Feeling the strength of moms on Mother’s Day

We were all smiles for Mother’s Day.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

After re-reading my last year’s post On the exhaustion of motherhood and why I want to bike with other families on Mother’s Day I realize this is a tiring time of year for me. Despite the too little sleep and too much stress, thanks to my bike I still feel now as I did back when my kids were little: capable, strong, and free.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

This year, like the last seven years, I celebrated Mother’s Day by organizing a bike ride for CycloFemme, a global collective bike ride born in 2012. Ours was a wonderful three-mile bike ride with a terrific group of attendees: repeat Kidical Mass family bikers, members of the Outdoor Afro Portland Meetup group, a family who came from out of town specifically for this ride, a family with three generations of women, families who heard about the event via their coop preschool, and a dad on an e-scooter (he’d been planning to use bike share, but the scooter was waiting right at the park).

2019 Kidical Mass PDX Mother’s Day CycloFemme ride.

It was the highlight of my day! Granted the rest of my day was spent doing typical mom stuff: propping myself upright with a cold, fever, and pulled back muscle, forgetting to eat breakfast while making the kids waffles, tending to a jammed thumb (therefore that passenger in my lead photo), and forgetting to eat dinner while distracting the kids from a little family crisis. But regardless, it would have been the highlight of any day!

I’m quite feeling this manifesto from CycloFemme after our ride:

“WE BELIEVE: That strong communities are built around strong women. That being on a bike brings us closer to our community, to nature, and to ourself. That from action comes change. That our hope, courage, and strength is amplified when we unite.”

Did you do anything bikey for Mother’s Day? Or do you have a different day (Father’s Day, birthday, Memorial Day, etc…) you like to use as an excuse to get out on two wheels? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading.

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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Madi Carlson

Madi Carlson

Madi Carlson (@familyride on Twitter) wrote our Family Biking column from February 2018 to November 2019. She's the author of Urban Cycling: How to Get to Work, Save Money, and Use Your Bike for City Living (Mountaineers Books). In her former home of Seattle, Madi was the Board President of Familybike Seattle, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting bicycling as a means for moving towards sustainable lifestyles and communities. She founded Critical Lass Seattle, an easy social group ride for new and experienced bicyclists who identify as women and was the Director of Seattle's Kidical Mass organization, a monthly ride for families. While she primarily bikes for transportation, Madi also likes racing cyclocross, all-women alleycats, and the Disaster Relief Trials. She has been profiled in the Associated Press, Outdoors NW magazine, CoolMom, and ParentMap, and she contributed to Everyday Bicycling by Elly Blue.

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5 years ago

We didn’t have a chance to ride on Mother’s Day, but I am looking forward to doing some pedalpalooza rides with my kids!

The return of the rain today was also fun. Riding with the kids in the rain always makes me feel like a superhero!

5 years ago

I love this column:) Thanks for the inspiration!

4 years ago

Love this column especially all things cargo bike! Any chance you can say what you used to hitch the Islabike to the back of your cargo bike?