Category Archives: family biking

September Kidical MASSIVE Ride: Twinbrook

KidicalMassKingFarm

Our August Kidical Mass ride out of King Farm had a few firsts. In addition to kids and parents, we had a grandfather on the ride! It was also the first time I had seen a folding bike with a kid’s seat on the back. It was so much fun to see so much variety. We had 12 bicyclists in four families, plus our supporting volunteers. The kids had a great time at the playground at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park.

For our first fall ride, we’ll be meeting on September 17 at 10 AM at the Twinbrook Community Center. This time, we’ll be part of Kidical MASSIVE, an international celebration of family biking! The ride is 1.8 miles on a multi-use trail with a stop in the middle for the playground at Rockcrest Park. As always, we welcome families and kids on their parents’ bikes or their own. All adults must have their own bikes and accompany their children. RSVP on Bike Rockville’s Meetup group!

We hope to see you at Rockville’s cutest bike ride!

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August Kidical Mass Ride at King Farm

We had a great ride starting out from the Rockville Swim Center for July, with weather that wasn’t exactly cool, but not too hot at all for summer in the D.C. area! Thirteen parents, kids, and family biking enthusiasts joined us for a ramble around the nearby neighborhood.

2016 Swim Center ride

Our next ride is August 20 starting at the Safeway in King Farm. It will be 2.5 miles with a stop in the middle at the playground in Mattie J. T. Stepanek Park, a park created to celebrate a very special little boy. If you plan to join us, we’d love it if you’d RSVP at the Meetup site. We hope to see you there!

ABCs of Family Biking in D.C.

If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of family biking, be sure to check out the ABCs of Family Biking this Sunday! Hosted by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, this event runs from 10 AM – 2 PM in D.C. at the Brookland Arts Plaza (on the Brookline Arts Walk between Monroe and Michigan St. NE, next to the Brookland Metro).

The ABCs of Family Biking will offer resources to area parents on family biking and give them the opportunity to test family biking equipment. There will be ASL interpretation available.

The day will include:
– Family bike demo area
– Community partner area
– Bike repair area provided by The Bike Rack
– Kids bike rodeo area
– Trail rides on the MBT
– Balance bike race for the little ones
– Donate outgrown and old bikes to Gearin’ Up

To RSVP, find the schedule, and learn more, see the WABA Facebook event. Hope to see you there!

September: Kidical Massive and Twinbrook Community Center

With the end of the summer, we’re starting to wind down, but Kidical Mass Rockville still has a few more rides! With Kidical Massive and our Twinbrook ride coming up, there’s lots to do.
Kidical Massive is a nationwide event on September 19 to help families come together to participate in Kidical Mass rides all on the same day. Unfortunately, Kidical Mass Rockville will not be having our ride in conjunction with Kidical Massive because our parent group, the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee, also has a major ride on the same day. We didn’t want to overlap with the Carl Henn Memorial Ride , which remembers one of our city’s great bicycle advocates. However, our sister Kidical Mass Gaithersburg group is doing a Kidical Massive ride that we invite everyone to participate in. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for further details.
The following week, on September 26, Kidical Mass Rockville will be meeting at the Twinbrook Community Center at 10 AM. This two mile ride is completely on multi-use paths, although there is a steep hill at the beginning and end (which we can definitely walk if needed!). We will stop at Rockcrest Park in the middle, which has a large playground. RSVP on our Meetup page.

  We had a great time on our August ride to King Farm, so we hope to see you at one of the September rides!

July Kidical Mass Ride this Saturday at Rockville Swim Center!

Join us for the July Kidical Mass ride this Saturday at 10 AM at the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center! We’ll be riding 1.4 miles around the surrounding neighborhood on residential streets and multi-use paths. Check out this interactive Google Map for more details. We’ll be meeting and finishing at the indoor entrance of the Swim Center. Stick around afterwards for popsicles to beat the heat.

If you plan on going, we’d love it if you RSVP on our Meetup site so we have an estimated number of people. Hope to see you there!

Kidical Mass Rockville Swim Center ride

Our Swim Center ride last year!

The Season Starts off Right with Italian Ice

Kidical Mass Rockville kicked off the summer season with a cool, pleasant day for riding. We had a solid turnout of 14 people, with 3 kids on their own bikes and 3 along for the ride.

