      • A.K. August 15, 2011 at 8:25 am

        Yeah I did the 10 bridge rides in 2009 and 2010 and had a great time both years. I don’t have kids, so I just get their *early* so I can be up near the first few hundred folks that leave the start. That puts you out ahead of 90% of the people for the day and leads to less issues with being stuck in crowds and whatnot.

        Not an option for everyone, I know.

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    • ron August 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      I guess we won’t see you there next year. Means more room for those of us who enjoy and appreciate the ride for what it is.

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  • Chris August 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

    The gent that was reciving the CPR near the end of the race was initially found by fellow riders having a siezure. The bystanders as stated by Portland fire and rescue were actually nurses, an emt, and a MD all off duty and whom were on the ride as well. The gents condition deteriorated resulting in the need of CPR 911 was called. Although it probably was not long till the ambulance arrived with an AED it seemed like forever.

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  • jeremy August 15, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I moved to Portland only two weeks ago and “stumbled” into the bridge pedal while running on the Hawthorne bridge (training for the Marathon). AMAZING! Everyone looked very happy and I loved the sight of bikes taking over the streets–what a town! As a bike commuter (I use Hawthorne everyday) it did my heart well to see so many people getting out there to ride!

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  • Kristen August 15, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I didn’t do the BP this year, but from my experience, if you are doing the 10-bridge ride you will want to get as early a start as possible in order to ride it without the major backups that always seem to occur.

    Also starting early means you get through most of your route before the less-experienced riders start.

    The BP is a specialized sort of ride– you cannot go into it thinking you’ll be able to go as fast or as hard as you want the entire route. It’s families, cyclists of ALL skill levels, and road surfaces of all types. It’s a meander, a ramble, a sightseeing tour with 25,000 of your closest friends, most of whom are not daily riders– probably not even weekly or monthly riders.

    If you sign up for it thinking it’s going to be something else, then you are a fool or are woefully unprepared.

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  • rootbeerguy August 15, 2011 at 8:58 am

    No I did not attend this year. I went there before other year and I enjoyed it. Anyyway I attended Covered Bridge ride west of Ablany. I managed to complete 100 mile loop. It was awesome-quiet, uncrowded, secnic ride. There were a few distance options. 40, 68, 85, & 100 miles. Very cheap.I plan to go there again.

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  • Doug S. August 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

    That brings up another point: the earliest we could start the 10 bridge ride this year was 7AM. That seems too late. Last year we started at 6:30AM. Why was the start time bumped up? Did anyone actually start the 10 bridge BEFORE 7AM??? The 8 bridge riders were also starting at 7AM, albeit at a different location. If we could have started at 6:30 like last year, we would have missed a lot of the congestion, and possibly completed the entire ride rather than getting detoured, missing the Steel and St. John’s. 🙁

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  • David Johnson August 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

    From where I am working right now I can look across to the Freemont Bridge with the regular traffic streaming across it…but I think back to yesterday morning when 1,000’s of cyclists were streaming across it and the other bridges that are part of this city. What a great event the BP is. Yes, there are a few bottle necks (though there was less of a crowded feel this year – really 20,000?) but less than last year, so thanks to the organizers for that. It was just great to see all ages on all sorts of bikes out there having a good time and enjoying themselves.

    I’m sorry to hear of those riders who got misdirected after the Broadway bridge and also hope that the person I saw getting treated towards the end of the ris doing well.

    A big “Thank you” to all the organizers, volunteers, police, etc who make this possible. I hope to be able to do it again next year. It was all over too quickly…and I didn’t rush this year.

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  • Citizen Irene August 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Does anyone know what happened with the guy receiving CPR? There hasn’t been any updates on oregonlive beyond the initial story of cardiac arrest.

    I was really sad when I saw them working on him and then pretty disgusted with the riders who proceeded to whoop and whistle in the tunnel just moments after we passed him. Are tunnels really that fun? And what was up with all the people letting their kids stand around watching a man potentially die?

