september kidical mass ride a success!

September Kidical Mass Ride

Our September (and first!) Kidical Mass ride was a success! We had great weather and wonderful turnout. I was a little nervous about gathering so many people and leading a family bike ride but it couldn’t have gone smoother. I worried about how many people would actually come, would our work have been in vain, would everyone be able to keep up, would we have any touble with the traffic… but it all worked out perfectly!

September Kidical Mass Ride

September Kidical Mass Ride

September Kidical Mass Ride

We had everything from bike seats to trailers to tag-alongs to kids riding their own bikes. And we had road bikes and cruisers and mountain bikes and hybrids and everything in between for the adults, including a pregnant mama biking along!

We met at a park, took off for a leisurely bike ride that included riding through our beautiful campus, and ended up at a smaller neighborhood park, where we stopped for a picnic. Then we took a slightly different route back and ended at our starting point, completing a five mile loop round-trip.

September Kidical Mass Ride

September Kidical Mass Ride

September Kidical Mass Ride

September Kidical Mass Ride

September Kidical Mass Ride

After the ride, a friend told me how much fun her seven year old had and how he’d asked about the next ride already. That in itself was enough to make the planning of this a worthwhile time committment. We’re looking forward to the October ride already and I’m hoping to get a November ride in as well before the Iowa winter shoos us all indoors.

A note on the logistics:

Some riders rode to the meet-up spot, rode the entire loop, and then rode home. Others drove in from nearby towns and parked at the meet-up spot, joining us for the ride by bike. Others biked to the picnic stop mid-way and then took off for dinner and other plans. Some came to the meet-up spot and rode the return portion of the loop.

The flexibility in mileage and time spent was what made the ride accessible to a variety of skill levels and age groups. This is what I would encourage someone planning a similar ride to keep in mind! It helped to have a starting point near a parking lot so people could drive in if they didn’t live anywhere near the route. It also helped to plan and announce our stopping point in advance so that others could know where to join us or where to depart if they couldn’t do the whole thing. And it helped to keep the first ride a realistic five miles, which even the younger solo riders (age 7-8) could accomplish on their own.

T. did the leading with C. in our iBert while I rode in the back, making sure that everyone stayed with the group. Since both T. and I knew the route well, it made sense to position one of us at each end of the ride so that no one got lost or left behind.

For the next bike ride, we’ll plot a different route to explore new neighborhoods and parks. And hopefully we’ll have an even bigger crowd and some new riders joining us as well. Kidical Mass, FTW! :)

Have you participated in a community bike ride for families? What made it a memorable experience and would you consider planning one where you live?

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{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
This entry was posted in Advocacy, Biking with Kids, Family, Social Cycling and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to september kidical mass ride a success!

  1. Julia says:

    Congratulations on such a successful event!! Your daughter is just too cute for words btw!!

  2. Woohoo! Well done! We have a neighborhood bike ride April-October. Only problem: In the summer they’re always scheduled for holiday weekends so we haven’t made one since June. Our son asks about when we’ll go on another family bike ride. I love the Kidical Mass idea – you’re giving me some ideas!

  3. Nadine says:

    Your daughter is SO appealing! I did read your article, I promise, but then I got distracted by the cute photos . . !

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