Derring-do atop a bridge


I guess it was inevitable.
Fort Worth’s new
West Seventh Street Bridge, with its 12 graceful arches with flat top surfaces and the silhouette of a roller coaster, would be a tempting challenge for a daredevil bicyclist.
The first one to test his skills on the bridge – and probably the last – was Mat Olson, a professional BMX stunt rider.

The flat top surfaces of the 12 massive arches of Fort Worth's new West Seventh Street Bridge. Photo by Jim Peipert

The flat top surfaces of the 12 massive arches of Fort Worth’s new West Seventh Street Bridge. Photo by Jim Peipert

On Saturday, a spring-like January day, Olson showed up at the bridge with a team of helpers and a film crew.
The helpers put plywood spacers between the bases of the six arches on the north side of the bridge so that Olson could transition from one arch to the next. The top surfaces of the arches are no wider than a sidewalk. There are no guardrails, no net.
A small group gathered on the Trinity Trails below the bridge as Olson began his ride on the east side of the span, which connects downtown with the city’s museum district.
One of the onlookers was Travis Baker, who had been riding his bike on the trails along the Trinity River, when he stopped to see what was going on. He shot video of Olson’s feat, which he shared with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“It seemed like I was on top of a mountain,” Olson said in describing his ride over the 24-foot-tall arches to the Star-Telegram.
“It seemed like I was on top of a mountain. It was all windy and crazy when I was up there. It was pretty exhilarating, that’s for sure.”

It was also, apparently, pretty illegal, the newspaper noted.
Fort Worth police officers who happened upon the scene told Olson after his ride that they could cite him for criminal trespassing, improper use of a vehicle and destruction of property.
But they let him off with a warning.
“I think I kind of smoothed them over,” Olson told the Star-Telegram.
“They said: ‘To be honest, we’re glad you’re alive. We don’t want to see that on our watch. Tell your friends we’ll be watching out for this and we won’t be lenient the next time.’ ”
If there is a next time.

********

POSTSCRIPT: Here’s an additional video, apparently put together by Olson’s camera crew.

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1 Comment

Filed under Urban cycling

One response to “Derring-do atop a bridge

  1. Jim thanks again for your terrific blog, which has readers in France! Happy New Year

    Philippe Mlot pmelot@me.com 33(0)6 99 63 10 48

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