Twenty Years of Biking the Bridges

During the past 19 years one quarter million people have participated in Providence Bridge Pedal, biking a combined 6 million miles over Portland’s streets and Willamette River bridges.

Each week from now until August we will revisit one of the 19 previous years, starting with the inaugural ride in 1996. We will also bring you special offers from other biking events, community programs and Providence Bridge Pedal sponsors.

Join us this August as we welcome an 11th bridge to Providence Bridge Pedal: Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People. This will be the first opportunity for the public to bike or walk across Portland’s stunning new bridge.


Surprisingly in 19 years, Providence Bridge Pedal’s route has never been exactly the same two years in a row. Bridge and road construction projects require an ever-changing route. In 2004, the St. Johns Bridge was returned to the ride after a two-year absence because of a repainting project. The Hawthorne Bridge was omitted one year as new decking was installed. We lost the Broadway Bridge once as the streetcar tracks were being installed. However, with thanks to Multnomah County, we have been able to keep the Sellwood Bridge as part of the ride each year as the new Sellwood Bridge has been under construction. And most importantly, the top decks of the Marquam and Fremont bridges have always been included in the ride.

This year’s challenges include dodging two major buildings under construction at the east end of the Burnside Bridge and the painting of the Broadway Bridge. To accommodate the addition of Tilikum Crossing, the 11-bridge and Fremont Express riders will be biking on a section of the Eastbank Esplanade for the first time.

Twenty years of Bridge Pedal archive

Tilikum Crossing –

Bridge of the People

Portland’s stunning new bridge will officially open on Sept. 12, 2015. Providence Bridge Pedal will be the inaugural public event on the bridge, giving you an advance opportunity to bike or walk across Tilikum Crossing before its official opening. All Bridge Pedal riders (except Kids Pedal) will cross the bridge twice. This is in addition to the continuing Providence Bridge Pedal tradition of biking over the car-free upper decks of the Marquam and Fremont bridges.

Providence Bridge Stride walkers will cross the Marquam Bridge and Tilikum Crossing.

The Bite of Oregon

After crossing the Providence Bridge Pedal finish line, the fun continues. All participants receive free admission to The Bite of Oregon, the premier food and music festival held in Waterfront Park.