It has been over seven years since Jill and I moved to the Portland area, and every year since, we promised ourselves that the next year would be the year we would do the Providence Bridge Pedal. Well, McKenzie and I finally did it, riding the 5 bridge pedal, or about 11.5 miles, and, in all the events I have attended and helped produce, that was one of the coolest things I had ever done.
For those not familiar with Portland, the city is bisected by the Willamette River, which is crossed by various bridges and how it received one of its nicknames, Bridgetown. Now what makes the Providence Bridge Pedal so special and unique is that the route includes some of these bridges as well as sections of the interstate system, including the two interstate bridges that cross over the Willamette, the Marquam and Fremont. On this one day of the year, motorized traffic must yield a portion of the freeway system to bicycles. It is surreal to pedal on a stretch of freeway you routinely travel by car with thousands of other bicyclists. The different perspective is awe-inspiring.
Unfortunately, Jill wasn’t able to ride with McKenzie and me, but she was there when we crossed both the start and finish lines. McKenzie had a blast pedaling along behind my bike on her WeeHoo, crossing over the Morrison, Ross Island, Hawthorne, Marquam and Fremont bridges. She really enjoys bicycling, as much as I had when I was a child, constantly asking if we can go for a bike ride to the park or work.
We cannot wait for next year’s Bridge Pedal. Jill promises to join us, and McKenzie and I could not get enough. Next year, instead of five bridges, seven…