Brian's Photo Blog — Article 666
<< PreviousNext >>Blog Index
Portland’s Annual Bridge Pedal and Stride 2016
Thursday 29 June 2017   —   Category: Outings
As part of finding myself positively passionate about Portland, I participated in Portland’s Annual Bridge Pedal (and Stride) 2015. Before I join the crowd of over 20,000 for the third time, in less than two months from now, I figured I had better get busy and tell you about the second time I participated.
On August 14, 2016, I left my house in Albany very early as usual, drove to Portland, had breakfast at McDonald’s, parked at the Sunset Transit Center, and boarded a MAX train to downtown Port­land, where I arrived, 75 minutes early, at 6:45.

One of the exciting features of this event is being able to walk (or bike) across bridges on which cyclists and pe­des­tri­ans are usually forbidden. Of the 11 Portland bridges that cross the Wil­lam­ette River, two of them are for motor traffic only. In 2015 the 6-mile Stride route took us to the upper deck of Mar­quam Bridge, which carries In­ter­state 5 over the Willamette.

For 2016 the 5¼-mile Stride route led us to the upper deck of the Fremont Bridge, which carries U.S. Route 30 and In­ter­state 405 over the same river. In August 2017 I will have double the fun because the 7⅔-mile Stride route will, for the first time, cross both the Marquam and Fremont bridges. Yahoo!
Even though the Stride portion and the various Pedal portions all have different starting times, starting locations, and routes, with over 20,000 participants the streets of downtown Portland were still way more crowded than usual for an early Sunday morning.
Because I arrived so early, I had plenty of time to indulge in taking photos, both of the event and of the surrounding area.

I needed to travel light, so like before, I brought my pocket camera instead of my usual Micro Four Thirds camera system.

As I have mentioned previously, there are times when a pocket camera is the right tool for the job.
Eventually the 8:00 starting time for the Stride rolled around. Off we surged through the Old Town Chinatown Dis­trict and the Pearl District until we ar­rived at the I-405 at NW Glisan Street.

From there we headed north on the southbound lanes of the I-405 which, obviously, had been closed to motor vehicle traffic, although the northbound lanes were still open.
It wasn’t too long until we were ap­proach­ing the apex of the Stride, both literally and figuratively: the upper deck of the elegant, double-decker Fremont Bridge, which is the second-longest tied-arch bridge in the world. Mean­while, vehicles were still zooming north­bound on the deck below us.
At the top was a tide of cyclists pedalling one direction, a current of pedestrians striding the opposite direction, and a gaggle of gawkers obstructing traffic, going nowhere at all. It was quite a circus!

If you have looked at very many of my photos on this site, you will know that I love bridges, and that I love pho­to­graph­ing them. Therefore it was such a thrill to be on the top deck of this normally-​inaccessible bridge where I could admire it and take pictures of it from this un­com­mon position.
Of course, I did my share of gawking too. From one side of the bridge I watched the Willamette on its way to lose itself in the Columbia River only eleven miles downstream.

I especially like the shadow of the bridge in this photo.
On the other side of the bridge was a great view of the Pearl District, the sky­scrap­ers of downtown, the Lloyd Dis­trict, and a couple of the historic upriver bridges.
With a sigh of regret for having to leave so soon, I took one last look at this beautiful bridge before turning my back on it for good. Adieu! Parting is such sweet sorrow ...
Well, it was all downhill from there — at first literally, and then figuratively be­cause the rest of the route was so boring in comparison. There wasn’t anything photo-​worthy all the way back to the finish line.

I took a total of 107 pictures during the Stride. The best 58 have found their way into the new Portland Bridge Pedal and Stride 2016 album.
Right after the 2016 Stride I had a couple of epicurean adventures in the Portland area, which I share about in the next two articles: A Sizzling Korean Dolsot Bibimbap For Lunch and McMenamins CPR Little White Shed.

As I mentioned above, I will be revisiting the Fremont and Marquam bridges in less than two months during the 2017 Bridge Pedal and Stride. It would be nice if one or more of my family would like to join me, but they are not interested. At least I’ll have the other 20,000-​plus participants to keep me company!
UPDATE: I’ve been so busy with my McMenamins Passport adventure that I decided to skip yesterday’s 2017 Bridge Pedal and Stride. I’m glad I did because it ended up being a rainy morning. The rain is much needed in the Pacific Northwest, but I would have hated waking 7 miles in it. And the $35 registration fee is not refundable. So in the end it worked out well that I had not registered. Maybe next year.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 666
<< PreviousNext >>Blog Index