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Old 08-08-07, 12:56 PM   #1
mtmann
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Portland BridgePedal advice

I'm doing the 6-bridge ride this weekend with wife and 3 kids (one on a tag-a-long, one in a trailer). I would normally take Max, but not with all this stuff and I imagine it will be mobbed. I'm going to ride down - can't fit all the stuff in/on the car anyway, but we'll have to drive down as well. I'm afraid, though, of not being able to get into downtown (where the ride starts) because of bridge closures for the rides that start earlier. Any advice from those who have done this before? Thanks.
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Old 08-08-07, 01:19 PM   #2
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Yah be ready to stop and push your bike on some of the route. Its a day that alot of people for what ever reason deside to finally dust off the bikes from Fred Meyer and ride them with the same.
M
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Old 08-08-07, 01:44 PM   #3
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I drive and park near Lloyd Center and then pedal across the lower level of the Steel Bridge and down the waterfront to the start of the event.
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Old 08-08-07, 03:36 PM   #4
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In the past, I've parked at Spaghetti Factory on the south waterfront, it's a short ride to the start and good food afterwards!
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Old 08-08-07, 05:39 PM   #5
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Yah be ready to stop and push your bike on some of the route. Its a day that alot of people for what ever reason deside to finally dust off the bikes from Fred Meyer and ride them with the same.
M
well that's a deal killer
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Old 08-08-07, 08:13 PM   #6
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Try to find a place to park in the Central Eastside Industrial area. Salmon is where you enter the Eastbank Espanade and you could take that across the Steel Bridge.
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Old 08-08-07, 09:40 PM   #7
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you should be able to cross the hawthorne bridge as usual all day long, too.

edit - on your bike that is...

my advice if you are driving, is to find parking on the side of the river that you live on...

Last edited by randya; 08-10-07 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 08-10-07, 01:58 PM   #8
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well that's a deal killer
Ever done it?
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Old 08-10-07, 11:52 PM   #9
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My girlfriend and I were planning to do the longer option... is it feasible to leave early and get a bit out ahead, for a less crowded ride? We don't need/want to "race" it, just would like to not get smashed into or have to keep stopping too much....
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Old 08-11-07, 07:47 PM   #10
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Thanks

Thanks for all the tips. Forgot to mention we're on the east side. So our plan is to park as close as possible to under the eastside of the Morrison or Hawthorne bridge and hope we're not swimming upstream to get to the starting point downtown See ya'all on the bridges and have a great ride!
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Old 08-13-07, 11:50 AM   #11
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20,000 people on a 25 mile route that is 2 times larger than the STP and a 8th the size of the route.
A friend of my works for one of the EMT's that were assigned to it. 35 people need medical treatment on sunday and that was just he and his partner. Its a crazy weekend. I did it back when they got a few thousand-glory days.
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Old 08-13-07, 07:04 PM   #12
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Yes the ride was absolutely nuts. I did the 10 bridge option and went with the 2nd or maybe 3rd wave of people and it was bottlenecking craziness getting on the first couple bridges. I enjoyed the route, but don't think I'll do it again. Too many people for my taste. Crowds make me feel anxious and I just wanted to jet through the ride and go home! I'll be sticking with more rural routes for now on. It was my first "event" as I'm new to road biking so I learned a lot yesterday. It made me think twice about doing the STP next year. I think I'll do the RAPSody ride instead next year. It sounds much more enjoyable.
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Old 08-13-07, 07:29 PM   #13
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Good freakin' grief folks, c'mon, it's a festival event not a freakin' serious "road ride", lighten up a bit, slow down and enjoy our wonderful sport of cycling for one day a year.
Be thankful you live in Portland and that we even have a "Bridge Pedal" and sponsors that support the event.

I'm a serious rider/racer, former cat2 and I along with a bunch of "serious, geek, racer friends" ride this event every year to support our culture of cycling here in Portland.

Yes, the crowds are HUGE, the going is slow and every body and their brother dusts off their rust buckets and "goes for a ride", great, that's what the event is all about, being INCLUSIVE as opposed to EXCLUSIVE.

