PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After a pandemic-induced pause in 2020, the Providence Bridge Pedal is back with bike rides for people of all abilities and a 5-mile stroll for those who want to walk.
The bicyclists and walkers took off at 6 a.m. Sunday on routes that included the car-free upper decks of the Marquam and Fremont Bridges. There was also a 5 mile walk that crossed both the Marquam Bridge and Tilikum Crossing.
Providence Health & Services said nearly 10,000 cyclists and walkers took part in the event.
There were a few differences for this, the 25th anniversary Providence Bridge Pedal. The first 7,500 registrants got a free t-shirt. Cyclists who wanted to ride more and go farther were offered an 11-route map.
And there were COVID precautions put in place, organizers said. Social distancing was maintained, the finish lines were downsized and the food and water was served by gloved and masked volunteers.
Traffic was re-routed on the bridges of Portland during the Bridge Pedal. If drivers wanted to go east on the interstate over the Willamette River they could use the Fremont Bridge. Drivers headed west could use the Marquam Bridge. Traffic returned to normal around noon.
Providence Health & Services said because of the pandemic, the Bridge Pedal was Portland’s first major community event since the Portland Marathon in 2019.
A portion of the registration supports the Better Outcomes thru Bridges (BOB) Program.
Organizers said the Providence Bridge Pedal is, along with Montreal’s Tour de l’Île, New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour and Chicago’s Bike the Drive, one of the largest community bike rides in the world.
More than 300,000 people have taken part in it over its 25 years.