Kidical Mass Wants You!

I’m writing today to ask for your help: Kidical Mass needs a team of people leading rides throughout the city. We need to share our knowledge and skills and distribute some responsibility to create an organization that is robust and sustainable, that draws on a variety of community resources and expands our organizational network.

Dear supporters of Kidical Mass PDX:

This October would have been our one-year anniversary of taking to the streets of Portland.  You may have missed us; if so, I’m sorry.  My world of family biking has evolved in the past few months, bringing me a new baby as well as increased pressures in my personal life.

Kidical Mass has to survive and expand in Portland to give bike-riding parents and kids a chance to connect with each other, to reassure bike-curious families that people are out living the family bike life every day, and to give newbies a chance to join and learn from those of us who ride all the time.

But it can’t survive in its current form: having the ride depend on my getting my act together every month is not working.

I’m writing today to ask for your help: Kidical Mass needs a team of people leading rides throughout the city.  We need to share our knowledge and skills and distribute some responsibility to create an organization that is robust and sustainable, that draws on a variety of community resources and expands our organizational network.

I face a number of challenges in planning Kidical Mass.  First is ride routing: I want the ride to be welcoming to all interested families and so try to move the ride around the city every month.  But I’m only familiar with so many parts of town, and exploratory rides are time-consuming and will never give me the familiarity of someone who lives there.  In addition, ride turnout declined notably throughout the summer, and while I’m not sure whether the problem lies in poor publicity, poor timing, or unappealing events, having more voices in event planning would add more diversity to the mix and mean fewer rider-less rides.  Finally, I’d like to see rides tied in better with neighborhood schools, daycares, swap & plays, etc—I think these are natural places to ‘recruit’ new riders.  Kidical Mass needs better connections with these community hubs.

I propose that we split the city into six sections, roughly correlating with high school districts.  Each section will have a volunteer ride leader to take responsibility for planning, publicizing, and executing two rides a year (or a team of leaders collaborating on those rides).  We can coordinate via in-person meetings and a ride leaders email list, and I am more than happy to support and mentor new ride leaders—you won’t be on your own unless you want to be.  I am in the process of assembling a ride-leader’s manual, a document that can also develop as we grow as an organization.  Our funds will continue to be managed by Umbrella, and we can work together to fundraise for the group.

Right now, I’m looking for volunteers from each of these districts.  I’m attaching a draft schedule for when rides go where—this is open for revision and trading, but it gives us a starting point.  If you can take responsibility for one or two rides a year in your neighborhood, please get in touch with me at katie.proctor@gmail.com and we’ll get this new organization underway.

I’m really looking forward to this next chapter!

Keep on pedaling,

Katie

January/July Cleveland

February/August Grant

March/September Lincoln

April/October Madison

May/November Franklin

June/December Roosevelt

Kidical Mass is For the Birds!: Ice Cream and Oaks Bottom Ride

If you’re a kid, September means back-to-school. But if you’re a bird, it means fall migration. Take a break from hitting the books and join Kidical Mass on September 17th on a ride for the birds—and for some ice cream! We’ll start at 3 pm at Oaks Pioneer Church (SE 5th & Spokane), and first head north to Staccato Gelato for some icy treats. Then we’ll roll back down to the Springwater Trail, which we’ll take up to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to take a peak at the birds passing through Portland on their way south. The ride will finish with our bird walk, but the starting point is just half a mile back down the trail. If you like, bring binoculars, scopes, and/or birding guides—or just bring your sharp eyes and curiosity! Kids must wear helmets, raincoats are a good idea this time of year (just in case!), and you should have a couple of bucks for ice cream. We ride slowly, but kids should be able to stay on the right side of the road, stop at stop signs, and follow verbal instructions. Rain or shine!

If you’re a kid, September means back-to-school.  But if you’re a bird, it means fall migration.  Take a break from hitting the books and join Kidical Mass on September 17th on a ride for the birds—and for some ice cream!  We’ll start at 3 pm at Oaks Pioneer Church (SE 5th & Spokane), and first head north to Staccato Gelato for some icy treats.  Then we’ll roll back down to the Springwater Trail, which we’ll take up to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to take a peak at the birds passing through Portland on their way south.  The ride will finish with our bird walk, but the starting point is just half a mile back down the trail.  If you like, bring binoculars, scopes, and/or birding guides—or just bring your sharp eyes and curiosity!  Kids must wear helmets, raincoats are a good idea this time of year (just in case!), and you should have a couple of bucks for ice cream.  We ride slowly, but kids should be able to stay on the right side of the road, stop at stop signs, and follow verbal instructions.  Rain or shine!

August Ride: Caravan to Fiets of Parenthood

This ride has two parts. First, a two-mile stint from Peninsula Park to Irving Park, followed by a three-mile leg from Irving Park down to the event. Peninsula Park meet-up time is 10:30; we’ll leave from Irving Park at 11:15. If either of those is on your way (or even if it’s not) come join us!

