Seattle Kidical MASSIVE 2016 recap

Yesterday Seattle took part in the second annual Kidical MASSive–Kidical Mass on the same day, everywhere–thousands of families around the world going for a bike ride together!

Kidical Mass shows that “Kids are Traffic Too” and that cities that plan for family biking are more livable, sustainable, profitable, and FUN!

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Despite a rainy forecast (yet no rain!) and a lot of wind, 20 people came out for our Seattle ride. This is a hard time of year to motivate to get outdoors…summer disappeared too quickly and we’re not yet used to the oppressive grey. It wasn’t an epic spectacle like Seattle Kidical MASSIVE 2015, but that was a day with gorgeous weather and it overlapped with Ballard Summer Parkways.

All my pictures on Flickr: Kidical MASSIVE Seattle – September 17, 2016 – 43 photos, 1 video. And check out many participating cities via the #kidicalMASSive twitter hashtag.

We met at Husky Grind at Mercer Court, right on the Burke-Gilman Trail. One family with a UW parking pass parked on campus which allowed the to attend from far away, one family partially bused over, and the rest of us biked. Unfortunately the cafe isn’t open on weekends until next weekend (note to self: find schedule here), but it was still a convenient meeting spot and we made use of the new Bike Fixation bike repair station…both as a fun toy and by two parents for real stuff.

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As Kidical Mass rides go, this was atypical in that we spent most of our time on the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s important we ride on streets, too, so we can demonstrate family biking as a means of transportation in our city to people who won’t see us tucked away on the multi-use trail as well as take advantage of the safety-in-numbers thing and give our families valuable safe and fun practice biking on city streets. But the Burke-Gilman Trail is a wonderful and useful corridor that some use for recreation, but a lot of us use to get from point A to point B.

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There are many businesses lining the trail. We stopped at Counterbalance Bicycles to use the potty, pick up a replacement helmet, and make an impulse purchase of kid biking gloves.

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Of particular note: our ride took place on PARK(ing) Day Plus+. We didn’t hit any PARK(ing) spots, but we rode through Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ PARK(ing) Day 2015 Design Competition honorable mention at NE 40th Street (Bryant/4th project listed). A year later, there are spray paint markings implying SDOT might install curb bulbs or flexi posts to make this dangerous spot easier to cross. Our Kidical MASSIVE ride splintered into a few groups to dart across during lulls in traffic, but I’m hopeful someday crossing here will be easier.

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We left the Burke-Gilman Trail to take Seattle’s first separated bike lanes at NE 65th Street.

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The cycletrack spit us out at an awkward two-crosswalk crossing to get into Magnuson Park, but then we shared quiet roads to get to Cascade Bicycle Club for their Unveiling Party celebrating:

  • The first-of-its-kind Traffic Garden, a small-scale, European-style streetscape where people can practice riding bikes in a safe and comfortable setting;
  • The Fix-it Garage, a fully stocked new learning space where riders can stop and do their own quick fixes; and
  • The Ride Leader Welcome Pavilion, our new front welcoming space that offers plenty of seating, shade, water bottle fill-ups and more—all made possible through generous donations of the Cascade Ride Leader team.

The Ride Leader Welcome Pavilion is great! There’s a bike repair station, covered seating, and covered bike parking! After filling our plates with lunch food and listening to announcements in the auditorium, we enjoyed cake and ice cream outdoors.

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The Traffic Garden is awesome and kids all took part in a bike rodeo. Bikes and balance bikes were provided to kids who arrived without wheels and one little friend even worked on learning how to ride a bike.

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I’m looking forward to seeing what fun events happen here in the future!

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