Tag Archive: kidical mass

April Recap!


My son, playing “plants vs. zombies” in the bike petting zoo…


I still have to tweak our signage to make it fit on our rear rack, but it looked pretty good!


April South Loop Kidical Mass at the new skate park! (there were other people there, I swear!)

The South Loop Kidical Crew

The South Loop Kidical Crew

Our first Kidical Mass ride was a success!  It was a decent day, but still a bit cool.  We stopped mid-way to watch some stunts at the skate park.  One dad had his board on his Fr8 and joined in.  
We ended at one of our favorite parks, Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens.  Everyone pulled up around the fountain (not yet turned on) and then quite a few of us pulled out sidewalk chalk so the kids could leave their marks. The next big April event on our agenda was the Women Bike Chicago Day of Dialogue and Demonstration.  I volunteered to help out with the Bike Petting Zoo, which is one of my favorite things ever… I got to hang out with some of the very smart and helpful moms-who-bike and take the kids for a ride in the bakfiets.  The Haul-a-Day was really popular with people!  For old times sake I took our friend’s Yuba for a spin, which was fun, but I’ve gotten really used to the light weight and low center of gravity on mine, I wouldn’t trade it.  I got to be a passenger on my own bike- it wasn’t easy with the bar on, but we managed. I also attempted to load the bike on a CTA bus rack on its second shortest OSATA setting… it didn’t fit!  I don’t consider that to be a real problem, since it’s easy enough to collapse the stem if needed, but wanted to test it out.  I still am not likely to take the bike on the bus.  Trains are a great option for us and feel much more secure.wpid-20150422_165804.jpg Just wanted to share this photo of my little monsters at Disneyland.  We found insanely cheap round trip airfare to Vegas and decided to roll a  Disney trip in with our multi-generational Vegas adventure.  I’m so glad we did!  I am nuts about bikes, of course, but ironically my son is all about “Cars.” So we had Radiator Springs on our list of places to travel. :)Showing

wpid-20150423_181023.jpgShowing off the ‘monster bikes’ outside Monsters University.  It was cute- sort of a monsterfied Hyde Park!
wpid-20150426_143706.jpgWe met up with my mom and dad in Las Vegas, then took a day trip out into the desert.  We toured Hoover Dam, then drove out to the Valley of Fire State Park.  This was probably the highlight of our vacation!  (Sorry, Mickey!)  We only spent about two hours checking it out, because the kids were tired and my parents were sick of driving around since they’d spent a week already cruising from Reno to Tahoe to New Mexico, etc.  But it was a hit with the kids!  They hoped to see a lizard, and we eventually spotted one. wpid-20150426_144114.jpg wpid-20150501_125544.jpg When we got back to Chicago, “Draft Town” was in full swing.  They’ve finally reopened Buckingham Fountain, a sign summer is on its way! As you can see, our coats are on in nearly all these April pictures.  We’ve had a few days of nice weather, but it’s still not feeling too Spring-ish most days.  On the nice days, we find ourselves in the park near our house, since we have made lots of friends in the neighborhood.  The kids are into making fairy houses, finding bugs, burying dead things, and making up games involving rocks and sticks.  We’ve attempted a few times to ride a bike with pedals, but this guy is still in love with his balance bike and has taken it around for thousands of laps in the past few weeks.wpid-20150503_133500.jpg wpid-20150507_123619.jpg

Here my kids show off their ‘bike rack gymnastics.”  It’s a thing.  Some bike racks are better than others, and this is one of their faves 😉wpid-20150507_125927.jpgThe open back of our bar makes it ideal to recline and enjoy a picnic in the park- something I hope to do much more often in the upcoming month!  We’ve been returning to the sandbox park more and more, and it’s funny that I’ve had several people test drive the bike on the big circular track at Cotton Tail Park.  Our setup certainly does get people’s attention- which is why it’s ideal to incorporate into a small business plan I’ve schemed up!!  One reason I’ve been taking a break from blogging is because I’m making big plans for this… so stay tuned!

Family Biking Profiles (Chicago Kidical Mass)

I think the other biking families we’ve met are sooooo cool.  Roughly 90% of them have been doing this for way longer than us…  with more kids, more gear, longer commutes.  You get the picture- anyhow, I am so grateful to have found this group of people who were normalizing biking with kids before I’d ever even considered it.

