Kidical Mass Goes Caroling, 2011

If you were on N Mississippi Ave yesterday, you might be wondering who those family-bike-tastic carolers were. They were the Kidical Mass Carolers of course! We were out for our annual ride to bring family-velo cheer to the good people of Portland. In case you missed it, here’s an account of what happened.

We had a tri-generational group… grandma, daughter and granddaughter. Our youngest rider was a 2-year-old on a balance bike who rode the whole 2 miles. Most of the carolers were from that general corner of Portland so we had plenty of local knowledge for safe navigation across arterials. We stuck to quiet streets almost the whole time. One of the “quiet streets” was the alley behind the businesses along Mississippi… it was in a nice paved alley in great shape except for a brief stretch that it was a pot-holed dirt road.

Our first performance was at the food cart pod near Mississipi and Skidmore. A few people walking by gave us a “double-take” glance as they walked past but after a handful of songs we decided to ride to our next performance. We moved to the tree in the courtyard near Laughing Planet and Little Big Burger. People there actually stopped to watch us and sing along. A couple of them even snapped a few pictures and clapped. At the peak there were almost as many people watching us as there were singing. The crowd had places to go and things to do so it disipated and it was time to move on.

Kids on Bikes, Fa la la.
Kids on Bikes, Fa la la.

We got back on the bikes and headed toward Grand Central Baking Co. On our way to the bakery, we side-tripped by a house to see what was rumored to be an impressive garden gnome village display in the front yard. Yay for local knowledge! Unfortunately, the gnome village had been replaced by a sign chastising vandals and thieves who had been targeting the display. No more gnome village. Bummer. The bakery was quiet. It seemed a wise career move to revel in the caroling fame we enjoyed in front of the tree and not do a 3rd performance.

Most of the KM Carolers hung around the bakery to socialize and warm up with a hot beverage.  Me and Mine swung by Little Big Burger for a bite before we pedaled home.

A special “Thanks” goes out to Janine for delivering the song sheets. A hodge-podge of BTA carols and KM originals, it’s becoming quite the collection of bike-themed merriment. At one point we took a request for “Frosty the snowman”, which was not on the song sheet. Without the words in front of us it was a pretty sad rendition with more than an adequate share of humming the melody in place of lyrics. It was one of those “what we lack in talent, we make up for with enthusiasm” type situations.

Overall it was a great family friendly ride on as warm and sunny a day as one could hope for during December.

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