How it all got started
This first Bridge Pedal was held in 1996 but it all began two years earlier. In the early 1990’s Portland was beginning to blossom as America’s bicycling hotspot. Bud Clark, Portland’s kinky and loveable mayor rode his bike to work. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance formed to advocate for cycling in the corridors of City Hall and the state Capitol. STP attracted thousands of cyclists on the 200 mile ride from Seattle to Portland. Cycle Oregon began leading people on week-long biking adventures across Oregon.
But there was no event celebrating bicycling in Portland.
Doodling in a boring meeting, Bridge Pedal’s creator, Rick Bauman, stumbled on the idea for a celebratory bike ride: crossing Portland’s Willamette River bridges.
After many fits and starts negotiating with the city of Portland, Multnomah County and the Oregon Department of Transportation a plan was finally approved and on a dry Sunday morning in the middle of a very rainy month, 7,500 people inaugurated Bridge Pedal. The celebration has become a tradition. The celebration and the tradition continue.