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Providence Bridge Pedal

Started by Alex, August 07, 2009, 03:46:32 PM

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Just got of the phone with Mike Ballard and he's participating in this year's Providence Bridge Pedal. Is anyone else?


I wish I was, that looks great.  I've always been a semi-avid cyclist.
NJ Roads FTW!
Quote from: agentsteel53 on September 30, 2009, 04:04:11 PM
I-99... the Glen Quagmire of interstate routes??

rawr apples

I'm doing the 8-bridge ride. Still need to get my bike up to par though.
Now shut up and drivee


I'm doing the full 11 bridge ride. Camera will be on hand, though I wish I could mount it on my handlebar.


That's a cool event. I don't know why we don't do that in the cycling capital of the world (the Netherlands). On the other hand, most bridges are already accessible by bicycle. I guess opening a freeway to pedestrians and cyclists doesn't make much sense then.


Quote from: Bickendan on August 08, 2009, 06:09:36 AM
I'm doing the full 11 bridge ride. Camera will be on hand, though I wish I could mount it on my handlebar.

place a band of tin foil around it and then tape it securely to the handlebar.  Use 5-10 layers of each to ensure that it is secure.

Make sure the shutter release and the lens are exposed of course!  The tin foil will make it simple to remove the tape without leaving a residue on the camera.

(yes, this solution is redneck as Hell... and it works!  I have done it before with a compact camera.  Just make sure to look through the viewfinder when aligning it on your handlebar so you don't get 600 photos of just the sky.)
live from sunny San Diego.


My camera may be a little too big for that (Canon PowerShot S5IS), but the chance to pull a good honest redneck stunt may be worth going for...


duct tape comes at 240 feet a roll.  a camera bigger than that is already a redneck stunt!
live from sunny San Diego.


Trip report: Providence Bridge Pedal.

This short(!) trip only lasted for (officially) 37 miles; the entirety was just under 45, by bicycle.

The ride began at the Kerby Ave onramp to I-405 (what would have been the Rose City Freeway), where an announcer said something about being 17,000 people participating-- 1,000 doing the Bridge Stride and 6,000 doing the full 11 Bridge Ride.

I quickly got a few photos of the ghost ramps from the Rose City Freeway stub that would have formed a full (six-level!) stack at the I-5/I-405/US30 interchange.

Once on the bridge, bike congestion discouraged stopping for panoramic shots. The route took us down I-405 south to the Marquam Bridge. I have photos of each BGS and gore on the way, an admittedly dangerous feat as the camera was strapped around my neck and shoulder and I had to use my right hand to snap the shots, leaving my left hand to ride the front brake on the down slopes, all the while passing slower riders and getting passed by the faster ones. But, the photos are there, perhaps with a better clarity possible than while driving. I did not stop on the Marquam Bridge, as riders from the shorter 8 Bridge Ride were merging into the 11 Bridge traffic. Snapped a few photos, ease the front brake on the downslope from the bridge onto the I-84 east ramps.

The 8 Bridge riders split off to the left at Water Ave; my route was along SE 3rd Ave toward McGloughlin Blvd (OR99E). Here, we had to deal with concurrent car traffic, which was reduced to the left lane(s) along the MLK Viaduct and on McGloughlin itself. Bike traffic exited at Milwaukie Ave, continuing south along the bluff's edge over Oaks Bottom toward the dilapidated Sellwood Bridge. Crossing back into southwest Portland, the route turned north on Macadam Ave (OR 43), going north into the Ross Island Interchange and onto US26 into downtown. Save for the portion along SW Kelly Ave, the route was open to cars.
The portion on Naito Parkway has a very nice grassed-over ghost ramp of where US 99W came off of (then Front Ave) to Harbor Drive.

The Hawthorne Bridge (the beginning of the 8 Bridge route) followed Naito Parkway, and it was back in the SE Industrial Area, going by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Eastside Big Pipe project and under the MLK/Grand Viaduct replacement project. The massive congestion problem going onto the Ross Island Bridge (US 26) from two years ago was solved by moving the 11 Bridge start from the Morrison Bridge (which was unavailable for the ride this year due to a ramp reconstruction) to the Fremont and by starting the 8 Bridge ride at the same time, and ODOT completely closing the westbound lanes of the Ross Island to autos, thus avoiding a massive pileup of bikes on the approach.