I’ve met many of them through Kidical Mass. We started the South Loop ride a year ago in September, because we loved the rides but wanted to bring some closer to home.  We followed another ride’s lead and took a “Wintermission” (term unashamedly stolen from the great Rebecca) starting in December, and I have no regrets, though some of the rides do go year round.  We plan to start again in March with a ‘soft opening’ here, but I’m reading the weather blogs before making any commitments.profile collageIn Chicago, we’re now up to 7-8 rides in different neighborhoods, and we like to ride hop and talk with the other organizers.  So I was thinking it would be cool to show off these very cool families and their setups- and it’s resulted in a nice series of “Family Biking Profiles” on our Facebook page.  Check it out!

I’m happy we’ve gotten such a great response!  Hopefully this series will continue for awhile.  So fun.  So educational. :)

And some more good news- we are looking at temperatures close to 40 DEGREES starting on Friday!!  We are super duper excited about nice weather returning.  We did have the bike out today and it rode the green line, which I’ll be posting about tomorrow.

OH! AND I rode home a few blocks tonight with 3 children on the back of the Haul-a-Day… 3.  With an average/median age of 5… so that was impressive!

Stay warm and well, everybody!

Circus Kidical Mass Ride!


Oh, that was fun. The Greatest Ride on Earth, if you will.  :)  It’s been one year since we started our Kidical Mass ride, and this was the most fun by far.  I was contacted by a PR person for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, so we had real clowns, passes to the circus, and other giveaways.  So cool :)


Dot leads the kids in a pre-ride warmup. Kudos to the mom who planned the party- the cape party favors were amazing.


JimLa, one of the clowns- they passed out clown noses for everybody and had balloons as well.


Lining up!  Someone looks a bit aggressive- guess he's ready to go!

Lining up! Someone looks a bit aggressive- guess he’s ready to go!

Notice the birthday chalk- there was a little chaos because there was also a birthday party scheduled in the park… I just hoped no one would crash it.   I’m not sure they knew what they were in for.  But, hey- free clowns.


My niece, riding in our old Yepp Maxi.  Still getting to hear a lot of “whee’s” from the back of her Boda Boda :)



One of the best things about looking at cargo bikes is seeing what people invent to make them more functional or interesting. I’m in love with this family’s Extracycle deck.

I was glad to meet a Facebook friend in person for the first time, and to check out their unique setup for their Extracycle- decoupaged board and handlebar attachments fixed to the frame make a nice ride for their two bigger kids, little guy up front.  Great thinking!  I like this idea more than our rumble strap.


We stopped for a rest in Grant Park while some riders switched out Divvy bikes nearby.  That statue looks innocent, but the kids managed to get into mischief climbing too high.  I used to break near “Agora” but they’d run among the legs- then we did the fountain, and they almost got wet.  Still trying to perfect it!  But it looks great, doesn’t it?

wpid-20140920_113109.jpgkmass93Couldn’t resist taking one selfie when we were massing up at a light on Wabash- you can’t really see, but we pretty much take up the whole block.  That’s the statue behind us.  Does anyone know who it is?  I don’t…

Back at the playground, the birthday party is still going on, but our circus friends are gone and the kids run off to the sandbox, field, and slides.  Moms and dads get to visit a bit, and the weather is lovely- 70 some degrees, a welcome break after cold weather we’ve had for the past week.

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I finally threw some money at a banner.  Under $20, and now I don’t have to stay up on every third Friday night when I frantically realize I should make a sign.  Ahh.  I think they turned out pretty great!


Looks like no one told the kids helmets are not required for brunch.  Matching Berns, at that.


A new family tradition- brunch after the ride! (Camera is covered in greasy fingerprints)


My “Less Car, More Go” shirt from Liz Canning. Click the photo to go to her page- so excited to see the cargo bike documentary!

I found an AWESOME deal on the boy helmet online (like $25!) and had to get it even though little buddy just got a Giro about a month ago. Our daughter’s Bontrager broke- the adjuster snapped inside, and On the Route was great about helping us with the warranty and getting her into a new helmet right away. I have to say, I’m really happy with the fit on these, they don’t need adjusting to cover the front of their skulls.  If only the Winter kit didn’t cost as much as the helmet!wpid-20140920_142904.jpg Ah, it’s raining.  It’s pouring.  But we had a great morning, a nice lunch, and got to hang out with friends, new and old. So even if I’m damp and tired, I’d call that a successful Saturday.