july’s “books and bikes” ride combines reading with fitness

Books and Bikes ride

Our “Books and Bikes” ride was a success! For July’s Kidical Mass ride, we decided to visit a few of the newly erected Little Free Libraries in town. Before long, we had a whole “books and bikes” theme to the ride complete with a story time reading of “Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon and the making of bike lincense plates for the kids. I paired up with my friend “Book Club Mama,” who runs our Baby Toddler Book Club and asked her to plan the story time and bike-themed activity to take place in a park at the end of the ride. You can read more about the book she chose, the idea for making bike license plates, and her perspective on the ride on the Baby Toddler Book Club blog. (The blog is also an excellent source of ideas if you’re thinking of forming your own book club for kids, complete with reading suggestions and themed crafts and snacks for each book).

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

We met at our usual location and set off for the ride. We planned to stop at three Little Free Libraries that were all en route to the park where we wanted to end our ride. Everyone participating was familiar with the concept of Little Free Libraries (or “book boxes” as some of the kids called them) and we encouraged riders on the event flier to bring a book to swap or donate. Since there weren’t many kids’ books in the Little Free Libraries we stopped at, many of the kids ended up walking away with books brought and donated by fellow Kidical Mass riders. Which worked out very well and some even plopped right down next to their bikes eager to start reading their new finds.

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

After stopping at all three Little Free Libraries on our list, we ended the ride at a park where we spread out blankets and listened to “Duck on a Bike” read by my friend S. The kids loved the book and getting to say “hello” to all of the barnyard animals just like the bike-riding duck does. At one point in the book, a group of bike-riding kids all storm the barn yard and all of our own bike-riding kids got to see themselves in the story. We ended the story time with supplies for making bike lincense plates with the kids’ names on them and barn yard stickers, letting our kids share their bikes with farm animals just like the kids in the story.

Judging from the eager crowding around the Little Free Libraries we visited and the enthusiastic response to the book we read and the bike license plates, I’d say the “Books and Bikes” ride was a hit with our young cyclists.

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

We usually vary our routes and destinations to keep each Kidical Mass ride fun and somewhat new. Last month’s ride ended at the downtown farmer’s market and a cold and rainy ride in March meant that we skipped the park and opted for hot chocolates at a coffee shop instead. I’ve learned that it’s best to stay flexible and decide on a route and destination as the day gets closer and as we get a sense of the weather. Of course, with a ride like this one, the route and end point were pretty set ahead of time and all we could do was hope that the weather would cooperate. As a back-up plan, we chose a park that had a large covered stage area where we knew we could hold the story time in case of rain.

You can read more about our Baby Toddler Book Club here as well as submit your own kids’ book club page/blog to be added to the site. You can also read more about Kidical Mass here and let me know if you’re going to be in the central Iowa area and would like to join one of our rides! Also, check out Seattle’s special July Kidical Mass ride: 19 adults, 19 kids, and 19 bikes went bike camping!

For more ideas, reviews, and tips for biking with kids, check out the “Bike with Kids” page of this blog and if you have any specific questions, ask away in the comments below! More photos from our ride here.

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About simplybike

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

5 Responses to july’s “books and bikes” ride combines reading with fitness

  1. This is beyond cool! What an amazing gift you are giving your community. Looks like so much fun (and such a lovely day). I’m fairly certain we’ll be putting a Little Free Library in our yard soon :).

  2. anniebikes says:

    I especially loved the photo of the child sitting in the grass, flipping through his book. Precious.

  3. Laura says:

    Combining books and bikes is super cool indeed. I love seeing so much creativity bringing a community together. Kuddos to all of you! We also have one of those little libraries in my neighborhood; they are such nice initiatives. I hope they spread out all over the country.

  4. I’ve been a long-time on-again-off-again reader of yours, discovering you way back in the day when I was a pregnant cyclist! I just LOVE this kidical mass themed ride. We do a Kidical Mass here in Chicago too, but BOY!!! would it be fun to do bikes and books! Great idea!!!

  5. Kelly says:

    Hello! I love your site and been reading pretty much every entry on here. I would love to bike around my town with my son, but I’m overwhelmed by all the bikes there are! What would you recommend for a mommy that is on a budget? I do check out craiglist but no luck so far. :(

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