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Great weather for the annual ride, but on the Sellwood Bridge they had to stay on the sidewalk; includes a VIDEO

DAVID F. ASHTON - As large groups of riders roll in, its rush hour for the bicyclists participating in the 2022 Providence Bridge Pedal on the Sellwood Bridge - since they were limited to using the wide south sidewalk to travel westward over the river, in order to keep the bridge open to traffic. Starting early on Sunday, August 14, Portland's 26th annual celebration of bicycling — the Providence Bridge Pedal — sent riders on a tour of Portland and most of its Willamette River bridges.

Of the about 10,000 participants, almost half of them took either the "Main Ride" or "Fremont Express" routes which brought riders south of Portland proper, along the Springwater Corridor Trail, and across the Sellwood Bridge.

Having started as early as 6 a.m. that morning, the first riders arriving at the Sellwood Bridge crossing showed up at 7:14 a.m.

"As past participants noticed, we changed how riders approached the Sellwood Bridge," event organizer Rick Eauman told THE BEE afterwards.

"Transitioning from the Springwater Trail via S. E. Grand Avenue, a dead-end street in Sellwood, and then out through the curb cut, was really difficult, and caused the flow of riders to stop," explained Eauman. "This year, riders continued south on the trail, and turned east at the base of S. E. Umatilla Street, and then, onto the bridge."

DAVID F. ASHTON - The new route for approaching the Sellwood Bridge for this years Providence Bridge Pedal had riders going under the bridge, shown here, and then turning east on S. E. Umatilla Street at the Sellwood Harbor entrance - to circle around onto the south side of the bridge sidewalk, heading west, as visible in the background. Because of this, riders headed over the Sellwood Bridge on its south side, riding westbound, mostly on the wide sidewalk, facing the eastbound traffic, and the bridge did not have to be closed to motorists.

"Because we were taking over two blocks of S. E. 6th Avenue, where there are apartments and residences, we hired a certified flagger to get their occupants through the bike traffic," Eauman said.

Although, traditionally the downtown "Family Ride" is the largest event, Eauman told THE BEE, "Maybe because of 'conditions downtown', that group has gotten smaller — and the 'Main Ride' participation has increased."

And about the weather that day, Eauman mused, "I wish we could 'bottle' the weather and save it for next year; we had a beautiful sunrise and great weather, making this the best Bridge Pedal ever!"

And he promised all bike riders, "See you on August 13, 2023!"

Here's a brief BEE video — youtu.be/RErNCNf6xmA


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