Why are all those people drinking coffee and eating donuts on the bike path?

Breakfast on the Bridges-1.jpg
The scene this morning on the Esplanade at the Steel Bridge.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you’re new to biking in Portland you might notice something afoot on the last Friday of every month as you pedal into downtown: A bunch of happy-looking people standing around with coffee and donuts in their hands.

Next time you see this, consider stopping: It’s for you!

What you’re seeing is an old Portland tradition known as Breakfast on the Bridges. For the past 14 years (14!) a hardy bunch of volunteers affiliated with Shift have been serving food and drinks and smiles on downtown bridges from 7:00 to 9:00 am. It currently happens on the Hawthorne (west end), Steel (east end), and the Tillikum (east end). The selection of eats varies from month-to-month. I’ve seen everything from bagels and bacon to made-to-order pancakes. This morning on the Tillikum Lilian Karabaic and friends offered chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies and banana muffins.

If you’re wary of stopping because you think you’ll have to sign up for something or listen to someone’s political or product pitch, don’t worry. “B on B” (as the locals call it) has no agenda (although politicians have been known to show up). Like everything Shift makes happen (Pedalpalooza and the World Naked Bike Ride included), the goal is simply to have fun and meet people.


This morning I stopped by Steel Bridge on my way in. It was a bustling scene with people streaming by on bikes and on foot while several groups of people enjoyed coffee and conversation overlooking the Willamette and downtown skyline. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

Boaz Frankel (in the cargo box) and Phillip Ross from the Pedal Powered Talk Show where there passing out Bike More Challenge prizes.

During June the B on B crews will be out in force every Friday of the month. Next time you see them, pull over and stop for a spell. If you end running late they’ll even give you a tardy slip.

To learn more, read our recap of the 10-year Breakfast on the Bridges anniversary party, peruse our archives, and follow @bonbpdx on Twitter.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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