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  • Bridge Biking


    I’m so dang happy my bike is back from the shop, that’s what I’m talking about today. I have a Cannondale hybrid, but I put street tires on it long ago since I haven’t been on a dirt trail for mountain biking in Quite a While. I ride the bike to the studio downtown most every day, but I finally had to take it in- I had six broken spokes and many of my gears were worn down to nothing, making staying in gear impossible. I know bike work isn’t hard, and yes, I can do most everything myself, but it takes me about four times as long as it does those clever gents at the Bicycle Cooperative. So I walked down to the light rail for a few days while they restored my bike to youth (new chain, too). Now I’m whizzing along at peak capacity again.

    Today I took Broadway to downtown, meaning I would cross the charming Broadway Bridge. Here’s a comics-style breakdown of that little journey, where I enter the bridge, ride along, the big cargo ships I often see off to the left/north, and the west side of the bridge that I exit. As that wikipedia link says, it’s a bascule drawbridge and once in a while cyclists and cars have to pile up and wait for a ship to come through. The Max (the light rail train I mentioned before) also crosses the Willamette River on the Broadway Bridge. No it doesn’t, I must have been on The Crack or something earlier. Thanks Spencer.


    This little travelogue makes me want to document all the Willamette bridges I cross- maybe I’ll take some shots of the Steel Bridge (where MAX actually crosses) on the way home, if it’s not too rainy. Any of you bike to work?


    Comment from odessa steps magazine
    Time: September 13, 2007, 1:18 pm

    based on my one brief trip to portland, i think you could make a second career taking pictures of you riding across all the bridges in town.

    Comment from Dana
    Time: September 13, 2007, 1:51 pm

    We built a full-service office on to our house this year and I STILL drive a car to work. (Part of the LA County municipal code.)

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 13, 2007, 2:04 pm

    Mark, it would take a while, yes. Well, some don’t have bike access!

    Dana, that’s dedication! And of course, riding a bike in LA is just a deadly, deadly practice which is why I didn’t do it much when there. So my poor old mountain bike just rusted away at Hermosa Beach.

    Comment from Eric
    Time: September 13, 2007, 4:40 pm

    I would maybe consider riding my bike to work. But to ride it back home? Pushing those pedals up the side of the mountain don’t sound too appealing.

    Comment from Sandy Jarrell
    Time: September 13, 2007, 5:52 pm

    I ride my spiffy Lotus Unique 1.3 miles each way. Your commute looks epic! I totally envy your bridges and your cloud cover.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 13, 2007, 6:04 pm

    That mountain on the way back, that’s when a spiffy little electric motor would be Just The Thing.

    Sandy, I never thought about the distance until you just mentioned yours, so I Google Mapped it and it’s right at 4 miles each way. Pretty easy ones too, a gradual uphill on the way back. I bet you have a couple of doozy hills to go up in that area of Raleigh. On that sweet Lotus.

    Comment from Matt Wieringo
    Time: September 13, 2007, 8:18 pm

    I live 12 miles from work by interstate so, um, no. When it was merely 8 and accessible by side streets, I tried it and it took me an hour and a half on my mountain bike. I was 307 lbs. then and, every half-mile or so, my weight kept forcing my custom handlebars forward and I’d have to stop and fix them. Ugh.

    How’d you avoid getting arrested as a terrorist when you were taking all those bridge photos?

    Comment from Spencer Curran
    Time: September 13, 2007, 9:40 pm

    Max crosses the Steel bridge, don’t it?
    (Dear god, did I really just take the time to post that?)

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 13, 2007, 9:43 pm

    Yeah, that’s a big Negatory on biking by Interstate! People are always snapping photos everywhere here, take that Home Security. That just reminded me of the other day seeing someone do the sneaky take-a-picture-by-the-side-of-a-van trick with a big lens. He was taking a picture of this infamous Triumph motorcycle repair shop whose owner has the windows filled with conspiracy theories and odd pictures. The place looks insane if you peek inside, stacked with all kinds of parts, books, whatever… but he’s the only one around who can work on those bikes so he stays in business. I’m tempted to buy an old Triumph just so I have an excuse to go in there. I know if he’d seen the photographer, something would have gone down!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 13, 2007, 9:44 pm

    Wait, Spencer’s right. Man I was foggy all day, I couldn’t even get the Max line right!

    Comment from Adam Hutch
    Time: September 14, 2007, 4:38 am

    Since its only about half a mile from home to work, I used to walk. Now since I have to pick the baby up from daycare after work, I drive my half a mile like all the other ozone layer hating americans.

    Comment from Steve Lieber
    Time: September 14, 2007, 7:44 am

    Take the Steel Bridge and do the photo essay there, so I’ll finally know where that @&%$ing hidden bike path entrance actually is.

    Comment from Parker
    Time: September 14, 2007, 9:26 am

    I love that I got the Max detail wrong, despite having pictures that clearly show no tracks. Today is the BURNSIDE BRIDGE.