The second annual Fiets of Parenthood, Portland’s premiere test of skill for parents on pedals, will be held at Clever Cycles on Sunday, August 21st. To get there in style, join Kidical Mass in a caravan of family bike fun!

This ride has two parts. First, a two-mile stint from Peninsula Park to Irving Park, followed by a three-mile jog from Irving Park south to the event. If either of those is on your way (or even if it’s not) come join us!

Ride is 5 or 3 miles, depending on where you start. Meet at SE corner of Peninsula Park at 10:30, or by the Irving Park playground at 11:15. Kids must wear helmets. Bring water, snacks & sunscreen.

June Kidical Mass: Pedalpalooza Hoedown

Join Kidical Mass, Squaredance Paul and a couple of feisty musicians for a wild & crazy family square dance in a top-secret location, just for us! We’ll meet at Overlook Park at 1:45 and proceed to a top-secret square dancing location. After some dancing and lemonade, we’ll ride on to a park for some potluck goodies, then we’ll loop back to Overlook Park to finish! Bring treats & sweets to share, and come ready to dance!

Join Kidical Mass, Squaredance Paul and a couple of feisty musicians for a wild & crazy family square dance in a top-secret location, just for us!  We’ll meet at Overlook Park and proceed to a top-secret square dancing location.  After some dancing and lemonade, we’ll ride on to a park for some potluck goodies, then we’ll loop back to Overlook Park to finish! Bring treats & sweets to share, and come ready to dance!

Kids must wear helmets. We ride slow enough for little ones, but kids should be able to stay on the right side of the road, follow verbal instructions & stop at stop signs.

THIS RIDE HAS SPONSORS!  Thank you to:
The Bike Realtor
Splendid Cycles
Sellwood Cycle Repair
Clever Cycles

If you or your business would like to help sponsor this ride, or support Kidical Mass rides in the future, please contact Katie Proctor: katie.proctor@gmail.com.

May Kidical Mass: Sunday Parkways Celebration!

Portland families LOVE Sunday Parkways– and we bet they’d love Kidical Mass as well! For May’s ride, we’ll start at Lent’s Park on Sunday morning making signs and decorations for our bikes– then we’ll ride the north-most leg of the Sunday Parkways route together, sharing our “Kids are Traffic Too” message, with stops in Ed Benedict Park to try out the Bike Skills Track and finishing at the Gilbert Heights Kids’ Fair.

Meet at Lents’ Park Playground for bike decorating at 11, ride departs around 11:45. Ride will NOT be a loop, but you can return to the start in either direction along the Parkways route. We will ride rain or shine, though sign-making activities may be hindered by rain. Kids must wear helmets. FREE!

Portland families LOVE Sunday Parkways– and we bet they’ll love Kidical Mass as well!  We’ll be spreading the word on May’s ride, starting at Lents Park on Sunday morning. First, we’ll make signs and decorations for our bikes, then we’ll ride a leg of the Sunday Parkways route together, sharing our “Kids are Traffic Too” message with Parkways riders.  We’ll stop in Ed Benedict Park to try out the Bike Skills Track and finish at the Gilbert Heights Kids’ Fair.

Meet at Lents Park Playground for bike decorating at 11, ride departs around 11:45.  Ride will NOT be a loop, but you can return to the start in either direction along the Parkways route.  We will ride rain or shine, though sign-making activities may be hindered by rain.  Kids must wear helmets.  FREE!

April Kidical Mass: Piedmont Parks & Picnic

This month, our 3.5 mile loop is all about playing in the sunshine– we’ll loop from Woodlawn City Park to Penninsula Park, then up to Farragut Park and back to Woodlawn for a picnic supper! Bring a main dish for your family and something to share with your new friends.

This month, our 3.5 mile loop is all about playing in the sunshine– we’ll loop from Woodlawn City Park to Penninsula Park, then up to Farragut Park and back to Woodlawn for a picnic supper!  Bring a main dish for your family and something to share with your new friends.

Kids must wear helmets.  Please dress for the weather and bring lights for the ride home.  We ride slowly enough for little peddlers, but kids should be able to stay on the right side of the road & stop for stop signs.

Celebrate Spring with an Urban Farm Adventure!

Starting at Rigler Elementary School, we’ll celebrate the coming of spring with a 3.5 mile loop including visits to the Rigler school garden, Harvey Scott Elementary, the Handmade Gardens edible forest, and the in-progress Cully Cycle Track. Special surprises may include mud, seeds, and chickens!

Meet at 2:45, ride at 3. Meet at Rigler Elementary, 5401 NE Prescott Street. We ride rain or shine, so come prepared for the weather and bring lights for your ride home. Kids must wear helmets. Ride is FREE!

On Saturday, March 19, Kidical Mass PDX will make a tour of urban farms and springtime gardens in the Cully neighborhood.  Starting at Rigler Elementary School, we’ll celebrate the coming of spring with a 3.5 mile loop including visits to the Rigler school garden, Harvey Scott Elementary, the Handmade Gardens edible forest, and the in-progress Cully Cycle Track.  Special surprises may include mud, seeds, and chickens!