Children and adults gathered for the first Kidical Mass ride with bicycles in front of Thomas Farm Community Center

We also had our first family with a bakfiets! Bakfiets, also known as box bikes, are a special kind of cargo bike. One family was trying out Bullitt bikes, which are designed for hauling lots of stuff, including kids, while maintaining speed and maneuverability. Bakfiets are common in the Netherlands and Japan, which have a long tradition of family biking. The family had a great experience with them, saying the center of gravity was solid and the steering relatively easy.

As always, eating at Carmen’s Italian Ice was great, even though their soft serve machine was a bit fussy. But as wonderful as this local business is, they don’t have is a bike rack! Fortunately, the City of Rockville is running a grant program to give 10 bike racks away to local businesses. We gave the staff at Carmen’s information about the program, so if you come by on bike, let them know so they understand the demand. Similarly, if there’s any business you think needs a bike rack, please let them know about the program.

From Thomas Farm Community Center to Carmen’s and back, the group had a great time together. In fact, one of the kids said he wished it was longer!

Our next Kidical Mass ride will meet at the Rockville Swim Center and circle around the surrounding neighborhood. It will be 2 miles, using multi-use paths and residential streets. Learn more about our rides on our ride schedule page, the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee’s Meetup group or the RBAC website. We hope you join us to make bicycling in Rockville cuter and even more family-friendly!

May is Bike Month and There’s Plenty to Do!

May is Bike Month! With the month is almost half-way over, there have been some great activities in Rockville with more to come. While Rockville Kidical Mass doesn’t launch until June, some of our regional sister rides do kick off this month.

Start of the Tour de Cookie

Bike Month started out with a tasty celebration in the form of the Tour de Cookie to benefit the Treehouse Child Assessment Center of Montgomery County. More than 500 cyclists – a 75% increase from last year – came out to eat homemade cookies and benefit a great cause. Family biking was very well-represented, with plenty of parents towing little ones in trailers and accompanying kids on their own bikes. Even the mayor participated, with her own team of riders!

To follow up, the next day, the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee held our annual Bike Month kick-off ride to show off our local infrastructure. More than 40 riders saw as many highlights as we could fit in a six mile route.

Refurbished children's bicycles

Refurbished bikes for the awesome kids in the TERRIFIC Kids program!

Later that week, the City of Rockville, with the help of the new Rockville Bike Hub community bike shop, continued to support youth cycling through its TERRIFIC Kids program. First through third graders who complete six “responsible acts” can receive a free refurbished bicycle through the program. Along with the proclamation of May as Bike Month, the City Council meeting also congratulated the young recipients of the bicycles. However, the kids haven’t picked up their bikes quite yet. The Bike Hub is still looking for volunteers for this Sunday, May 17 at the King Farm Barns at Picard and Grand Champion from 10am-12noon and 1-3pm to help kids pick out their bicycles. Contact the Bike Hub though their Facebook page or Twitter to volunteer.

For the rest of Bike Month, there are two more Bike Rockville-supported events coming up. The nationwide Bike to Work Day is this Friday, May 15. With three stops in Rockville (two run by the city and one by JGB at Twinbrook) and weather predicted to be beautiful, we should have a great turnout. Be sure to register to get great swag and help Rockville beat Frederick in our annual Bike to Work Day showdown. The international Ride of Silence is on May 20 and honors all bicyclists that have been hurt or killed by motorists. The Rockville ride is especially in honor of Jamie Roberts, a Rockville native who was killed while riding across the country to raise money for cancer charities.

Because of the vast array of activities in May, the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee generally doesn’t start its regular rides until June, including the Tuesday night rides, Millennium Trail rides, and Kidical Mass rides. However, that hasn’t stopped our sister rides from starting this month! Kidical Mass Gaithersburg had its first ride in the beginning of the month and Kidical Mass Arlington has its season launch ride this Saturday at 5:30 PM. Later this month, Kidical Mass D.C. is doing a “bike-to-storytime” ride with the D.C. Public Library on May 31 at 1:30 PM at the Petworth Library.

With all of the great events going on, there’s no reason not to ride!

A Great First Season of Kidical Mass Rockville, Plus A Family Biking Town Hall!

Kidical Mass Rockville’s first season of rides wrapped up last weekend with our Fleece and Tweed joint ride with Kidical Mass Gaithersburg. Though the weather was brisk, the leaders of both rides and their kids met up for a short one-mile jaunt. Winding through the Kentlands with kids in tow, we ended our ride at the Saturday Gaithersburg Farmers Market.

