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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
Are you ready for summer? Like it or not, summer is here, so join us for the second Rockville Kidical Mass bicycle ride this Saturday! We’ll be meeting at 10 AM in front of the indoor entrance to the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center (355 Martins Lane). The ride will be a munchkin-friendly 1.5 miles on off-road, multi-use paths and quiet residential streets. We’ll pass the baseball fields and Skate Park, where we can watch the older kids show off. We’ll end the ride back at the Swim Center with popsicles for everyone. If you want to stick around for swimming, day passes are $6 for adult residents, $5 for kid residents, $7 for adult non-residents and $6 for kid non-residents.
As always, riders of all ages and skill levels are welcome. We will be going at the pace of the slowest rider. Rain at the start will cancel the ride, but wet pavement will not. Helmets are required for everyone and lots of water is highly recommended. We would love and appreciate it if you RSVP on our Meetup page for the ride.
We hope to see you this Saturday on two wheels!
Thank you to everyone who participated in and helped promote Kidical Mass Rockville’s launch on June 14! The ride had 6 families show up for a total of 17 people. We pedaled 1.5 miles each way to Carmen’s Italian Ice, where we enjoyed some sweet treats.
While the lure of ice cream was strong, our littlest riders were even more excited about being out on their bikes. I heard yells of, “This is awesome!” and “I love this” as we went along. They were even troopers going up a challenging hill, as one said, “We’re gonna have strong legs going up this hill!” I would especially like to recognize that the kids on their own bikes did an excellent job of demonstrating their on-road biking skills, by following the leader and acting predictably.
The other big shout-out is to Joe and Jennifer Allen, the leaders of our sister ride Kidical Mass Gaithersburg. They came out to show support and Joe acted as sweep for me. While several of our summer rides overlap, we plan on holding a joint costume ride with them in October.
But in the meantime, our next ride is only a few weeks away on July 12 at 10 AM. We’ll be starting and ending at the Rockville Swim Center, taking a leisurely pedal around the surrounding neighborhood using multi-use off road paths and quiet residential streets. This is a short one (about 1.5 miles) without any major road crossings, so it’s especially good for little kids on their own bikes. It’s probably going to be hot, so if you bring water, I’ll supply the popcicles!
If you need even more family riding goodness, the Washington DC Kidical Mass ride is having two rides this month, conveniently on the first and third Saturday of the month. Also, if you can make it on the second Saturday but not in the morning, Kidical Mass Gaitherburg is having their ride at 6:30 PM. In addition, check out Kidical Mass’s other nearby rides in Alexandria, Arlington and Falls Church.
Another revolution forward in our quest to make biking in Rockville cuter two wheels at a time!
Join us this Saturday, June 14, for the launch of Kidical Mass Rockville! We’ll be meeting at the Thomas Farm Community Center (700 Fallsgrove Dr, Rockville) at 10 AM right near the bike rack. We’ll be riding to local favorite Carmen’s Italian Ice and back. We may also stop at the park across the street from Carmen’s if there is interest. The route is 1.5 miles each way and will use multi-use paths, quiet residential streets and a short distance on a bike lane. We welcome families with kids in trailers, bike seats, box-bikes, tag-a-longs and on their own two wheels! The pace will be at the speed of the slowest rider (probably about 6 mph), so don’t worry about being left behind.
We hope to make this a great launch, so please come and bring your kids and friends! Also, congratulations to our Virginia neighbors and their successful launch of Falls Church Kidical Mass, which had more than 30 people show up to their inaugural ride.
With so many family biking events – six different Kidical Mass series in the D.C. area alone! – we are really showing that it is possible to make our cities bike and kid friendly.