Registration opened yesterday for the 18th annual Bridge Pedal ride. Organizers have unveiled a few new features to the ride this year, including — for the first time ever — registration caps to keep the size of the rides to manageable levels.
As far back as 2005 (which is as far as my archives go), Bridge Pedal has been plagued by massive crowds and bottlenecks. Before the 2006 event, a special meeting of stakeholders was called to help solve issues related to the crowds. In 2007, the ride turned into more of a walk as thousands of people were stalled and forced to walk due to a bottleneck at the Ross Island Bridge. That debacle garnered a front page headline in The Oregonian.
This year, Bridge Pedal owner and chief organizer Rick Bauman has placed registration caps for each of the five rides (and the “Stride”). The 10, eight, and six-bridge rides will be limited to 5,000 people each. The “Kids Pedal”, a three-mile ride only for little ones, is limited to 1,000 participants and the “Fremont Express”, a 6:00 am ride for faster riders is capped at 1,500. Bauman says he doesn’t expect to turn many people away since these caps are set close to the number of registrants they’ve had in the past several years.
Here’s more from Bridge Pedal:
To help ensure all Providence Bridge Pedal bicyclists have a safe, enjoyable ride, there will be limits this year on the number of participants in each event. This will help minimize congestion on the ride, allowing everybody to complete the ride within the event’s time limits.
Crowding always has been a problem at Providence Bridge Pedal. We are experimenting this year with generous limits on the number of participants in each event to help ensure that everybody has a fun, safe ride. In addition, all rides need to be complete by certain times before our permits expire.
The ride is set for Sunday, August 11th. Learn more and register at BridgePedal.com.