Family Biking

Below are stories about biking with your family. Click on a headline to read the full article.

Biking with the family dog

Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 10:43 am.

Pixie at the helm.
(Photos by Madi Carlson)

What’s a family biker to do when the kids have graduated to riding their own bikes? One way to conquer the empty [bike] nest doldrums is by joining the #carrypupolympics.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I was born into a household run by cats and didn’t know the love of a dog until I was nine and we got Mandy, a mid-sized Shepherd mix, from the animal shelter. Mandy and I logged many miles on foot, but I never thought to combine playing with the dog with biking or skateboarding.

When I left home I became a small dog person and ended up with Lyle the chihuahua. My boyfriend at the time had wanted a chihuahua ever since, having been attacked by what he mistook for a woman’s fur while working at a taco restaurant drive-thru. Fortunately, Lyle had a lovely personality and I was delighted by his portability. Back then I rode a hybrid bike with a backpack so I tucked Lyle in front, between my t-shirt and sweatshirt, and brought him to college classes with me. This system worked well except for one time when a friend hailed Lyle from the sidewalk and Lyle leapt out of my sweatshirt. He got a bit scratched up, but luckily didn’t hold it against me or the bike and we lived to ride another day.
[Read more…]

How to keep little bike passengers cozy in the cold

Posted on February 20th, 2018 at 10:40 am.

Bundled-up bike passengers

Lots of layers is a good start; but there’s much more to keeping them comfortable.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

You’ve decided to start biking more with your little ones. You’ve found routes that work for you. You’ve got your bike set-up figured out.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

And then you look outside and realize it’s 35 degrees.

Pedaling my heavy bike keeps me warm, but it’s a different story for my non-pedaling passengers. They need at least one extra layer when it’s cold outside. That’s one of the many things I’ve learned over the years.

As we get our first major snow storm of the year, this week’s post is all about how to stay warm and dry while biking with kids. First, I’ll go over the things you can put on your bike, then I’ll share the things you can (hopefully) put on your kids.
[Read more…]

Here’s how I’ve carried my kids by bike for the past 10 years

Posted on February 13th, 2018 at 9:36 am.

The boys and I at the Fiets of Parenthood event in 2012.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

The first step to biking with kids often starts with a question: How do you carry them?

I’ve had several family bikes over the years, with some overlap because redundancy is awesome if you have room to store it. I’ve since learned about bikes that work for babies through big kids, but I liken my multi-bike journey to the car seat progression many families follow: infant car seat to convertible car seat to booster seat. Even though some of those seats aren’t used for a long time, everything feels like an eternity when it’s baby-related and seems well worth it.

By sharing what has worked for my family, I hope it’ll help make carrying kids easier for you. Below is the progression of our bike set-up journey over the past 10 years…
[Read more…]

Introducing our new Family Biking column by Madi Carlson

Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 2:30 pm.

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Publisher’s note: Welcome to our Family Biking column! I’m thrilled to share Madi’s insights and experiences here on BP. Please give her a warm welcome and let’s thank Clever Cycles for helping bring this content to the community. — Jonathan]

Hi. I’m Madi.

I bike for all the typical reasons — it’s cheaper than driving, it’s safer than driving, it’s simpler than taking the bus, it’s healthy, it doesn’t pollute, it’s usually faster than all other modes of transportation — but mostly because it’s tremendously fun. Even with kids. Especially with kids. I love to share that sense of fun and ease with others in the hopes of encouraging more families and individuals to bike even just a little bit more often. I’ve found focusing on the fun stuff to be an effective way of promoting bicycling as transportation (but I also reserve the right to discuss statistics and badmouth car traffic).

I ride with my two sons, aged 10 and 8, and our conveniently-basket-sized dog. I’ve been family biking since my first son was one year old and have gone through several bike iterations along the way. I like to think there are a lot of different right answers and very few wrong answers when it comes to choosing a family bike.
[Read more…]

Northeast community embraces bike safety fiesta hosted by Portland Police

Posted on September 1st, 2016 at 10:06 am.

