PORTLAND -- The Providence Bridge Pedal was missing a bridge this year but that didn't stop 18,500 cyclists from having a good time.
Bridge Pedal celebrated its 15th year Sunday. It's the one day each year when Portland's bridges belong to Portland's bikes.
"It's wonderful. We appreciate the patience of all the automobiles who had to stay home today," said cyclist Lloydine Boese.
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Cyclist Ken Oslund agreed. "The opportunity to be able to ride your bike across a bridge that you're usually going over 50 miles-an-hour, that's pretty cool."
Thousands of bicyclists crowded Bridgetown's many spans.
Some opted for the epic 36-mile, 10-bridge version of the bike ride. Others kept it short, taking breaks and taking in scenery atop the Fremont Bridge, for example.
While some riders had a favorite bridge, grade-schooler Edward Sibel had a favorite type of bridge.
"I don't really like the bridges that go up," he explained. "I only really like the bridges that go down."
Especially weary of those uphill portions of the route was a pedicab operator named Lale Santelices. Her two customers were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary so, with help from an occasional push, she kept a good attitude on the exhausting ride. "Oh, it's fun. This is what we're here for, you know, to take challenges."
There was a U-turn on the Fremont Bridge this year because the Broadway Bridge was closed for streetcar track installation. That forced vendors and riders onto I-405 near downtown.
Three riders were transported to the hospital after crashing their bikes along the route.