Posted by: Jack | August 11, 2008

Providence Bridge Pedal

Each year eleven bridges in Portland are partially or completely closed to vehicles for the better part of a day. This is done to accommodate nearly twenty thousand cyclists riding across in looping routes ranging from 5 to 37 miles. A number of bridges, such as the I-405 (Fremont) bridge seen below, are otherwise inaccessible by non-motorized transport so the ride offers a unique opportunity to explore new terrain.

As the picture above alludes, a fair share of the many thousand participants are not regular distance riders. Thankfully, my bastardly riding companions had past experience with the immense traffic jam that is hordes of unfit people trying to climb grades not designed with human-power in mind. So instead of doing the full 37, which would definitely be classified as a distance ride on our 29″ unicycles, we jumped in half way and only rode the two highest and most scenic bridges.

After a couple failed attempts to locate someone who could push the shutter button on my camera, we got a decent group shot overlooking downtown from the Fremont bridge, nearly 200′ above the Willamette. (LtoR: Max, me, Mats, Doper).

Many miles down the course, we reached the steep ascent to the St. John’s bridge in far North Portland. Keeping my uni in the only gear it has, I managed to pass at least a hundred cyclists in less than ¼ mile, hopefully putting to rest any misconceptions regarding our association with circus clowns.

Other than that climb, the ride was pretty leisurely — especially considering the hour long break for brunch followed shortly thereafter by some backyard lounging with deliciously tart cosmopolitans courtesy of Doper — but it still reached a distance of 15 miles, which is a lot on a 29er. Adding the 5 miles of biking with uni-in-tow on each end made for a solid morning of riding.



  1. Buy a f*cking ride vest this year like everyone else asspole!.
    Your post does nothing except show that you uni-riders are cheap and somehere betwwen circus clowns and D&D geeks.

  2. He was so tall and strong, his face nearly all jaw under the shadow of his cap. His mouth was compressed into a thin, unbent line, and he stood as if he might challenge the gods of war themselves; but he was a soldier, not a warrior. All show and slow to boot. All right, he said, sharply. What seems to be the trouble here. He had glanced at Larkin and the scattering of glass with a look which said inoperative and dismissed them from his mind. You there! Whats going on here? He addressed an imaginary point where my head would have been if I could have stood. Me? Geez, I dont know. I just work here. You, fellow. Say, sonny, yall tilt that there sombrero back jest a scrunch sos Ah cain sees yalls eyeballs. Aint likely Ahd talk with a man, ifn Ah caint sees his eyeballs. He snapped to attention. Cut the lip, huh. You taking me in, airman? No, he answered in all seriousness. Just going to hold your arm while they stick a needle in it. Ive handled you nut-house
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