Assistant Chief Chris Uehara was one of several officers who attended the annual bike safety fiesta.(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Assistant Chief Chris Uehara was one of several officers who attended the annual bike safety fiesta.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

The power of bicycles to bring people together and break down barriers is truly awe-inspiring. We’ve seen this take many forms over the years and now we can add a recent event hosted by the Portland Police Bureau to the list.
[Read more…]

Kidical Mass set for February; but don’t expect to see Rep. Greenlick

Posted on January 27th, 2011 at 12:59 pm.

Puppet parade bike move

Kidical Mass will end at a puppet
show next month.
(Photo © J. Maus)

After news spread earlier this month about Oregon House Representative Mitch Greenlick’s law proposal that would ban kids six years and under from riding on (or being pulled behind) bikes with their parents, Kidical Mass organizers felt their ride would be a fitting way to demonstrate their opposition to the bill.

On January 15th, despite rain-soaked skies, about 50 people showed up to ride through the streets of Sellwood. Ride organizer Katie Proctor invited Rep. Greenlick to join them but he had a prior commitment (House Rep. Jules Bailey did attend). This month, Proctor once again invited Greenlick, but he has declined the invitation.
[Read more…]

Rep. Jules Bailey to attend Kidical Mass ride this Saturday

Posted on January 14th, 2011 at 1:16 pm.

Kidical Mass - August-5.jpg

Kidical Mass rallies the family biking troops.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Moms, dads, and kid-lovers throughout the state have gotten fired up over the family biking legislation that’s made headlines this week. Many of them plan to join the monthly Kidical Mass ride which will be held this Saturday in Sellwood. Joining them will be Oregon House Representative Jules Bailey.[Read more…]

Kidical Mass goes caroling this weekend

Posted on December 16th, 2010 at 8:41 am.

This month’s Kidical Mass group family ride will take on some holiday spirit. Here’s the ride description from

Baby, it’s cold outside… and wet, and dark so very early. Brighten up your holiday mood by joining Kidical Mass for a ride (whatever the weather) in NoPo this month! We’ll sing carols (Christmas, bikey, and otherwise) for the holiday shoppers on North Mississippi, and then stop in to Grand Central Baking for some hot drinks and a cookie or three before heading home– note the earlier time, to help us all get home before dark!

Meet at 1:45 under the covered basketball courts in Irving Park (3535 Northeast 7th Ave) – we’ll leave at 2 and plan to be back by 4. Ride is a 2.5 mile loop. Please be sure to bring lights (just in case!) and extra warm layers, so that you and your little ones can enjoy every bikey minute!

See you there!

Kidical Mass returns! Thriller! Zombies! Slideshow!

Posted on October 24th, 2010 at 12:05 am.

Kidical Mass - Zombie Edition-21

The ride heads down Alder,
en route to a zombie-infested
Pioneer Square.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Kidical Mass made its return to Portland in fine style on Saturday. The turnout was small (just a handful of families), but the group was fun and friendly. We met up under the colorful fall leaves of the South Park Blocks and mingled a bit before being corralled by ride organizer Katie Proctor.[Read more…]

Kidical Mass rises from grave with ‘ThrilleRide’

Posted on October 15th, 2010 at 10:55 am.

Kidical Mass!-34.jpg

Kidical Mass in downtown Portland in June 2008.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Kidical Mass rides again! And what better way to make a comeback than a ride to a mass performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller a week before Halloween?!

The popular event (with the catchy name) that started in Eugene and came to Portland via the BTA for the first time in June of 2008, has been resurrected by Portlander Katie Proctor.

The ride will take place on Saturday, October 23rd and will coincide with Thrill The World PDX, a mass zombie dance that will happen in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. “Come as a zombie or in your Halloween costume, and come prepared to dance!” says Katie.

Katie, a self-described “Portland mom and bike geek,” sees Kidical Mass as much more than just another ride…[Read more…]