I led an awesome Kidical Mass ride today! My first ride leader experience was after Bike to Work Day in May and I was very nervous despite the small turnout, but it seemed to have helped prepare me for today. I’m not sure how many participants we had, but it was somewhere between 50 and 75 (note to self: next time count or ask someone to count kidical massers!). I prepared by reading some documents provided by Katie of Portland Kidical Mass (check out the main Kidical Mass FAQ for tips on starting your own!). It also helped that as I got ready to leave the house, I saw Julian, Seattle Kidical Mass-termind, biking by with three kids on the way to our ride. And then I think I knew at least half of the Massers that came. Oh, and did I mention my kids didn’t come? They chose to attend a preschool potluck with Mr. Family Ride so I was able to focus much better than normal…though I was embarrassed to be on a Kidical Mass ride without kids of my own. I had a few loaners offered, but opted to outfit my bike with a big cardboard KIDICAL MASS sign instead.
We met at the Green Lake playground and rode two miles, mostly uphill to the Wallingford Greenway Celebration. I didn’t have the best success taking photos while leading the ride, but here’s an-only-slightly-blurry over-the-shoulder-shot of the front of the group:
You might notice the jogger in the middle of the pack. I’m not sure this is the first ever Kidical Mass with a jogging mom and baby along, but it’s the first time I’ve been on a Kidical Mass ride with a jogger. She didn’t seem to have any trouble keeping pace with us. The lack of downhill segments probably helped with that.
Despite the drizzle, the block party was a huge success with a large crowd on hand to watch the official ribbon cutting:
And feast on hot dogs, gelato from the gelato bike, and pedal-powered smoothies:
I got my first look at the cool stoker bar solution on my friend’s new used Xtracycle and when I introduced his family to Henry of LionTail Cycles in the hopes that they’d want to Xtracycle their other bike, too, we discovered this Xtracycle was originally Henry’s. Small world!
Most notable was Jennifer of Petals and Moss and her three generations of bikers. Her mother hadn’t been on a bike in 30 years, but happily joined us on the ride. It makes sense: a Kidical Mass is a perfect ride for any new or returning rider! This was also my first look at Jennifer’s new Kona Ute. She’s was on a mountain bike with the iBert and double trailer before and is a lot faster now!
And my kids finally showed up at the end of the party! I was sad they missed the ribbon cutting and ensuing kiddie parade along the Greenway, but they loved zooming around in the street on their balance bikes. On the way home, we stayed in the street during the flat part of the Greenway, but I had them move to the sidewalk once we hit the steep downhill. I think it might be time we put those Kinderbike hand brakes to use. They’re pretty good with their Flintstone foot brakes, but we’re hitting some bigger hills lately that don’t end in grassy fields. By the way, the friends we’re following home in this picture are on a Madsen bucket bike and brand new Big Dummy! Shawn left partway through the block party–on his mountain bike with the toddler in the iBert seat and returning on his new Big Dummy now sporting the iBert and toddler with mountain bike dragging behind.
That was it for today, but to go back to this morning: quick props to my Big Dummy for making the Fremont Solstice Parade a blast. The kids were able to see everything from the FlightDeck. They were taller than me, so it was like a glimpse of the future. I wasn’t able to see very much, by the way.
I stood on tippy toes to see this amazing Big Dummy in the naked bike parade. I later found it parked on the street where I could examine its custom passenger handlebars, seat pads, back rests, and foot stirrups. And I have a line on who owns it!
As we headed home, I discovered how easy it is to infiltrate the parade. I should have stationed us on the north side of the parade because we got stuck at the bottom of stone. The traffic-controlling police officer parted the crowd and let us through one side, but we were unable to get out the other side and had to flow with the parade down the street. I saw a couple exits after a while, but it’s hard to willingly leave a parade! And a couple friends saw us from the sidelines and shouted hello. I’m tempted to participate [clothed] next year!
Today’s miles: 10.6
June cumulative: 190.3 miles