Did you ride Bridge Pedal? The weather was perfect, and I saw lots of families having a great time riding and enjoying the views.
Things I noticed:
- They used a new identification system this year, spoke cards and a helmet sticker. The helmet sticker seemed to be very successful (some on shirts, but easy to use), but the spoke cards were less successful- many people (including me) zip-tied them to handlebars, some people zip-tied them to their spokes, so you’d hear the zip-ties or spoke card flapping against the fork.
- Some pinch-points were carried over from last year- notably, the Eastbank Esplanade under Hawthorne, past OMSI, and under Tilikum.
- Car traffic was heavily impacted. Many confused drivers. The Bridge Pedal crew has tons of volunteers at intersections, with police directing traffic and observing intersections too. That probably helps (though there were a few confused/angry drivers on St. Helens Road; I hope this didn’t lead to any crashes).
My highlights included:
- Riding over the top of Fremont Bridge. Always my favorite part of Bridge Pedal.
- Seeing a girl riding a tall unicycle. I didn’t get a picture, but @SaraElcano did.
- Friend Jeremy Kitchen replaced someone’s tire and delivered pizza to two surprised and thankful Trimet employees.
What did you notice? What were your highlights? Do you have thoughts on the tennis-ball golfers or the new fence on the Fremont Bridge?
Here are some more photos, then it’d be great to hear from you in the comments.
– Ted Timmons, @tedder42
Not sure where the error happened but most of the Fremont Express “pack” I was riding in somehow got directed into the 10-bridge ride and as a result, we all missed the Sellwood segments. Human error + lack of signage around OMSI. I’m mildly disappointed that I ended up only riding 32 miles instead of the full 37, but oh well.
What actually happened is the Fremont Express and 7am 10-Bridge riders got routed into the 8-Bridge ride after the head took a wrong turn near OMSI. Me and my teammate took the correct route and it was only us and about a half-dozen other people rolling through Sellwood. It was quite a surreal event and incredibly relaxing.
Thanks, this was my first BP and it left me scratching my head. By the time I realized the mistake I was headed towards Hwy 30 and decided not to backtrack. Still had a good time.
Yeah, I was in that pack as well. After crossing Ross Island the first time (by mistake), I crossed the Hawthorne and then hit the Sellwood loop, so I ended up doing Ross Island and Hawthorne twice for a total of 40 miles.
Have they STILL not fixed this problem? My last (and I do mean final) Bridge Pedal was several years ago, and I got trapped into the huge pack standstill for Ross Island Bridge TWICE just like this. Maybe they should put up a sign pointing which way people coming off Ross Island are supposed to go.
Now I drive down to Albany and do the Covered Bridges Bike Tour every year. Much better.
For what it’s worth, I was never caught in any standstill traffic jams, nor was it particularly unclear where to go after Ross Island. The problem, as PDXFixed mentioned, was that the Fremont Express and 10-Bridge riders followed each other onto Water Ave from the Esplanade right before OMSI, putting us on track for the Ross Island crossing rather than the Sellwood loop.
Looking back on my video from the ride, there wasn’t any signage directing me to turn left from the Esplanade before OMSI; I was just following the guy in front of me, who was presumably doing the same thing, so I can’t say where the problem started.
You didn’t have a “traffic jam” where the Esplanade goes under Hawthorne Bridge?
Nope, that portion was smooth sailing for me, but I think I was near-ish the front of the Fremont Express pack. I hear that the inevitable traffic jam did eventually form there, though.
Not this year but of the 5 other Bridge Pedal rides
I done took were all awesome all right. Awesome.
Meanwhile, Big Oil murders Sun Power.
Signs Treaty to burn more oil trans-oceanic.
Wyoming coal bought Longview interests.
Dakota Bakkan safest shipped SOUTH
via existing rail and/or pipeline corridors,
all needing safety upgrades, incidentally,
reducing demand for off-shore drilling in the Gulf,
reaching our coasts and world markets safer.
Columbia River Gorge Buffett’s sacrifice zone?
BNSF The Engine that connects us? IDTS.
Was scheduled as a ride marshal/mechanic for the 8 bridge route. Shifted to the kiddy ride because of the medic choice that asked for me. A medic for the 10 bridge ride collared me. left with her but another rider hooked my bike bag and caught the bungee in my rear spoke under the Hathorne on the MUP. Locked the cassette as a fixie. Made my way to the mechanic stop after the Hawthorne bridge. so I could have a place to work on my rear wheel.
