As part of my busy summer exploring Portland,
Oregon, I participated in the 20th annual Providence Bridge Pedal (and Stride)
on August 9, 2015.
Just how big is this annual event? According to a Wikipedia article,
with 20,000 or more participants each year, it has become the world’s third-largest annual recreational cycling event! For more details about Bridge Pedal’s history, be sure to check out these archives.
I wasn’t very interested in the Pedal part, but I love to walk and fortunately there was a six-mile Stride segment as well. I was near the head of the pedestrian crowd, on the corner of SW Naito Parkway
and Morrison Street, when the Stride began at 9:00. The route led through the streets of central downtown, through the Portland State University campus,
and down the southbound lanes of I-405.
After walking only two miles from the starting line, we arrived on the upper deck of Marquam Bridge,
which carries I-5
over the Willamette River.
From there we strode down the eastern slope of the bridge, exited the I-5 at SE Yamhill Street, and arrived 0.8 miles later at the Eastbank Esplanade
at SE Salmon Street, on the east bank of the Willamette River.
Continuing south on the Esplanade under Hawthorne Bridge
and Marquam Bridge and past the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI),
another 0.85 miles of striding brought us to the eastern entrance of Tilikum Crossing,
Portland’s first new bridge across the Willamette River
in more than 40 years.
We were funneled into the 14-foot-wide path for cyclists and pedestrians on the north side of the bridge. Because of the can-of-sardines-like crush, the riders were obliged to walk their bikes across the 1,700-foot (one-third of a mile) span. It was against the rules to stop for photos, so I had to snap pictures on the fly.
Once I arrived at the western end of the bridge, during the two-mile walk back to the city center I passed under the Marquam, Hawthorne, Morrison
bridges. Finally, after six miles, and 1 hour and 45 minutes of striding, I reached the finish line at the corner of SW Naito Parkway and SW Ash Street.
The 2015 Bridge Pedal (and Stride) was one of the rare occasions that I used my pocket camera
rather than my larger and better quality Micro Four Thirds camera.
During my time at the event I took a total of 157 photos. The best 59 can be viewed in this album.