Thursday, August 17, 2006

Portland Bridge Pedal - 2006

Portland Bridge Pedal 2006

Portland Bridges
Bridges of Portland
This past Sunday, Aug 13th, Heidi and I did the Portland Bridge Pedal. It's the second largest group ride in the country and over 18,000 riders were there. I guess only New York does a larger ride. The cool part about the ride going over the bridges. Since Portland lies on a river, the Willamette, and the city stretches out on both sides you have alot of bridges. Then there's also the Columbia that the Willamette tees into which adds even more. We did the 8-bridge, 26 mile ride (there was a 36 miler and a 15 miler). It was also a prep for the upcoming 30 miler for Heidi. We did the following bridges:
  1. Hawthorne
  2. Ross Island
  3. Marquam
  4. Burnside
  5. Broadway
  6. Fremont
  7. St. Johns
  8. Steel
The highlight was going over the Marquam, Fremont and St Johns bridges. The Marquam and Fremont are Interstates. They actually closed down the interstate for 4 hours Sunday morning so that 18,000 riders could pour over them. They also had tents setup on those bridges with bands playing, bike shops with mechanics, people taking pictures, etc... Heidi did well for her first time at this distance. Although she questioned it when we were in a headwind heading up to St. Johns which had a long flat ride to the north. This was a group ride, not a race, and most of the people were extremely nice. There were a few people riding like they thought they were in a race though. I girl, who should of been riding out to the left, was passing slower riders on the right. Came up behind Heidi on a hill climb and said "on your right". Now most beginners do not understand this yet. And many actually veer into the direction you call out. I've joked in the past with my friends that it's almost better not to call out the side you are passing on because that way the ride won't veer into your path. So anyway we were about 1/2 way up this hill climb. Heidi had a great cadence but she was starting to hurt abit. I was there just trying to support her and the other beginners riding slowly up the hill when this chick comes along. Heidi heard what she said and bobbled to the right. The chick goes again, "on your right, were you at?" and shrugs her shoulders as she was panting herself up the hill. Well I lit into her. "It's a group ride not a race! Ride to the right. These are beginners!" At least no profanities were said for the kids around. She didn't respond and kept going up the hill. A guy next to me goes "Thank you" to me. Anyway. Other than that it was a great ride.

Marquam Bridge
View of the Marquam Bridge (notice the tents and people on top) during the Bridge Pedal. Photo taken from the Ross Island Bridge.
Marquam Bridge Photo
Aww... look at the sweet couple atop Marquam
Video going over the Marquam Bridge

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