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    • KYouell August 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      My family passed the man just after the ambulance arrived, so our biggest concern was getting our 4-year-old and 6-year-old out of the area before they had something they couldn’t understand seared in their minds. I said a prayer then and then we got going. So, yes, we hooted and hollered and rang our bell through that tunnel in an effort to get the kids refocused. No offense to the gentleman or his grandson was intended; looking back I can see how it would seem that way and regret any hurt our efforts to take care of our kids might have caused.

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  • KGW News August 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

    anyone know the name of the man who had the heart attack?

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  • William August 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    My wife, a friend, and I rode the 10 bridge route this year. We drove up from Eugene to join friends this year and last year. We did not stop at any of the break areas either year, and finished the complete routes.

    Congestion and choke points were much worse this year than last. We were “lucky” to make the first quarter mile in “only” fifteen minutes. Last year’s 10-bridge start at the east end of the Freemont bridge avoided the choke point of cars coming off the bridge crossing the route of bicycles wanting to go on AND got bicyclists onto that bridge earlier.

    Most riders near us ended up walking across the Hawthorne bridge; there was too much congestion to pedal. The plywood probably spooked some riders, too.

    Given all of the setup for the route (thousands of traffic cones, hundreds of sheets of plywood, booths, bands, etc.), some effort at signage would seem in order. We felt lucky to have volunteers with amps yelling out directions for the route splits, but perhaps some warning signs might have helped. Even a few simple “route split ahead” signs could have helped.

    We met two sets of friends who missed the St. Johns turn and felt cheated. I suspect that they were too late to make the time cutoff, but didn’t know it, so thought they’d simply missed a turn. A sign saying “St. John’s loop closed” sign could have at least informed them of the change.

    This ride reflect the efforts of many, many people, organizers, volunteers, and city/state workers. I can’t imagine the complete complexity of setting it up. While some potential changes might seem “obvious” to me, good reasons might exist not to make them. Example: start the 10-bridge ride near Nicolai and 26th to get over the St. John’s bridge ASAP and close down that stretch early — maybe getting folks through Sellwood early is more important, as the ride occupies one of only two lanes on the Sellwood bridge, while the St. John’s supports auto traffic both directions throughout the event.

    Thanks to all the folks who make the ride happen! We’ll likely do it again.


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  • Doug S. August 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    According to this article, the Steel Bridge was to reopen at 10AM (not 9:30):


    Also, this article from LAST YEAR says that the Steel Bridge was going to reopen at noon:


    Between the fact that the organizers wouldn’t let the 10 bridge riders start until 7AM (as opposed to 6:30AM last year), and the apparent fact that they reopened the Steel Bridge earlier than last year, I think we may know what happened…lots of organizational failures this year, it seems…

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    • David Johnson August 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      I can’t remember seeing any mention of when the Steel Bridge would be opening in the BP website or ride details. All I saw was no riders being allowed on the Freemont after 11:30am. If the Steel Bridge had to be opened by 9:30 (or 10:00), I think that riders should have known about this before hand….or were the organizers afraid of a race to the Steel Bridge to get over it in time?

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      • Scott August 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

        I arrived at the start line at 7:00, and had to wait for two members of my group until 7:20. I heard the start announce read over and over and over from her script. The only bridge deadline announced was the Fremont at 11:30. The Steel bridge closing was not mentioned, at all.

        We passed hundreds of 10 bridge riders to try to get ahead of the congestion, and still only would have made it to the Steel by 9:45. (Crossed Broadway at 9:40).

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  • Dan August 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    A great event, and a great ride for those who are looking for this kind of experience. I would much rather ride somewhere else on Bridge Pedal day.

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  • Clark Hildum August 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    This was our first Bridge Pedal and we had a great time! I was amazed at the number of volunteers that all did a great job. We did the 10 bridge ride and everthing went smoothly except for the delay prior to the Fremont Bridge, but I needed a rest anyway. We can not wait until next year to do it again.

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  • Mindful Cyclist August 15, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    This was my first year and it started off badly. I set the alarm on my cell phone and it didn’t go off and realized I skipped some step. First time trying to set it and woke up too late.

