Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Family Biking: Join us for Kidical Massive this Saturday (9/15)

Posted by on September 11th, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Kidical Mass is for families. Kidical MASSIVE is for even more families.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus)

Kidical Mass PDX has a special event coming up this weekend: Kidical MASSIVE. I’ve written about Kidical Mass before and how much it means to me. Even as a seasoned family biker, there’s nothing I love more than riding with a big, slow, rolling, bell-dinging parade of kids on bikes.

What’s special about this particular Kidical Mass is that all 50 or so of the the Kidical Masses around the world host will an event on the same day.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Another special thing about this ride is that it’s terrifically short and quite flat so it’s a good one for families with kids on very small bikes and balance bikes who can’t keep up on other rides. This ride, like previous Kidical MASSIVEs in Portland, will be led by Kathleen Youell. She’s my go-to person for route advice, especially when I want to know the flattest route to get anywhere. So when she says “No e-assist required, bakfietsen friendly!” you know it’s true.

This ride could be done by families who arrive by bus or car with only a balance bike in tow and check out Biketown bike share bikes from the SE Elliott at Division hub and return them on Hawthorne while we hang at the end park. Or same but with e-scooters for the adults!

➤ Ride details:

Saturday, September 15, 2018
10:30 Abernethy Elementary School playground (2421 SE Orange Ave, Portland, OR 97214)
11:00 Depart for Sewallcrest Park (SE 31st Ave & Market St, Portland, OR 97214)
1.5 mile route
Facebook event page

We’ll meet at the playground of Abernethy Elementary School in Ladd’s Addition at 10:30 a.m. for a bit of play before setting out at 11:00 a.m. for Sewallcrest Park. Our one and a half mile ride is the flat-as-possible route between the two parks, friendly for heavy adult bikes and little kid bikes alike! Even speedy balance bikers will enjoy this ride!
Note: This is a one-way ride.

What if it rains?
We ride rain or shine! We have a backup plan in case of very heavy rain–meet on the covered basketball courts right next to the playground and we’ll take a shorter ride to treats! (Bring money for treats if we enact our backup plan.)

As with all Kidical Mass rides, helmets required for those 16 and under, suggested for adults. We will ride together as a group and help all the kids learn how to ride in the street because Kids are Traffic Too!

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Are you reading this from outside Portland or have family biking friends elsewhere who’d be interested in Kidical MASSIVE? There’s a Facebook event for the world-wide Kidical MASSIVE event. There’s even time for people to register more local events and join the fun.

From KidicalMass.org:

It’s the fourth annual Kidical Massive ride!! Join us as THOUSANDS of families around the country go for a bike ride together. We’ll be showing that “Kids are Traffic Too” and that cities that plan for family biking are more livable, sustainable, profitable, and FUN! Make a ride in your community happen; register your community and start planning your event.

Can you make it and add to the global cuteness count?

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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9 Comments
  • 9watts September 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    “This ride could be done by families who arrive by bus or car with only a balance bike in tow.”

    I’ll register a dissenting opinion, as I have with respect to Sunday Parkways, which also evolved in this fashion. These bike events all started out as militant we-need-to-move-beyond-cars-beyond-fossil-fuels rides. I get the pragmatic impulse, the desire to be inclusive, but if the car is the thing we recognize we need to transcend, then we need not apologize for drawing a line that stops short of encouraging driving to a bike event that is protesting autodom.

    And I disagreed with Taz Loomans on this point as well.
    https://bikeportland.org/2015/04/27/column-fellow-bike-lovers-need-talk-car-shaming-139892#comment-6359406
    https://bikeportland.org/2015/04/27/column-fellow-bike-lovers-need-talk-car-shaming-139892#comment-6361265

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    • John Liu September 11, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Does every bike event need to protest autodom?

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      • 9watts September 11, 2018 at 6:08 pm

        Of course not, John.

        But some well known rides arose in that context, if I’m not mistaken.
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass_(cycling)

        Others are certainly free to disagree with my stance; I’d expect them to.
        But for this to be interesting it would be great to hear those who disagree articulate their perspective.

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        • Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist)
          Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) September 11, 2018 at 10:10 pm

          So Kidical Mass isn’t exactly the same as Critical Mass. From the kidicalmass.org FAQ:

          “Is this just like Critical Mass but with kids?
          Absolutely not. We are a family friendly law-abiding ride. Our purpose is to teach kids, parents and caregivers safety skills and provide a ride in which to practice them. We are creating awareness for the growing presence of kids and families on bikes and the need for all road users to respect other users of the road. We are also bringing together families who bike in an effort to provide a positive community experience that will show children how much fun riding your bike can be!”

          This is just my opinion, but I see Kidical Mass as a means for taking baby steps towards a car-free or car-lite lifestyle. And for some it’s simply a fun bike ride in the safety of a big group. I hope just planting the seed that a family could travel multi-modally with a balance bike and check out bike share bikes encourages people to try that now or in the future

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          • 9watts September 12, 2018 at 5:24 am

            Thank you for that clarification, Madi.

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          • Austin September 12, 2018 at 12:26 pm

            Great response!

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      • Dan A September 12, 2018 at 6:39 am

        Here are some that don’t:

        https://obra.org/schedule/list

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      • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 12, 2018 at 7:38 am

        sensitive much John?

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    • Greg Spencer September 12, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      I’m no car fan, but I believe an inclusive, soft-sell approach has a place in cycling activism. The Critical Mass ride that got me into activism was in this same welcoming spirit. It was in Budapest, Hungary and it had many features that were not in keeping with the original CM in San Francisco. It was done just once per year on a spring Sunday afternoon, when motor traffic was very light; it was organized in cooperation with the city government; it followed a designated parade route with street closures and police escort. In fact, many hardcore members of the activist community complained that it had no right to use the Critical Mass name. Despite these early and ongoing tactical debates within the movement, Budapest’s CM became hugely popular — eventually drawing nearly 100,000 participants! The huge participation brought daily cycling in Hungary into the mainstream, and gave the national cycling club credibility in city politics. It was a success because it got tons of fair-weather bikers out onto the streets and gave them a taste of what city riding could be.

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