(Photos © J. Maus)
It’s like Critical Mass without the attitude or the age.
Portland’s first Kidical Mass ride (an import from Eugene) was a big success tonight. About 40 people (and about half were little ones!) showed up for a short loop through downtown.
Ride organizer Angela Koch, the Safe Routes to Schools director for the BTA, led us from the North Park Blocks, up NW Johnson to 21st, across Burnside to Alder, and then back to the Pearl District for ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.
It was simply magical to see such little kids (from ages 3-4 and up) riding confidently on downtown streets. We corked traffic to keep the group together (following all traffic laws of course) and we even tackled W Burnside.
A few parents ran alongside their kids (who were too small to keep up) and throughout the ride, we greeted people in cars with smiles, waves, “thank-you for stopping”, and bells.
With so much talk about fear, (and so many adults choosing not to ride because of it) there was something very symbolic and inspiring about seeing these kids on downtown streets, streamers flowing, training wheels rattling, and riding along without a care in the world.
It was like the bike parade version of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the ride and I have little doubt that this will become a regular occurrence. Stay tuned for the next one and come out and join us!
Browse the photo gallery for more images and watch this short video I put together from the ride (2:55):