    But, I still rode down and did the six bridge one. I kind of knew what to expect: A lot of people. A lot of kids. A lot of bottlenecks. But, since I work for Providence, I get to do it at a pretty well discounted price so not complaining too much. And, it was nice to ride over the top of the Marquam and Fremont Bridges and see the view.

    One of the things that drove me crazy was watching parents hauling a burley trailer or having a kid on a trail along bike going down the hills at 20+ mph. Way too many people for that kind of speed to begin with when traveling alone. Please, guilty parents, put the kids safety over your sense of adventure….

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  • Brian August 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    This was my first bridges ride. I did the 10 bridge ride and as expected it was full of other people. That said you could get around them and I managed to have a really good time. Standing around on top of the Fremont bridge and taking in the views was awesome and well worth the price.

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  • Brian August 15, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Also, thanks to the organizers for putting on such a great event. I have now biked on all of the bridges on the willamette.

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  • Dex August 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    what time did the steel bridge actually close? we thought, it was for 10:30.


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    • Doug S. August 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      The link I posted earlier from KATU said 10AM. I got to the cutoff about 9:30, and we were forced to turn right toward the Fremont. Nobody really knows, it seems!

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  • Sugar Jones August 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I paid for the 10 bridges but missed the turn for the St. John’s Bridge and ended up riding the Hawthorne and Ross island Bridges twice.

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  • Doug S. August 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I received a reply to my email to the organizer of the ride. Here is his explanation of what happened:

    “I apologize for the error that occurred on Sunday.  For a short period some volunteers were directing 8 and 10-bridge rider incorrectly, resulting in those riders missing the opportunity to bike over the Steel and St. Johns bridges.  Once this problem was recognized it was quickly fixed, but that is small consolation to those of you who were misdirected.”

    To compensate, he is offering a $10 refund, a free 2011 T-shirt, or free entry into next year’s ride. I commend him on his prompt reply to my inquiry, and on him doing the right thing by offering options to make up for the mishap. I’ll be back next year!

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    • Blue August 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      We tried to find a way to email the organizer, to no avail. No contact info is provided on their website. What is the email address?

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  • Annie August 17, 2011 at 8:44 am

    My husband and I did the 10 bridge ride. First time for us. First time visiting Portland too – we live in San Francisco. That was such a great way to discover the city. We are planning to come back next year with some friends.

    We were able to do the whole ride and didn’t miss any bridges. The only problem we run into was towards the end when the different rides merge. There were so many people who were not paying attention to what they were doing. It seems to me common sense that if you are riding slower or with a kid who doesn’t know yet how to ride in a straight line that you stay on the right side. It was nerve-wracking. Other than that, great experience overall.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Hey folks,

    Have an update you’ll be interested in… Bridge Pedal organizer offers refund after routing mishap.

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  • Blue August 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    This was my first and probably last time. The diversion of the 10-Bridge riders north on Interstate (instead of south to cross Steel) resulted in massive congestion on Fremont with the 6-Bridge and 8-Bridge riders. The Fremont was barely passable, and it was impossible to visit any of the numerous booths or get to the guardrail. Since it was still early (10 AM), we took the next exit off Fremont and rode through NW streets to Hwy 30, only to discover (at 10 AM) there was no longer a cone-protected bike route on Hwy 30 nor on St. Johns Bridge nor on Willamette Blvd. No food/water support either, which we had counted on (and paid for). We met many others who were similarly determined to do St. Johns, several of whom were lost on side-streets in St. Johns because the route markings were gone. We might have made the 9:30 cutoff had the bottlenecks not been so slow (20 mins at the start!). One more thing: organizers should have signs, and not just yell directions, which weren’t always audible -e.g., at the split on the east-side of the Marcum bridge where my daughter went left and should have gone right (fortunately I was able to find her and guide her back to the correct route).

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  • KYouell August 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    …One more thing: organizers should have signs, and not just yell directions, which weren’t always audible

    As a sign language interpreter I cannot believe that I didn’t think of this myself. Of course there should be signs with arrows. I heard several different groups over the day that weren’t speaking English so this would benefit many groups, I would think. An important point.

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