Hey all, the annual Portland Bridge Pedal was today. Portland's pretty well known for it's downtown bridges, and Providence Hospital and several other local organizations and businesses sponsor this ride to give people a chance to enjoy the bridges close up, even the freeway bridges (hence why it's done on a Sunday morning).
I don't know what the official count was, but from past years I think it typically draws around 10,000 riders! There's 10 bridges over the Willamette River in Portland, although this year one is completely closed for renovations, and two were crossed twice for the longest route (37 miles).
There was some changes to the start procedure this year to help cope with the crowding, and I think it really helped. The weather was relatively cool, which was perfect, and the overall ride was great.
By the time we got to the Fremont Bridge, the crowds had largely spread out and you could ride fairly freely:
The ride affords some great views of downtown you normally can't enjoy because of traffic. This is from the I-5 freeway (Marquam Bridge):
This guy was not the only one, but he deserves mad props for riding a unicycle on the long route. It's hard to tell from the picture, but this is one of the steeper streets we had to ride. I was in the granny-ring when I took this shot:
Shot over the shoulder, it wasn't what I was trying for, but I actually like the wrist strap blowing in the wind:
Woohoo! Finish! Free ice cream and chocolate milk! Definitely a little crowded, however. I timed my crossing the finish line so I had space to actually pedal across...no way I was walking over the threshold:
My group relaxing after the ride:
And lastly, a panoramic stitch of the Waterfront Park with as everyone else crosses the line and relaxes.