The route joined with and split from the Macadam portion at Kelly Ave; this time, we went up SW 1st into downtown, jogged around to 5th Ave and back onto I-405 south to the Marquam Bridge a second time. Here, I was able to take a little more time, and snapped several photos of the notable ghost ramps, one that would have been an onramp to I-5 south from the SE Industrial Area, and of course the ramp that would have gone to the Mt. Hood Freeway.

We went north on Water Ave, under the Morrison Bridge and swung around to the Burnside Bridge back over the Willamette. A brief pass-through of NW Portland put us on the Broadway Bridge for the first time, and onto Interstate Ave to head north back toward the Fremont. I hoped that a Yellow Line MAX train, subject of several massive flame wars on m.t.u-t, would go through, but I had no luck. The climb from Interstate back to Kerby Ave was fairly steep; a few people had to walk it.

Back on the Fremont Bridge, I was able to snap photos I couldn't earlier because of the congestion. This time, we headed west on US 30. I caught a pic of an I-505 ghost ramp, and here was the only freeway portion where both cars and bikes were going in the same direction. The bikes exited the freeway at the Vaughn St exit, continuing on the I-505 alignment by Montgomery Park and up St Helens Rd. Once on St Helens, bike traffic was regulated to the left-hand side of the street, all the way to NW Bridge Ave. The NW Industrial District and US 30 at the base of the Tualatin Mountains isn't as pictoresque, so here I worried less about photo accuracy and hit my cruising stride for the first time. Bridge Ave (the approach to the St Johns Bridge from US 30) is a long, steep climb. While I had no problem with the hill (knowing what to expect from two years ago), I had no problems, passing many a biker struggling up the incline, many walking. Of course, some damn fixie passed me without so much a second thought.

On the St Johns Bridge (BYP US 30) itself was the true congestion problem, as exhausted riders clogged the right lane. In this instance, the faster riders (myself included) opted to use the left hand lane, shared with cars. Part of the slow down was the final rest area at the east end of the bridge, which was absolutely packed. I bypassed the rest area, wove to Willamette Blvd and settled in for the final haul of the ride.

I got a very good blind shot of the Burlinton Northern-Santa Fe railroad bridge as I crossed over the tracks. We rode by the University of Portland and through the long curve of Mocks Crest above Swan Island. We merged onto Greeley Ave, and as we made the final approach to Interstate, a pair of ambulances forced the ride to come to a momentary halt as they passed. A reprieve, actually.

Interstate Ave forms the ground and bottom level of the Fremont Stack interchange. It's hard to judge how many levels the interchange has, as Mississippi Ave, also on ground level, is a bridge height above Interstate; I-5 would be the second level, but the Greeley north ramps go under I-5 but over Interstate. US 30 east makes the third level; I-405 and the Rose City stub make the fourth (and fifth) level(s), as the Fremont Bridge is a double-decker bridge. US 30 west is the top and sixth level; it's hard to tell what the I-5 south to Rose City Freeway east and the Rose City Freeway west to I-5 south would have been, but as RCF west to I-5 south would have gone under the RCF east, and I-5 south to RCF east above that...

Bike traffic left Interstate Ave to go back onto the Broadway Bridge, this time into downtown. We looped into the Pearl, crossed the BNSF tracks just north of Union Station onto Front Ave, and onto the final stretch to the end just north of the Morrison Bridge.

The route did not cross the Morrison (the Front Ave to Morrison Bridge ramp and the Water Ave ramp were closed for reconstruction/realignment and a sidewalk widening) nor the Steel Bridge (with the Broadway completely shutdown for the ride, the Steel had to be open for bus traffic and the bottom deck isn't wide enough for 15,000 bikes).

Next year, I think I may eschew the camera and just go for a speed run, particularly on the Stadium Freeway.

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