The mechanic did not show up and there were about 20 riders waiting. Repaired 2 chains that were trashed. Replaced 4 tubes that were blown out pumped up 25-30 low tires that had not been filled. found 3 bad shrader valves that would not hold air. Pumped them up to get to a different station. 8 and 10 bridge ride passed me by and about half of 6 bridge before the crowd let me go.
Pauline Peterson passed me by just before the crown passed.
Only fixed 2 more flats. I had a front leak coming off the Fremont and fixed it.
Usually done with the 10 bridges before 9:30 was 11:30 this time.
Always amazes me how ill-prepared many riders are before events like this. Simple bike maintenance people!
What a mess on the communication/assignment aspect, and on your cassette. Jeremy was carrying his ham radio, I forgot. We were doing unofficial course marshal duties, mostly because there was a lack of good communication.
Lester, yeah, riders are ill-prepared, and there’s a disturbing number of riders who drive to the start- including one who forced their way past dozens of riders so they could park very close to the Fremont Bridge start. That’s the bigger sin to me; being unprepared is an indication (to me) they are dabbling with the bike thing. Fine by me, I can be friendly and try to dial back the fredding around them.
In my mind, the best thing about massive fun rides is they capture peoples’ imaginations so they might try riding other places — just the idea of getting to ride the bridges is cool.
The Bridge Pedal more of a rolling party than an actual ride. Super crowded with lots of people who don’t ride that much, you really need to watch out.
Given the appeal of the rides, mechanical issues should be expected.
The helmet requirement (for both this and Portland by Cycle rides) seems like it would discourage casual riding. It discourages me from participating. Don’t you already have to sign a waiver? Seems like you could check a box “I have been informed that helmets may prevent damage to the top of my skull.” and be done with that.
Casual is the only way to ride any of the big event rides.
Aside from being too crowded to even allow speed, many riders are not accustomed to group riding so you’ll see a lot of dangerous moves.
Aside from undoubtedly being required for liability insurance reasons, helmets are a good idea. There are lots of crashes at rides like these, and helmets really make a difference if you take a blow to the head.
By “casual riding”, I meant like for getting ice cream or groceries. I’ve never seen the numerous crashes you describe at Sunday Parkways or WNBR. Maybe the mandatory helmets are related to the number of crashes. Of course everyone should wear a helmet while doing dangerous things, but riding a bike at jogging speeds on smooth dry pavement isn’t super dangerous.
Since requiring helmets discourages riding, it’s silly that we require helmets for events designed to encourage riding. It seems like the organizers might bear more liability than if they hadn’t prescribed specific safety gear. When a helmet is required but you get a knee injury, whose fault is it that you were not wearing kneepads?
Parkways and lightly attended events are generally much safer than these big ones.
It is easy to overexaggerate the importance of helmets — especially given that they are almost useless if not worn properly. And I agree that the relative risks are very low if we’re talking about riding at jogging speeds on lightly traveled paths and roads. I myself don’t bother in such situations.
But it’s a good practice to encourage because habits formed when tooling around at low speeds in safe areas can carry over when they start riding more.
I agree. We don’t harp on the need to wear helmets while driving or walking, even though per hour the probability of a traumatic head injury for those two activities are 12% and over 100% more likely than while cycling. If people want whatever small benefit helmets provide then they should wear them. If not, it’s silly to require them for this one activity.
Hmm, maybe what this state needs is a mandatory motoring helmet for car occupants. I suspect such a requirement would depress driving even more effectively than mandatory bike helmet laws (and events) depress cycling numbers.
I doubt there is an insurance requirement for helmets either. I know insurance through LAB does not require helmets, largely because there just isn’t adequate evidence that the requirement would save the insurers money.
Just for the record, there are many times I wear a helmet. However, I don’t ascribe magical properties to it. Well, other than the time I was brake-checked by a motorist and ended up doing a full flip with a 1 1/2 twist; for the wherewithal to stick the landing, I credit the helmet with reminding me which end to keep up.
I’ve seen several bad crashes during the bridge pedal. Never seen one at a Sunday Parkways.
I think they don’t want the legal liability. I saw about a half-dozen people not wearing helmets, at least some of them were officially on the ride.
Which suggests that, in a group of some 18,000 riders enforcement may render such requirements moot.
