We have met a few other bike moms in the city, thanks to the chainlink website and forums. Organizing a kidical mass ride for our neighborhood is my latest project, and Jennifer asked me if we’d like to spread the word at Alderman Solis’ “Bike the 25th Ward” event last Sunday. First, it was a beautiful day for a ride. And if you haven’t been to Pilsen, it’s worth a look. The murals all over the neighborhood are bright, colorful, and thought provoking.
So after saying we’d come with flyers, we were asked to ride marshal- I said as long as I don’t have to repair anything, we are in. We found a smaller group than expected, with plenty of families, babies, and kids on bikes. Our job was to encourage riders in the middle to stay together and watch out for problems… no problem.
The kids really liked the entertainment from the Redmoon Theater- their “mobile DJ” was amazing. Bubbles. Music. Balls. Snacks. The kids were happy to run around at Harrison Park before the ride.Infrastructure-wise, the ride was very pleasant- besides a few bumpy stretches. Spectators were in a pretty good mood too- an organized ride on a Sunday has a pretty mellow feel (as opposed to a Critical Mass ride, where people in a hurry honk and scowl.)
I was particularly impressed by a group of 6 year old girls who looked like they were having the time of their lives!
I guess the reason ridership was down this year (this was the 4th event, I believe) is because a lot of residents are angry over the demolishing of La Casita in August. I totally side with the parents on this, and they have my sympathies. However, if there is an opportunity to get more people out on bikes and comfortable with the idea of bringing families along, I’m in. CPS… don’t get me started. I worked for them for 7 years, and in that time we had four CEO’s. I’ll probably talk about some of my experiences teaching for CPS in the future, but don’t care to digress just now.