Chicago Kidical Mass – The April Ride

Chicago Kidical Mass Finally the stars aligned for the House of Ding and we were able to make it to a Saturday Kidical Mass Ride here in Chicago.  I’ve been anxious to get the guys out on the ride not only for the fun family bike riding, but to introduce them to some of the women I’ve met on the bike brunches as there is a bit of overlap. Little Ding had not been on his bike all winter and was showing the typical kid mix of enthusiasm and indifference before the ride.  It was a cloudy morning, but the weather was supposed to steadily improve, sunshine was supposed to come out, and it was going to get into the 70s by the afternoon. All good omens for a great bike ride.

The Chicago version of Kidical Mass meets the 2nd Saturday of the month most of the year.  This past Saturday, like most Saturdays, we all met up at near the Bunny Park in Palmer Square.  We don’t live too far from there, but we weren’t sure that Little Ding could make the ride up there, do the ride, then head back home, so we loaded up the bikes and drove to Palmer Square.  When we arrived, everyone was hanging out and getting ready to ride.

Rounding up the riders at Kidical Mass

There was some singing and filming going on for a “Bike Friday” YouTube video, and then we loaded up the bikes and headed on out through the park to the streets of Logan Square. Yep, that’s Little Ding riding in front of me in this picture.

Kidical Mass Chicago April 2011

We rode through the neighborhood and headed down one or two ‘typically’ bumpy and pot-hole-scared Chicago streets (good practice for our young riders)  and of course rode under some El tracks.

Kidical Mass Chicago April 2011

And we cut through one park that had a lovely basketball court that no one was using, so we all rode around a few times in circles.

Kidical Mass Chicago April 2011

Kidical Mass Chicago April 2011

We had all sorts of riders with all sorts of bikes – tandems, kid carriers, some kids with training wheels,  Little Ding and his adapted bike,  me on my Omafiets, and even a Madsen bucket bike with two lovely ladies in pink!

Chicago Kidical Mass April 2011

We ended the ride at another park. The sun came out, the fleece jackets came off, and the kids ran around and played and had a great time.  We decided that Little Ding could probably ride back to the starting point, and eventually got ready to head out.  However,  since the Kidical Mass “trolley’ (recumbent bike pulling a custom-made trailer/bench/stereo system) was heading back to the starting point as well, Little Ding and a new Kidical Mass buddy got to ride back in style! They were even able to ‘tow’ Little Ding’s bike off the back of the trolley.  So we had a smaller bike parade back to the starting park in Palmer Square.

Kidical Mass Chicago April 2011

If you’re a bike-riding family in Chicago you should definitely head on over to the monthly Kidical Mass ride in Palmer Square –  Little Ding highly recommends it! Or start your own neighborhood ride!  Check out the facebook page for our local Kidical Mass or find the group on thechainlink.org as well.

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