Friday, June 08, 2007

Throngs of cyclists. Throngs.

On my way home yesterday just as I reached the middle of the Broadway Bridge the gate came down. The ensuing snail paced event gave me a chance to experience the true thickness of the throngs of people who commute by bike in Portland.

The bridge was raised to accommodate one of the Navy ships arriving for the Rose Festival. They raised it while the ship was still way up under the Fremont Bridge. Police cars sat on the bridge and police boats trolled around in the water. The whole thing took a good twenty minutes, as opposed to the usual ten.

So by the time they lowered it back down, there was quite a line-up of cars, bikes, and pedestrians. Instead of following my first impulse which was to dart off and make up for lost time, it occurred to me to step aside and let the bikes flow past me to see how many there were. They just kept passing and passing and passing, as if they would never end. It looked like one of those programmed bike-a-thons, but it was only the day’s commuters. And this happened at 6:30, so this probably wasn’t even most of them. It was thrilling, really, to realize that that many people are using human powered vehicles. I think it’s incredibly exciting, and it gives me hope for the planet. Ok, for Portland. (see the stuffed monkey riding on the rear rack of the rear cyclist.)

(See all the tiny sailors standing on the ship.)
(See the cute little row of outhouses on the deck of the ship. I wonder if they got to the end of the ship construction and realized they forgot to put bathrooms in.)



At 3:41 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

The last picture...That must be the "poop deck" they speak of in the maritime vernacular. Hopefully those things are bolted down good. They'll be a lot of swabbing on the high seas!

At 9:09 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Ah, of course!! The poop deck! I've always wondered what that meant. Why didn't I think of it myself the minute I saw them there? It seems so obvious to me now...


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