The Burnside Bridge often goes unsung and unappreciated by bikers: Blame the slightly hairy merge with turning traffic on its west landing, or the awkward approach from the east. But as of today, the Burnside won’t be going unfed.
People biking west over the Burnside got a fun surprise Friday morning when a handful of bike lovers officially expanded Breakfast on the Bridges to the Burnside Bridge, with the help of donations from Voodoo Doughnut and the loyal Breakfast on the Bridges sponsor Trailhead Coffee Roasters.
Lance Poehler and Paul Zavitkovski said they’re planning to serve fresh-brewed coffee and free breakfast for bike and foot commuters on the grassy area just north of Couch Street from 7 to 9 a.m. on the last Friday of each month. The pair have listed the event in the free Bike Fun Finder mobile app that Poehler co-created earlier this summer.
Poehler said he’d long been “jealous” of the Steel and Hawthorne bridges, where the volunteer bike-fun group Shift has committed the random act of kindness on last Fridays for more than 10 years.
an A-frame publicizing the event. Poehler
said he also plans to hang a tarp
from the nearby street signs for the
event this winter.
Passers-by (the bridge carries about 1,000 per day in each direction) were pleased.
“I have been a purveyor and enjoyer of Breakfast on the Bridges to the other bridges for many years, but this is the first time it’s ever been on my bridge,” said Francine Chinitz, an Ecova employee who said she sometimes goes out of her way to partake of the other breakfasts.
“Wow, cool,” said Paul Sari, an Iberdrola Renewables salesman who said he’s crossed the Burnside Bridge every day for three and a half years but never known about Breakfast on the Bridges or Shift. “Just for fun?”
Timo Forsberg, a Breakfast on the Bridges co-founder (and now Portland Bureau of Transportation employee) who showed up for the occasion, assured Sari that it was.
Chinitz said her dream would be for the event to take place every Friday during the BTA’s upcoming Bike Commute Challenge month. Poelher and Zavitkovski, who’d gotten up at 5:50 and 5:30 respectively to start brewing the coffee and setting up, weren’t making any promises. (Their wives Becky Poehler and Caroline Zavitkovski, also joining the fun for the first day, weren’t either.)
Before heading in to work himself, Forsberg held a brief benediction to officially recognize Poehler and Zavitkovski’s leadership by waving his coffee holder and awarding each of them a hand-colored Breakfast on the Bridges Superhero trading card. (Zavitkovski received “Jucie the Joyrider”; Poehler, “The Caped Crusader.”)
“May you live long and prosper,” Forsberg told them.