Overall, the season was a great start to our Kidical Mass Rockville program. We held five different rides in a variety of neighborhoods, with only the October ride canceled because of weather. We rode to one of our favorite ice cream shops, ate popsicles at the pool, started and ended at Croyden Creek Nature Center, and explored the Twinbrook neighborhood. Along the way, we climbed hills we didn’t think we could, tackled riding on quiet streets, and went further than we imagined. Most importantly, we had a lot of fun! Thank you to all of the families that participated in this year’s Kidical Mass rides and the enthusiasm for biking you shared with your children.

But family biking isn’t quite over for the season. While our rides are done, the Washington Area Bicyclists’ Association is running a Future of Family Biking Town Hall on December 14 from 1-3 PM. If you ride with your kids, they want to hear from you! We’d love to see you there.

Kidical Mass Rockville will be starting up again next spring. The Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee has a whole slew of activities for Bike Month in May, so we hope to start the season off right.

Spooky Fall Rides with Rockville and Gaithersburg Kidical Mass!

We’re doubling the fun on our next two Kidical Mass rides, which will be joint rides with our sister group in Gaithersburg!

Our October ride will be an early celebration of Halloween. We’ll be meeting on October 11 at 10 AM at King Farm Village Center, 403 Redland Blvd, Rockville. To span both the Rockville and Gaithersburg groups, we pedal a slow four mile route to Crown Farm, near the Washingtonian Center. Unlike past Rockville Kidical Mass rides, this will only be one way, so be prepared to ride or drive home from the destination. We encourage both parents and kids alike to come in costume. Be sure that your costume is bicycle safe by securing any pant legs, not having any hanging pieces that could be caught in your wheels or gears, and not having any head-gear that will prevent wearing a helmet. Please RSVP for the ride on the Bike Rockville Meetup group!

If the weather cooperates, we’ll also have a joint November ride with the theme of Tweed and Fleece. Dress warmly for the brisk temperatures! On November 8 at 10 AM, we’ll meet at Lakelands Park, 1409 Main Street, Gaithersburg, MD. We’ll be ending at the Falls Grove shopping area, which also a one-way four mile ride. Check out the Meetup group to RSVP.

Beyond the Kidical Mass rides in Montgomery County, be sure to check out the others around the region (listed in the right-hand sidebar). The Greater DC area actually has the highest density of Kidical Mass rides in the country! In addition to rides, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) recently held a number of family biking events, including a family biking workshop and parent/kid Confident City Cycling class. Much thanks to WABA for their support for family cycling and Kidical Mass in particular!

Swim Center Kidical Mass Ride Goes Swimmingly

The Swim Center was the perfect place to meet for Rockville Kidical Mass’s second ride, as the weather was quite sticky!

We took a leisurely 1.5 mile ride around the neighborhood surrounding the Swim and Fitness Center. The town maintains some very handy multi-use trails that connect the Swim Center with nearby residential streets, as well as the skate park, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball fields and playgrounds in Welsh park.

Kidical Mass Rockville Swim Center ride

This time around, we had twelve riders, with four kids on bikes and one in a trailer. While one of our little riders wasn’t quite ready to venture out on the street, we appreciate her and her mom’s willingness to try something new. We know that children are all at different levels of comfort riding on the street and completely understand if a kid needs to go very slow or even drop out. The Kidical Mass rides are meant to build confidence by riding in a group, not force kids into a situation they aren’t ready for. If you aren’t sure if your kid is ready or not, we invite you to come and see how your child reacts. Even if you can’t ride with us at the moment, you are always welcome back for future rides!

We also had the pleasure of having a family travel all the way from Washington D.C.! They hadn’t been able to make the D.C. rides, so they thought they’d visit us up in the suburbs. If you can’t make our rides or just want more family biking opportunities, check out our sister groups in Gaithersburg, D.C., Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria and if you want to make a day trip of it, Baltimore. If you have older kids capable of riding longer distances (8-15 miles) or have some adult biking time, be sure to see the Rockville Bicycle Advisory Committee’s Meetup group, webpage and Facebook group.

We wrapped up the ride with orange and raspberry ice pops, slurping down the cold goodness to beat the heat. We hope everyone had a great time and enjoyed riding with us.

Our next Kidical Mass ride is on Saturday, August 9 at 10 AM. We’ll be meeting at the Croyden Creek Nature Center to ride to Rock Creek Park and back. Hope to see you there!