In fact, with so many riders, I wonder how many are successfully able to crash the Bridge Pedal without paying? After all, the means of identifying riders has gotten smaller and harder to see.
I think the event has grown too large to manage efficiently.
I rode as a mobile mechanic the first five years; then when they discontinued having mobile mechanics for several years and I would’ve had to pay to ride, I opted out. I don’t miss it.
Cheers and happy riding —
Not this year but last, I saw a classic single bike wreck where the helmet did miracles. A lady was not drinking enough water and did an endo going around the corner entering Greeley. She passed out and hit head first scraping her helmet but saving her face and forehead.
Myself! I have excaped very serious injury by the little padding caused by the helmet being destroyed in a few crashes.
Now if there was something to help the road rash on the back!
“The helmet requirement (for both this and Portland by Cycle rides) seems like it would discourage casual riding. …” leifsdad
Are you pondering possibility than bridgepedal’s bike helmet requirement may somehow discourage casual riding at times other than when the event is taking place? How would it do that? By law in Oregon, unless the rules of an event specify doing so, people over the age of 16, aren’t required to wear bike helmets when riding. If people over that age aren’t riding in the event, and they don’t want to wear a bike helmet when riding…they don’t have to. If they want to, they can ride, free as a bird, wind blowing through their hair, and the blazing sun beating down on their head.
Based on attendance, year after year, it certainly doesn’t appear that bridgepedal’s helmet requirement is creating a difficulty for getting people to sign up, pay their entry fee, and apparently ride happily in the event.
by seeing that you have to wear a helmet to have fun on a bike it means that it’s dangerous and you better think twice about doing it…
I would think the constant hysterics within the cycling community about how vulnerable bikes are as well as the droning about how bikes must be fully separated from cars and that drivers are hostile when they’re not irresponsible/clueless would make a much bigger difference.
I question how many people steer away from an activity simply because it involves safety gear. I believe cars have quite a bit of this stuff too.
I volunteered as a ride marshal too and it was great. What I love about this ride in particular is the way draws in so many first-timers, and/or people who would not normally consider riding a bike on a street.
Fixed a lot of flats and pumped up so many tires, and fixed a number of chains too. My favorite was helping people experience a properly inflated tire. “Yes ma’am, I know you pumped your tire up this morning, but 20 psi really isn’t enough. I know you’re worried about a flat, but you’re actually under inflated and almost riding on your rims, which is more likely to give you a flat tire. Here, try this, your tire says 60-80 psi, and now we’ve pumped it to about 70. That should give you a lot better handling, and your ride will be more efficient, too. Ok, Have a great ride!”
We kept helping people and more people kept stopping wherever we were stopped. Once the 8 bridge riders caught up to us, there was real change in the bikes / mechanical issues. Really amazed that a couple of the bikes had even made it that far. Then the 6 bridge ride folks caught up to us, and then the police came by and said the course was open to cars.
Such a great event. So many smiles. Always a little chaotic, always a little crowded. And always a joy.
Fascinating. Being someone with some consciousness of how important is correct mechanical condition and function of bikes, reading of people that have no such consciousness, is a kind of refreshing reminder. And to think, outside of events like this one, there may be many such people the community just blithely releases onto the streets to figure it out on their own, is a bit unsettling.
Why is there not a 14 foot mup along the edge of every highway the metro Portland area?
I’ve often through that about Highway 8 out in Hillsboro/Forest Grove.
Also, EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF BEAVERTON.
Tried biking to it the other day. Spent more time (I kid you not) PLANNING the route than riding it, connectivity was so poor. Every 10 blocks, you’re shunted back onto a major highway with no bikelanes, because the side streets do not connect.
No wonder nobody rides in Beaverton. It’s impossible.
When I ride in Beaverton, I just use the sidewalks. Basically all of Beaverton’s “bike infrastructure” is 3-foot gutter lanes next to 45 mph motor traffic. The only good infra are the bike paths built by THPRD.
Don’t blow out that kind of misinformation about biking conditions out in Beaverton. They’re less than perfect, for sure, but there’s plenty of streets and roads for good riding out here, with the exception of the big thoroughfares Canyon Rd and Beav-Hillsdale.
But if you want to believe what you said, go ahead…you can stay in Portland. Beaverton needs people with a positive attitude, helping people in this city become familiar with the good riding that’s here.
