We attended a wonderfully bikey five-year old’s birthday party on Saturday. The day started with a parent-powered group ride, then stationary pizza party plus bike decorating, and finally kid-led bike parade. The ride came with a timeline for people meeting up along the way (or those of us who ran late):
- 11:00 meet at their place
- 11:30 at the park on the Burke-Gilman Trail between Brooklyn and University
- 12:00 at the park on the Burke-Gilman Trail next to the Ronald McDonald House
- 12:30 ending at Magnuson Park
We were about 15 minutes late, but met up with another late friend on an Xtracycle with one of her two kids in tow. Together we headed back the way we came and caught up to the party at the first park stop. There we hung out for a few minutes to wait for one more family. So despite the drizzle, here we are: six family bikes, including a woman who hadn’t biked since her pre-kid bike commuter days and had been coincidentally been storing a trailer in her garage for a friend. That green rainsuit on the kid in the middle of the picture is a Ducksday. They look awesome. My three-year old sports an MEC Newt Suit I need to rewaterproof with Nikwax and my five-year old is about to outgrown his MEC rain bibs so I’m on the lookout for something new, though most rainsuits seem to only go up to size 5T…though it’s usually a baggy 5T. (Same goes for the sizing of the Tuffo Muddy Buddy I see on a lot of kids.)
I didn’t bring kid bikes because I’d intended to leave early for a 1pm soccer game (of course that didn’t happen because who can leave a party as awesome as this?!) which meant I was free to relieve a little rider of her 20-inch kid bike so she could hop on her mom’s Kona Ute and take it easy the rest of the ride. For the record, I think I could have fit all three kid bikes: her 20-inch bike, our 16-inch pedal bike, and 12-inch balance bike if need be. I’ve never dragged two bikes behind, but I’ve seen pictures.
I love the redundancy of this Kona Ute: big kid moved from her separate bike to the deck while her little brother, who normally rides in the iBert front seat, was taking a nap in the Chariot trailer. Talk about wasted space–she could have easily fit three more kids on there! She didn’t have a solid plan for carrying the kiddie bike, though she had bungee cords along to give it a try. Her more reasonable plan B was to lock it up if her daughter got tired and come back for it later so I was very happy to be able to help.
The birthday boy’s dad met us along the trail between the first and second park stops. He pulls a trailer bike and since the star of the show was sitting on mom’s Kona MinUte (with Skuut balance bike snugly strapped to the side!) he made use of the spare seat to carry an enormous bag of balloons. Quite exciting! The kid in the photo is sporting Nutcase Removable Ear Pads which I just saw for the first time last week at Hub and Bespoke. Not as cute as my Helmuffs, but they still look and work great.
Had the weather cooperated, the whole party would have been outside, but we dried out in a room in Magnuson Park where we enjoyed ‘Zaw artisan pizza (usually bake at home, but they’ll cater baked pizzas–even gluten-free and dairy-/soy-free!), salad, and chocolate zucchini birthday cake. Yum!
A bunch of kids and their kiddie bikes met the party at 12:30 for phase two of the party. The birthday boy’s mom had made the Bike Works family bike rental fleet available to guests, but no one made use of it. However, it was still impressive that so many showed up for the party, both the indoor and outdoor portions. The kids with bikes had quite a bike course going inside the party room, but they eventually moved outside for the highlight of the day: the kid-led bike parade. I trailed behind the kids with my littles on the Big Dummy and we paraded alongside playground, dog park, and rugby games.
I followed my friend on the Ute home so I could give her daughter periodic breaks from her bike. It worked out really well, though I left the trail a mile before they would head uphill towards home. I was pleased to see a 20-inch bike fits wonderfully in my Xtracycle FreeLoader bag–even better than my five-year old’s 16-inch bike that I have to be careful to cinch in tightly enough to keep it straight. Yay, Big Dummy!
This sounds like so much fun! I’ve never heard of the Bike Works Family Rental and I don’t know how to bike with my two 4-year olds so I’m going to check them out:) We’re trying to get more healthy and enjoy the Northwest outdoors a little more.
This sounds like a swell party!
We’d love to help you ride with your kids, eckids! We’re holding a Family Biking Seminar this Sunday as well, from 9:30-12. The class is taught by genuine family biking expert, Morgan Sherer and is bound to be a blast!
Check out this page here for info on all our classes for adults and for families: http://bikeworks.org/community_repair.php
(I teach at Bike Works)
It’s an awesome new program! Definitely check them out. I’m also intrigued by the Adams Trail-a-Bike Folder Tandem for two kids big enough to pedal. I think you may have to go to Canada to get one, though.
I will definitely bookmark this and we have family in Canada so that will help. Thank you!
Great idea for a birthday party! My son’s birthday is in August, so we might actually be able to do something like this when he’s older & have great weather. :) I will file it in the birthday party idea section of my brain for later.
Cool! I want parties just like this for all of us, too :) Our local bicycle club also have bike rodeo supplies for rental, though I recently found small cones at a second-hand sporting goods store so I now have my own bike rodeo supplies.