Meet at 2:45, ride at 3.  Meet at Rigler Elementary, 5401 NE Prescott Street. We ride rain or shine, so come prepared for the weather and bring lights for your ride home.  Kids must wear helmets.  Ride is FREE!

Ride Recap: Bikes and Banjos, Pedals and Puppets

by Meg Hartley
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do you want to know the best way to spend a sunny February day in Portland? A Kidical Mass bike ride! We were a collection of parents with kids in bike seats, on longtails, on/in trailers, in wooden buckets and on their own bikes. The ride started in the southeast hills near Mt. Tabor, at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, and from there we headed down the hill to Laurelhurst Park. On the way, we saw a collection of plastic zoo animals chained to a horse ring in the sidewalk, a fake leg coming out of the attic of a house, huge, old trees, and an occasional chicken, dog or cat. Of course, we stopped off at the Laurelhurst playground for lollipops, snacks, and some swinging and climbing. There might have been a collective kid uproar if we hadn’t!

With the promise of more playground fun and a pig and chicken visit, we jetted away from Laurelhurst en route to Sunnyside School Park. This route took us through the Sunnyside neighborhood where we saw clowns painted on buildings, an old firehouse, a bicycle rickshaw, camilia bushes in bloom, and a funky house truck painted like a tiger. After visiting Poppy the resident pig and the chickens, no eggs were laid today, at Sunnyside School, we jumped on our bikes for the ride to see a puppet show by Mudeye Puppets, and dance to kid centric banjo music by Professor Banjo! (Thanks to Clever Cycles for providing ticket discounts to all.) YAY!

We had the support of many pedestrians, cyclists and motorists along the way, with many waves and exclamations of “Look at all the bikes!”. We even had a man with a movie camera film us go by! This part of the ride promised a rather steep hill, but we persevered, and despite mud and hills, we made it to our final destination and lunged inside for the puppetry and musical fun! After sipping steamers and coffee, dancing and singing, we all parted ways, with full bellies, warm hearts and a spectacular sunset, it was official that we had chosen the best way to spend this Saturday.

Bikes & Banjos, Pedals & Puppets!

Professor Banjo and the Mudeye Puppet Company are playing a show together on February 19th at TaborSpace, and Kidical Mass will be there! Thanks to a generous donation from Clever Cycles and support from the Bike Trains program, Kidical Mass is able to offer special $2 tickets for this fun family show!

Meet at Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church, 5441 SE Belmont St., around 1:45, the ride will roll out at 2:00. We’ll head over to Laurelhurst and Sunnyside Parks to play and then be back at TaborSpace, inside the church, by 4. The puppet & music show will end around 6. While tickets will be available at the door for $8 each, you must pre-order tickets to get the Kidical Mass rate.

The Mudeye Puppet Company builds puppets from reused materials and does shows about self-esteem, reducing waste, and exploring creativity. Professor Banjo shares dancing games, sing-a-longs, and stories, all while playing—you guessed it—the banjo. These great Portland entertainers are playing a show together on February 19th at TaborSpace, and Kidical Mass will be there! Thanks to a generous donation from Clever Cycles and support from the Bike Trains program, Kidical Mass is able to offer special $2 tickets for this fun family show!

The ride will meet at Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church, 5441 SE Belmont St. Gather around 1:45, we will roll out at 2:00. Our route will loop through Laurelhurst and Sunnyside Parks for some outside fun and then bring us back to TaborSpace by 4. The puppet & music show will end around 6. While tickets will be available at the door for $8 each, you must pre-order tickets to get the Kidical Mass rate. Find them at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/144259, codeword “bicycle.”

The ride will be a 3-mile loop. Please dress for the weather, bring a helmet, and remember lights for your ride home.

See Beautiful Sellwood!

Let’s go biking in Sellwood! Meet at Oaks Pioneer Church on January 15 at 1:45, the ride will roll out at 2. We’ll make a tour of this great Portland neighborhood, maybe stopping for hot drinks and fun with park swings and ducks. Ride is just under three miles and will be a loop. Please dress for the weather, wear helmets, and don’t forget your lights for the ride home! Bring a few dollars in case we stop for hot cocoa.

Let’s go biking in Sellwood!  Meet at Oaks Pioneer Church and we’ll roll out on Spokane, one of Portland’s newest Neighborhood Greenways, and then head through Sellwood’s commercial center, on SE 13th, with a possible stop at Blue Kangaroo to warm up with coffee and hot chocolate.  We’ll then roll past Sellwood Cycles, bells a’ringing, on our way to Eastmoreland Park for a swing.  On our way back we’ll ride along Sellwood Boulevard, where we’ll have a great view of downtown and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Preserve (keep your eyes out for the Bald Eagle!). When we get to 7th, we’ll ride into Sellwood Park for more playground romping, and it’s just a short pedal from there back to the church where we started.