About Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist)

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist)

Madi Carlson (aka @familyride) began writing our Family Biking column in February 2018. 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.


Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) Posts

Family Biking: Go beyond parks and campgrounds with these bike camp hacks

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

The best camp-hacking comes with a pool, cake, and karaoke.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Did you know house sitting is now called (by some at least) “rent hacking”? It sounds cool, but I prefer “camp hacking,” a term I coined for camping options beyond the usual parks and campgrounds. If you’re looking for a quick-and-dirty way to camp with your bikes, maybe it’s time to think outside the box.[Read more…]

Family Biking: The ABCs of a summer bucket list

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

We just biked to the last Portland Pickles baseball game of the regular season. I love biking to sporting events in the summer!
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

For those of us following the Portland Public Schools calendar, there are just two more weeks of summer break. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to sneak in a few more fun things on bikes before we’ve got to get back to the books. I’d like to hit a few new locations and maybe revisit a special spot or two.

How about you? Any last-minute summer flings planned? If not, here are three little bits of inspiration…[Read more…]

Family Biking: Time to start planning your bike-to-school route

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

I can’t wait to see if the new lanes on SE Foster feel safe at 8:30am once school starts.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Yikes, August has snuck up on me and the school year is just three weeks away. That means it’s time to plan out your bike-to-school route. [Read more…]

Family Biking: You can’t go home again, but bicycling helps

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

First glimpse of the ocean! Three Arch Rocks in the background at Netarts Bay.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

This week’s column will be a bit more introspective than usual, so please bear with me…

I think a lot about my kids and my own lost youth in the summers.
[Read more…]

Family Biking: Reassuring relatives about biking with baby

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

(Photos: Madi Carlson)

How do you handle well-meaning concerns about biking with little ones?
[Read more…]

Review: ‘Motherload’ film gives cargo bikes their due

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Motherload takes us on a journey through cargo bike history and use.
[Read more…]

Join us for ‘Motherload’ film screening and bike parade this Thursday

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Eight years in the making, a most exciting film about cargo bikes and family biking is finally here! Fresh off the film festival circuit, the first non-festival showing of Motherload will be here in Portland this Thursday at 7pm at the Clinton Street Theater.
[Read more…]

Meet Skip Spitzer; a carfree, climate-change-fighting, single dad

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Skip Spitzer tows his son’s balance bike behind their trailer.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

This week we’re happy to share a profile of reader Skip Spitzer.

I met Skip on my Bike to School Day bike ride to the ‘Red for Ed’ rally, though I’d noticed his trailer in photos of various bike events around town before. As luck would have it, he was at the Woodstock Elementary play structure a couple weeks later while I was running a bike rodeo and he was nice enough to stick around for a conversation and a few photos…[Read more…]

Family Biking: Oxbow Regional Park is a great bike camping destination

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Kidical Mass PDX at Gresham Main City Park en route to Oxbow Regional Park.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

We just returned from a weekend at Oxbow Regional Park with the annual Kidical Mass PDX bike camping trip and my kids declared it their favorite bike camping site in the area.[Read more…]

Family Biking: Join Kidical Mass for a weekend camping trip to Oxbow Park

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Kidical Mass PDX rides to camp, 2014.
(Photo: Andy Schmidt)

Who doesn’t love a last-minute weekend adventure? We’ve got a few spots left for our annual Kidical Mass PDX family group camping trip this weekend and we’d love to have you come along. There are even still some scholarships available (email kmasspdx[at]gmail[dot]com for scholarship information). Keep reading for all the details!
[Read more…]