Parents who bicycle want to share the joy of riding a bike with their youngsters. Kidical Mass provides a fun, safe and social way to do it.
The first Kidical Mass ride occurred in 2008 in Eugene, Oregon, and it has quietly spread to over two dozen communities across the country. This year, Walla Walla and Wenatchee joined the ranks of Kidical Mass when volunteers started organizing local rides. You’ll find a list of Washington state communities (six that we know of) listed at the end of this post.
Inspired by Kidical Mass rides in other communities, dads Luke Waggoner and Corren Current decided to organize one in Walla Walla. They created a Kidical Mass Walla Walla Valley Facebook page and set up a Twitter account to announce their first ride in April and were pleasantly pleased when two dozen participants turned out for the ride. They have been riding monthly.
“We set a date for our first ride and planned a route from Pioneer Park—one of Walla Walla’s best known parks—to a locally owned frozen yogurt place called Blue Palm. We started our second ride in the community of College Place and hope to regularly include both Walla Walla and College Place,” Luke explained and added, “We may even venture across the state line to Milton Freewater (OR) for a ride in a few months.”
He noted that the Walla Walla group plans to continue riding into fall.
Organizers Deb Miller, Todd Jensen and Patrick Tracy held their first Kidical Mass ride in June to coincide with Everybody Out(doors) Day. They have monthly rides scheduled through September, with the next one coming up on August 15. The organizers have been using flyers, word of mouth, and the Pybus Kids Century Facebook page to get the word out about their events.
Wenatchee is home to the much loved and heavily used Apple Capital Loop Trail, and Wenatchee Valley adopted a regional bike master plan a couple of years ago. The bike master plan process identified a high contingent of interested but concerned riders in the valley who either don’t feel safe biking on roads or are not aware of how best to access local bike routes.
“Kidical Mass provides an opportunity for families to ride and feel safer while riding in a larger, more visible group, helps them learn some of the easy connections between their neighborhood and local amenities, and teaches them a few road skills while we’re at it,” Deb noted. “Our hope is to help families identify these routes and then be able to access downtown, Pybus Market, Apple Capital Loop Trail, and other locations via bicycle and without driving to these locations in their cars.”
Kidical Massive: September 19
The founders of Kidical Mass are organizing the first ever Kidical Massive on September 19. They bill it as the biggest global family bike ride ever. (Added bonus: it’s also Talk Like a Pirate Day!) Among the Washington communities registered for Kidical Massive so far include Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma and Walla Walla. From the Facebook event:
Join us as thousands of families around the world 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 now.
Kidical Mass Washington State:
Are we missing your Kidical Mass rides or your Kidical Massive event? Please post it in the comment section!