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.


The Hawthorne Bridge presents one of the biggest challenges in staging Providence Bridge Pedal. The lane used by the cyclists is just 12’ wide, making it the narrowest section of the entire ride. The deck’s metal gating is challenging for cyclists, and seeing the river through the open grating can be very disorienting.

During the first Bridge Pedal, the lane was covered with carpet. The wind ruffling the carpet added extra excitement to the ride. The next winter the Willamette River flooded. To protect downtown from flooding, the city used plywood to build up the seawall. That plywood was reused that August to cover the grating on the Hawthorne Bridge. Although is has been replenished from time to time, the plywood is still used to cover the bridge during Providence Bridge Pedal.

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.