(Photos: Paul Manson/Flickr)
The wet and cool weather didn’t stop a healthy turnout at the monthly Kidical Mass ride in Sellwood yesterday. With the controversy around HB 2228 still fresh on their minds, ride organizer Katie Proctor reported that about 50 people (nearly a majority of them under six!) showed up for a “simple, old-fashioned group ride through the neighborhood — ringing bells as we went.”
(Photo: Michael Andersen/Portland Afoot)
“This stage of the political process doesn’t need mobs, marches, signs or sit-ins… The idea was to get together in the rain and cold and wet, and show our leaders the healthy, safe, wacky fun that riding with kids can be.”
— Katie Proctor
Proctor had invited Oregon State Representatives Mitch Greenlick (who proposed HB 2228) and Jules Bailey (who opposed the bill, and has swung into action to make it less bad). Greenlick was unable to make it, but Bailey “enthusiastically accepted” said Proctor.
Not blind to the politics around this month’s ride, Proctor (who lives in Bailey’s Southeast Portland House district) said, “The idea was to get together in the rain and cold and wet, and show our leaders the healthy, safe, wacky fun that riding with kids can be.”
When the ride reached its first stop, Blue Kangaroo Coffeehouse, they pulled in for hot cocoa, vanilla steamers, and, Proctor reports, some quality time with Rep. Bailey. Here’s more from Proctor:
“He talked with most of us, alone or in groups, and was sincere and friendly and interested. With me, he shared memories of riding to preschool on the back of his father’s bike, all the way from the eastern edge of the Sunnyside neighborhood to the SE Industrial district. “And,” he says, “this was back when nobody was carrying kids on bikes.” Familiar with the classic “safety in numbers” finding, he extended it to family biking: “The more of you there are doing it, the safer all of you are.”
And if HB 2228 still has you fuming, here’s a bit more perspective from Proctor:
“This stage of the political process doesn’t need mobs, marches, signs or sit-ins. It may come to that. But for right now, the best way we bike-riding parents can protest this bill is by continuing to do what we do, and telling people about it.”
Check out this short and sweet video clip from the ride (shot by Chad Berkley):
— Many many thanks to Katie, Michael Andersen and Paul Manson (photos) and Chad Berkley (video) for making this recap possible.