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!
With school back in full swing, September’s Rockville Kidical Mass is coming up! Come join us this Saturday at Twinbrook Community Center (12920 Twinbrook Parkway) for a laid-back two mile ride.
This time, we’ll be riding through beautiful Rockcrest Park, a long, narrow park through the neighborhood that has a great off-road path. The very beginning and end is steep – we’ll probably walk it – but the rest is flat. In the middle, we’ll take a short break at the playground at the end of the park before we turn around and head back to the community center.
We had a small turn-out for our last ride, but we did have an awesome young rider. On the ride out of Croyden Creek Nature Center, she did better than even she expected on the tough hills. We had a great time and it showed how we can often do more than we think we can.
As always, I’ll bring snacks if you bring water, helmets, your own bikes, a sense of fun, and of course, your favorite kids!
If you aren’t going to make it to Rockville’s Tour de Cookie this Saturday, definitely check out The ABC’s of Family Biking in D.C., put on by our sister Kidical Mass D.C. group! This free event, like all of the Kidical Mass events, is celebrating the joy of biking with kids. It’s focused on introducing local parents to the tools, skills, and equipment to help them bike with kids.
The event will offer:
- A Show & Tell by area parents who bike with children of all ages
- Bicycles and equipment available at local bike shops to help parents bike safely with their children
- Free Youth Bike course with WABA instructors to teach basic riding skills to children.
- Parents & Kids Riding class to help parents bike alongside their kids, either alone or in a “bike train” group.
- Balance bike races for our youngest riders
- A cargo bike obstacle course where interested parents can test demonstration bikes and experienced family cyclists can pits their skills against one another in the East Coast’s first-ever “Fiets of Parenthood” competition
- The opportunity for parents to “Swap or Sell” their gently used family biking equipment
- Free bike repair clinics from The Bike House
When: Saturday, May 3 from 11 AM – 2:00 PM
- Show & Tell, Swap & Sell and Fiets of Parenthood course 11am – 1pm
- Youth Bike Course 11am – 12:30pm (Kids’ bikes & helmets will be available, or bring your own! Parents must sign a waiver in order for kids to participate.)
- Balance bike races at 11:30am
- Parents & Kids biking class begins at 1:00pm (All participants are encouraged to bring their own bikes & helmets. All participants will be required to sign a waiver.)
Where: The parking lot behind Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan, 215 G Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. You can access the parking lot from either G Street or 2nd Street. The location is easily accessible from the Union Station Metro and Capital Bikeshare stations.
For more information about The ABC’s of Family Biking and Kidical Mass DC, check out the Kidical Mass DC webpage or e-mail Megan Odett, organizer, at KidicalMassDC AT gmail DOT com.