I mostly agree with Adam and I live in Beaverton. The problem is that there are good chunks of Bike infrastructure in Beaverton but there is no connectivity. If you are not fully aware that the bike lane you are on may end at a moments notice and dump you in to 2 lanes of traffic at higher than bike speeds. With some effort these sections could be connected to make great cycling, but outside THPRD no one in Beaverton seems to get it.
5th Street is nice and connects to Washington County bikeways.
I’d say that attitudes and perceptions about biking being a realistic means of travel around Beaverton, are of a strange, evolutionary type. The city, and the county, definitely wants to provide infrastructure for biking, because it’s readily recognized as enhancing livability quality.
On the other hand, I don’t see signs yet that city-county really acknowledges that there may be a regular bike traffic volume, or potential volume of bike traffic, that infrastructure provided should be designed to accommodate. Bike infrastructure expansion out here has been of a hodge-podge, ‘figure it out as we go along’ approach, for a long time. I’d guess that way of thinking probably isn’t going to change until city county realizes it’s got some serious numbers it needs to provide infrastructure for…as it does realize in the case of motor vehicle travel.
If people give up riding the biking infrastructure city-county has provided to date, and just ride the sidewalks instead…that’s not going to do anything to help indicate a true presence of biking for travel that’s happening, and I’d say, ‘increasing’, in Beaverton. I don’t want to sound too harsh or insensitive, but about biking, as people that ride, people in Beaverton seem way too passive about talking seriously about, and encouraging their city directly, to move provision of biking for travel infrastructure, higher up than it is now, on the agenda. More people need to speak up, not with an ‘attitude’, but the city needs to hear people saying plain and simple, what they want provided in the way of biking infrastructure.
It’s no Bridge Pedal…but any Beaverton readers of bikeportland that have not participated in past, would like to help to maybe make a greater impression in terms of numbers, on the city, show up for ‘Bike Beaverton’, Sept 11, about 1pm. It’s a low-key event, not a long ride, no huge attendance, maybe a couple hundred people, but it’s fun and free, and the people are friendly. City officials attend, and pay attention to how many people show up. Ride goes up into and around one of the city’s nicer, quieter neighborhoods, stays away from the thoroughfares. A much bigger attendance this year, might send a message.
I ride all over Beaverton regularly as far west as Vernonia, south to Eugene east to Hood river, and north to the Columbia river. I once was right hooked by a Vancouver policeman and gave him a citizen ticket after he kept going. I have never ridden in Vancouver since.
The fog lines are a little sparse on some of the major arterials but there are usually parallel streets that are lightly traveled and are quite comfortable without bike lanes. The country roads are not too bad as log as you are riding with the traffic. Even River road from Hillsboro to Scholls Ferry, Farmington, Johnson school road, Jackson school road, Helvetia and of course Hwy 47. From Carlton both north and south.
The path along 26 is actually quite nice though. As is the new path along the Sunrise Corridor.
The 26 path has a sound barrier wall that improves the experience considerably.
The sound wall should be between the freeway and the path. This is why the 84 path is so terrible. I still use it all of the time, because there are really no other good options out there.
Gateway to Troutdale I always use Halsey. Much quieter and a pretty decent bike lane.
During commuting hours, Halsey is not exactly quiet. Traffic can be pretty heavy, and the speeding is out of control. I take San Rafael and then the I-84 path because it seems safer than Halsey, even if it is less pleasant.
When I lived in East Portland, I used Sacramento between 122nd and 148th, then beautiful San Rafael from 148th to 172nd, then either Halsey or the I-84 path afterwards. Or else I did a big detour south and used Market, Mill, Millmain, Main from 92nd to 176th, then Yamhill to 197th, then Burnside beyond into Gresham. Much more pleasant.
Hwy 26 between Sylvan and Cedar Hills, has, courtesy of the light rail construction project, a fine MUP…(it may officially be called the Sunset Highway bike lane, but the reality is it’s used as an MUP by people walking, jogging, etc…), on both the south, and the north sides of the highway, distanced from the highway by easily 30′ or more. I’ve mostly ridden the south MUP…I don’t recall any chain link fencing there.
If you’ve not ridden it, you’re missing experiencing some, for our area, remarkably good biking/MUP infrastructure. The sound wall isn’t my favorite part of the path, but it does quiet down traffic noise. The path passes over several deep wooded ravines; those are nice.
