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.


1998 was the first year that more than 10,000 people participated in Providence Bridge Pedal, and there have been more than 10,000 participants every year since. In just its third year, Providence Bridge Pedal was already the second- largest community bike ride in the country, trailing only New York City’s Five Boro Ride.

From 1997-2004, only eight bridges were included in Providence Bridge Pedal. We did not find a safe and practical way to include the Sellwood Bridge in the ride until 2005. The walking event, Providence Bridge Stride, was added in 1997. About 1,000 people participate in the 6-mile walk each year. In 1998 we also included a running event crossing the Fremont and Marquam bridges.

KPTV Fox 12 Oregon became a media sponsor in 1997. The station and staff have provided valuable support for Providence Bridge Pedal every year since. 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.