Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on April 8th, 2008 at 9:22 am
(Photo courtesy Paul Adkins)
The city of Eugene (about 100 miles south of Portland) has come up with a kinder, gentler, and younger spin on Critical Mass — “Kidical” Mass.
The idea came from bike advocate Shane Rhodes. Rhodes — who manages the Safe Routes to Schools program for a Eugene-area school district — says the idea came to him during an early morning brainstorm about an upcoming visit to his city by filmmaker Ted White.
“The bike movement has grown up, and now it has kids!”
–Shane Rhodes, Eugene bike advocate
White is creator of, Return of the Scorcher (1992), a documentary about bike culture that first coined the term “critical mass,” and, We Are Traffic (1999), a film that chronicles the often misunderstood and controversial ride.
With White (a father now himself) in town to give a talk as part of Eugene’s Earth Day celebration, Rhodes thought, “what better thing to do than a critical mass-style ride, but something more family friendly.” Rhodes says, “The bike movement has grown up, and now it has kids!”
Another Eugene resident excited about the event is Paul Adkins. Adkins works for Bike Friday and was recently named president of the local advocacy group, Eugene GEARS (Greater Eugene Area Riders, which merged last month with the Eugene Bicycle Coalition). Adkins has four kids and his family drives only once a week.
Adkins is helping Rhodes plan Kidical Mass and says they won’t shy away from traffic just because kids will be riding. “It’s going to be on city streets…and we’re starting at 6pm on a Friday.” He hopes to get about 50 people on the first ride, which will wind through the University of Oregon campus, through downtown, and end at an ice cream shop.
Here in Portland, Kidical Mass has already inspired another family biking advocate.
Koch — who recently asked Portlanders to drive more carefully around her and her daughter — says she has already planned Portland’s first Kidical Mass. It will happen on June 20th, during Shift’s Pedalpalooza.