I rode my bike down about 12:30, which is the time they were due to open the gates. As soon as I rode out of our alley, I began to see people walking and riding bikes in the same direction - more and more as I got closer to the river. When I got downtown, I gave a brief effort to looking for Jennifer and Ian and the boys, but soon realized it was extremely unlikely I would find them. And also very unlikely I was going to be willing to get in the line that led to the bowl where the rally was held. At that point (2 hours before he was due to speak), the line was already a good 12 blocks away, 4-6 people wide, and, since I didn't go to the end of it, it could have been longer than that. Instead, I went down to a spot just north of the bridge (the rally was on the south side) and parked myself in a shady spot until he started speaking. At that point, I walked up onto the bridge and lucked into a spot along the sidewalk from which I could see quite well. We were looking at his back, of course, but he actually turned around a number of times.
These are my buddies on the bridge (among the 15,000 estimated to be outside the actual rally area).
One of the most challenging things, after giving up on finding my friends, was finding a place to lock up my bicycle. I have no idea how many people rode bikes to this event, but there were bikes locked up everywhere- to trees, benches, railings.
Finally, after walking about three blocks the other direction, I found a spot on the railing next to the river.
I'm not sure why I'm adding in this picture, but I just kind of like it. Taken from down on Waterfront Park looking up to the Hawthorne Bridge as people were gathering up there to see Senator Obama.
By the way, all this excitement has a lot to do with the fact that, for the first time in about 40 years, the presidential nomination has not been already decided before our primary race on May 20. For a musical explanation, see Ian's Portland Songs blog.