Family Biking with Madi Carlson

Each week Madi Carlson shares insights and adventures gleaned from raising two kids on two wheels.

This content is made possible by Clever Cycles, a family-oriented bike shop located on SE Hawthorne at 9th.


Family Biking: The ABCs of a summer bucket list

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on August 13th, 2019 at 9:42 am

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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on August 6th, 2019 at 9:12 am

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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 31st, 2019 at 9:11 am

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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 23rd, 2019 at 8:52 am

(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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 16th, 2019 at 9:57 am

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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 9th, 2019 at 10:52 am

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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 2nd, 2019 at 11:48 am

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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on June 25th, 2019 at 11:27 am

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

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on June 18th, 2019 at 9:20 am

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…]

These summer bike camps still have a spot for your kid

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on June 11th, 2019 at 6:01 am

Bike camps teach riding skills, bike maintenance, safety, and friendship.
(Photo: Nat Shreffler for Community Cycling Center)

Portland has a wide variety of summer bike camps: Everything from learn-to-ride camps that ease kids onto two wheels to camps that teach advanced riding and repair skills. You might think it’s late in the game to find a spot in one of them, but most area bike camps still have spaces in some sessions.

My son attended his favorite bike camp back when he was five. He decided he wanted “bike racing camp” instead of “regular bike camp” and I found a new camp offered at a bike coaching facility. They started each morning of the week watching Danny MacAskill bike trick videos before pedaling off via multi-use path to a park where the instructor had stashed an obstacle course in the bushes. In addition to the emphasis on riding and tricks, he came home with more art projects from this camp (we still have a precious old bike cranks and duct tape creation) than from the larger, more traditional bike camps he’s attended.
[Read more…]