Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Eugene gears up for ‘Kidical Mass’

Posted by on April 8th, 2008 at 9:22 am

Paul Adkins and family (notice the kids in the trailer!) in Eugene.
(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.

Illustration from the KidicalMass.org website.

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.

Angela Koch, the Safe Routes to Schools program leader for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), met Rhodes and Adkins and heard about the idea at the recent Oregon Bike Summit.

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.

If you’re a family biking fan, check out my Family Biking coverage archives and stay tuned for the next installment of our new column, Carfree Families (by Marion Rice).


    Kidical Mass Eugene
    Friday, April 18th
    Monroe Park (10th and Monroe)

    Kidical Mass Portland
    Friday, June 20th
    North Park Blocks (NW 8th and Burnside)
    More details

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  • Bikebillboards dot blogspot dot com April 8, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Oh, yeah? Kidical Mass Tulsa can beat your Kidical Mass. 😛

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  • Knobby Drifter April 8, 2008 at 10:13 am

    That photo of Paul and family is absolutely priceless.

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  • solid gold April 8, 2008 at 10:46 am

    those scofflaw Critical Mass bikers are at it again! they should all be arrested because they don\’t make complete stops, and they make us serious spandex commuters look bad too! and now they\’re recruiting children for the anarchistic chaos! oh the humanity!!

    this is satire, for the clueless out there.

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  • BURR April 8, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I think Paul might be endangering his children, letting them horse around on a moving bike like that!


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  • Russell April 8, 2008 at 11:05 am

    That picture of the Adkins family reminds me of the evolution hierarchy image (ape to man). Someone, with more artistic talent than me (stick figures anyone?), could make a great \”evolution of the cyclist\” image using his family as a template.

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  • Joe April 8, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    hehe. sweet

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  • itsdirty! April 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    this is great. for a smaller time vision of this see the rides going on in SE on the second saturday of each month. they will be good rides for those taking steps to riding with children on public roads….please come and lets meet up while riding!

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  • Biking too April 8, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    that is truly a beautiful picture but please be careful…

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  • Scott Mizée April 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Sounds like fun! Hope we can make it to the Pedalpalooza Kiddical Mass ride.

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  • Thom April 9, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Best. Picture. Ever.

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  • Scott Mizée May 9, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Kidical Mass Portland? what\’s this I hear?

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  • The Saddkebutt December 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm


    I feel for you becuase people have tried to bully me on road. Anyone that would road bully someone with a tottler in tow is lower than snake s**t.

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