Over 20,000 people on bikes and let's say maybe 100 needed non-serious medical attention, so what. If you know anything about giant physical participant events you already know to expect maybe 2 to 3% of the participants to require some sort of medical attention. Trust me, if the number of folks needing medical attention was higher than a couple percents the sponsors would turn tail and run in this day and age of suing someone "for spilling hot coffee" on yourself.

Anyway, for those who didn't ride you should next year, for those that did ride and are whining, chill out a bit, take a deep breath and freakin' relax for one ride a year. Grab some friends, ride the ride together and suck down some bloody marys afterwards to celebrate the great cycling community we're all lucky enough to live in.

Sermon complete, now back to our regularly scheduled programming...


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Old 08-14-07, 09:51 AM   #14
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2 days later...

Yea, the bottlenecks were a surprise for this first-timer, and a little annoying at the time. Add to that we barely made the Fremont bridge before closure to bikes/open to cars, so we missed the bagpipes, goodies, etc. BUT the view...both of the river and city by bike up high, and, especially, of bikes to the horizon, more than made up for it. I had fun, my kids were awesome (my 6-year old daughter rode on the tag-a-long and yesterday took off her training wheels and rode by herself for first time. Something took!)

I'll be back, earlier next time and for the 8 or 10 bridge ride.
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Old 08-14-07, 12:06 PM   #15
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Some people did not even get to finish the ride the Oregonain had a large write up about it in the paper http://www.oregonlive.com/ its head line was -"PORTLAND BRIDGE PEDAL TURNS WALK A THON." And frankly if you think that 100 people getting hurt sounds like a good average it only takes one person getting seriously hurt to make it a non sucess. For the size of the ride there needs to be fewer people or just more space. I am not going to do it again its just a freakin mess.
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Old 08-14-07, 01:10 PM   #16
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Velocity, there weren't any "serious" injuries reported, that's my point. Of course you never want any injuries of any type but with 20,000 people gathered at the same place doing the same thing injuries are a fact of life. To think for one second that there would be no falls or crashes is a ludicrous thought.

That's like watching a NASCAR race and being surprised that someone went into the wall, give me a break.
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Old 08-14-07, 01:16 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=KRhea;5066742] Of course you never want any injuries of any type but with 20,000 people gathered at the same place doing the same thing injuries are a fact of life.
QUOTE]

That is the point I am trying to make. Injuries in this case are supposed to be accidents but when someone puts people in the place to get hurt then is it really an accident? Break given
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Old 08-16-07, 03:23 PM   #18
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Man, that was a scary ride. I had never done it before, and was planning on keeping a nice even pace -- I knew it wasn't going to be a brisk workout. But between the very inexperienced riders who would come to a complete stop in the middle of the road to take a picture, and the obnoxious "roadies" who were weaving through the crowd way too fast, I constantly felt like I was about to get hit. In fact, someone went down directly in front of me (she was OK, aside from a few bruises -- I waited with her until she could get out of the road).

I don't understand the people trying to "race" this ride... some guy on a swanky carbon bike actually angled in front of me when we were bottlenecked, going about 2 mph and crossing nearly parallel tracks. And then there were the people with kids on tagalongs who slowed to a crawl on the St. John's bridge approach, and started weaving back and forth, trying to switchback their way up, rather than just pulling over to the right.

I'm really glad there are events like BridgePedal that get all kinds of inexperienced cyclists out and on their bikes (even if most of them drove to the event!). I just think I'll steer clear of events like that from now on!
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Old 08-16-07, 05:47 PM   #19
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I didn't do it this year, however, I did it last year, and if you can swing it, it is best to start early in the first wave. And for me, a fixie did great in that environment. It kept me from needing to ride the brakes the whole ride and if you are good, you can have great control at low speed.

I think the event is great! It is so much fun to see so many people out on their bicycles; like a city wide critical mass without all the arrests.

If I were to change everything, I'd ask them to widen some of the bridge routes. It's just basic logic that if you narrow the road from the full width down to a single lane, you'll get some traffic jam problems.
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