A few weeks back, when I was at the hospital (for my mother, of course), I saw a big sign for the annual Providence Bridge Pedal. It’s an annual organized ride across the ten bridges crossing the Willamette.
I thought, I can do that. So I went online and signed up for the 6-bridge ride (14 miles). It would be the longest I had ridden up to that point. Everyone I talked to about it encouraged me to do the 24-mile, 8-bridge ride, instead.
I got up early this morning, but with a headache, I was slow to get moving. Eventually I shoved the bike into the back of the car and drove downtown to join the other riders.
I did the whole ride without stopping, except for the bottleneck before the Ross Island Bridge and the traffic jams at the tops of the Marquam and Fremont bridges. The primary motivation keeping me moving was I had to pee. But if I stopped I didn’t think I’d be able to get going again. I even made it up the ramp to the St. John’s Bridge; I had been warned that it’s pretty steep. Plenty of people were walking up, but I didn’t even have to shift to my lowest gear. I just kept my little legs pumping.
It was a fun ride. My hilly 5-mile work commute is harder. I found it didn’t bother me to have people close to my sides, but I didn’t like having people in front of me, especially when I was putting on the speed to get up a hill.