Faces and Places: Kidical Mass!

Riding through Elmhurst
on bikes decked out with lights.
On the bike lanes they went, safely all the way.
Bells on handlebars rang, making spirits bright.
What fun it was to ride and see some Christmas lights that night.

Oh! Kidical Mass! Kidical Mass! Kidical Mass was a blast!
Kids of all ages came out to ride on Dec. 28.
They ate pumpkin bread, peppermint bark and played at Coloma Park.
They did all that
before riding off
together into the dark.

Up T Street, down T Street,
two miles in total,
they saw many lights neighbors put up
to make the darkness bright.

Oh! Kidical Mass! Kidical Mass! Kidical Mass is a blast.
Kids of all ages come out to ride every fourth Saturday of the month.

Three years or so ago
the story you must like
Elle Bustamante,

she really loves to bike.
Her sons are growing up
with bikes a part of their lives.
Biking from their home to school,
they’re learning that bikes rule!

Their mom, hence started a group
and has a following too!
She hopes you join their joyous rides
as most the people do!

Oh! Kidical Mass! Kidical Mass! Kidical Mass is a blast.
Kids of all ages come out to ride every fourth Saturday of the month.

To much needed seriousness though, it seemed like everyone had a jolly good time at the December Kidical Mass bike ride.
Curtis Park resident Anna de Kok has two kids Matea, age 6, and Vida, 3. Asked what she likes about the bike rides, Matea said, “I like riding on the bike!” Decked out with orange and blue lights, reused from the Halloween Kidical Mass event, which drew about 70 riders with some in costume. Said Anna: I “like being a part of a bike riding culture and showing our children that riding bikes is fun and giving them a love for bike riding.” Her bike related New Years resolution? “I am going to ride to her school (Alice Birney Waldorf Methods K-8 School) every Friday. My goal was to do that in September. It’s four miles away.”
Also a Curtis Park resident with two children, Melissa Noble said her bike-related New Years resolution is to try to bike commute four days a week. What she enjoys about Kidical Mass is being a part of a group with similar interests and she said she enjoys the safety in numbers aspect. “Sometimes it’s scary alone,” she said.
First time Kidical Mass biker Somer Lowery said she was impressed with the turnout. She was excited to see her 6-year-old son enjoy his Christmas present, an Isla bike, which he rode at the event.
Kidical Mass began in April of 2008 in Eugene, Oregon. A play on the term, “Critical Mass”, the founder of Kidical Mass, Shane MacRhodes, wanted to do something different from the typical Critical Mass ride, which has been described as a monthly protest by cyclists reclaiming the streets. Kidical Mass, on the other hand, promotes safety and following the rules of the road and letting motorists know cyclists have just as much rights to be on the road

Bustamante’s hope is that with the Kidical Mass bike rides, the group is able to share with others the joy of using bikes as transportation, entertainment, and exercise. As she writes on her blog, Tiny Helmets Big Bikes: “Most importantly, I just want to show that it is not only possible to choose pedaling over driving, but it’s actually easier than you think.”
Coming up, the group will ride off onto the American River Bike Trail to Iceland from Grant Park (22nd and C streets) on Saturday, Jan. 25. Cost for skating is $7, including skates. Then on Feb. 22, the group is off to the Crocker Art Museum. Times are to be determined. To stay updated, visit www.tinyhelmetsbigbikes.com.

Editor’s note: Valley Community Newspapers will be running their monthly calendar listings in the community calendar.


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