Sunday, August 13, 2006

10 bridges, 5 am

Kind of on the spur of the moment (well, yesterday), I decided to ride in the Portland Bridge Pedal, an annual event that gives PDX cyclists a chance to ride across bridges upon which only cars are normally allowed to tread. There are several routes from which cyclists can choose, from the shorter routes crossing only a couple of bridges to the "bid daddy": 10 bridges, 35 miles.

I've been steadily increasing the distances of my rides and am now up to about 35 miles, so I thought "why not?" and signed up for the longest ride even though this was my first Bridge Pedal Event. The ride was a lot of fun, though crowded with inexperienced riders who wanted to pretend they were Lance Armstrong. But even a palsied peloton of lackadaisical Landises couldn't spoil the beauty of the day and the uniqueness of the route. The hardest part: getting up at 5am to get downtown by the 10-bridge start time of 6:30am. Below, a few photos:

Start of the pedal:

Top of the Marquam Bridge: This is the bridge over which I-5 from Seattle travels. It has two decks and the bicycles got the top deck for the morning: So this is a view of Portland that cyclists NEVER get to enjoy:

A couple of very cool spans:
Fremont Bridge (note recumbent bike at far right)...

...and historic St. Johns bridge:

It was a very cool experience, but after the early start, 35 miles of riding that required constant concentration to keep from splattering little kids, several good climbs, and a four-mile ride home including one last sizable hill, I was ready to enjoy some quiet time with the family.

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