When you factor everything into it, the Sunset Bike Path on US26, around 2.2 miles, is the best and safest piece of commuter cycling infrastructure in the entire metro area.
It’s the middle section of an 8 mile bike friendly route that extends from the Nike area of Beaverton into downtown PDX via Washington Park.
I was a ride volunteer this year, helping people navigate the ambiguous Y-intersection where southbound N Willamette Blvd splits off to Rosa Parks Way. The on-street marking was, umm, subtle.
When I ride in larger events like Reach the Beach, I try to say “thank you” to folks working intersections.
I have to say, a LOT of people did the same yesterday. All the riders were polite and many took the opportunity to thank and/or encourage me. It ended up being very fun for me.
Yeah, I tried to wave or say thanks as much as I could, probably to at least 80% of the intersection peeps. Especially the police and trimet folks, because (I assume) they are least likely to have volunteered for this out of love for bicycles.
Police officers checked to see how I was doing a couple times, which was nice. They also requested that I remove some road-closed signage when the ride was over, providing very specific instructions to avoid any confusion on my part.
In general, I got the sense that the police officers were “owning” the event, taking a specific interest that it come off well.
Bridge Pedal is a great event and I’ve done it a few times. This time I was on the other side of things as I had to drive into downtown. I researched which bridges were open and decided on the Broadway. However, there was no info as to which streets would be closed. Interstate Ave had a huge backup as it was closed at the top near Kaiser with no warning. If there was just some better signage, folks would have known to take N. Vancouver,etc… to get to the Broadway. MAX delayed 30 min too, although trimet twitter didn’t mention any delays.
It’s a great event….it was just a bit humbling to see it from another perspective from other transit users (drivers, light rail, etc..)
I clued in the folks at the church I attend in NW Portland that if they were coming in from the burbs to only use the freeways in the clockwise direction to exits and entrances. Don’t bother to use the other bridges so you won’t be stuck.
No one that followed the instructions had any problem by car.
did the “original” bridge pedal called the Covered Bridge in Albany. Put on by Mid-Valley club…Beautiful quite rural roads, 380 riders, covered bridges and root beer floats at the finish. Heavenly!!
I’d like to do that one! What’s the mileage on the route?
40 mile • 68 • 86 • 101
info : mvbc.com
Didn’t make it this year due to their prohibition of skateboards. I hope they correct this oversight some day. Glad to see that unicycles are allowed to ride.
Just curious, were any people using the orange bikeshare bikes on the bridge pedal route??
I rode one twice this past weekend, and they were soooooo nice and smooth!
Saw at least two Biketowns start with the Fremont Express group. One rider was wearing blue jeans…
I saw a few throughout the route. Some were registered riders; a few I talked to saw the ride go by, thought “That looks cool,” rented a bike, and joined the fun on their own!
Apparently Sasha Roiz (actor from Grimm) was on the ride. Were there any other “celebs”?
I participated in the 8 bridge ride in a group of 8 friends/relatives. Since we rode from my house in N Portland, we actually rode across 10 bridges (Steel Bridge to & from). We got downtown about 6:30 & were close to the front of the line for the 6:45 start. I noticed there were a lot fewer riders than in past years. Great for alleviating congestion problems.
I didn’t have any problems zip-tying my ID tag onto my bicycle spokes. I also trimmed the ends of the zip-ties so I didn’t have to listen to the ticking noise that others were experiencing.
I did see a few people riding orange bikeshare bikes on the flat portions of the course. I did not see how they did riding up the ramp to the St Johns Bridge.
The weather was comfortably cool at the start. By the finish it had warmed up & was beginning to be a little uncomfortable.
My favorite part of the ride was having a pint of mocha at Albina Press after finishing. Great ending to a great day.
I’d like to do that one! What’s the mileage on the route?
Was supposed to go with the Other Bridge Ride (Covered Bridge Ride) post, not as an orphan at the bottom of the page… 🙂
I just took I-205 from Tualatin to the Portland Airport for work instead of guessing where backups would be.
When I picked up my packet, I was told to attach the plasticky card with the zip ties to the front of the bike, just like we always have only with the waxy paper things they used to use. I did wonder why so many people had the spoke idea.
Oh, interesting. When I picked up my materials, they specifically told me to put the card in the spokes, and pointed to a bike they’d set up demonstrating the spoke placement.
I was out for a recreational ride, got caught up in the children’s portion. What a nightmare…