‘Bridge Pedal’ returns; thousands of riders bike through Sellwood

INCLUDES VIDEO VIGNETTE | See bike riders, including many from outer East Portland, as they pedal their way across Portland’s newest, iconic bridge …

A participant in the 2021 Providence Bridge Pedal waves to the camera as she heads west on the Sellwood Bridge.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Setting out on the annual bicycle ride as early as 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 8, hearty participants in the 2021 Providence Bridge Pedal looked very cheerful as they again took to Portland’s streets and bridges. The event had been cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants from the two routes which included the Sellwood Bridge had gotten onto the Springwater Corridor Trail north of the Ross Island Bridge, and from there headed south to S.E. Spokane Street, where they jogged a block east, and then south onto the short stub of S.E. Grand Avenue – where many stopped to rest, grab a snack, or make use of free bicycle repairs offered nearby.

After traveling south along the Springwater Corridor Trail, riders pause on SE Grand Avenue, before heading over the Sellwood Bridge during the 2021 Bridge Pedal.

From there, riders headed across the Sellwood Bridge, both on the wide sidewalk, and a coned-off lane along with vehicle traffic.

“This is really great, but I must admit I should have trained more before taking on the [23 mile] ‘Fremont Express’ route this year!” remarked Brooklyn neighbor Sade Stuart, as she paused to gaze at the Willamette River from one of the belvederes built into the edge of the new Sellwood Bridge. “And, I might look into getting a motor-assisted bike for long rides!” she added ruefully.

Either to admire the view, or take a brief rest, bicyclists stop near the apex of the Sellwood Bridge during the 2021 Bridge Pedal.

After powering up the incline to the apex of the Sellwood Bridge, others also paused to admire the view and take a break, including those who’d opted for the other official route that included this bridge – the 20-mile “Main Ride”.

“Overall it was a very good day; we were extremely lucky with the weather,” the Providence Bridge Pedal Event Director, Rick Bauman, told East Portland News afterwards.

To get a feel for what it was like to be at this year’s event, watch our VIDEO VIGNETTE:

“I think the best thing that came out of the event this year was that it actually happened; this was the first major participatory event in Portland since September of 2019,” Bauman pointed out.

“Even with the hurdles of substantial COVID-19 precautions, and major reconstruction on Naito Parkway, we got through without any major problems,” Bauman said.

Wave after wave if bike riders cross the Sellwood Bridge during the 2021 Providence Bridge Pedal.

Just how many riders pedaled their way across the Sellwood Bridge? “We estimate about 4,000 cyclists crossed that bridge on that Sunday,” he enumerated.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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