Biking with Kids | Kidical Mass

Biking with Kids | Kidical Mass by Bike Portland

Kidical Mass is the perfect way to get started biking with kids. It was started in April of 2008 in Eugene, Oregon, by Shane MacRhodes in an effort to get more kids and families excited about riding. He also wanted to put together a little event to celebrate Ted White coming to town (creator of, Return of the Scorcher (1992), a documentary about bike culture that first coined the term “critical mass”). Hoping to do something different than the traditional Critical Mass ride, the term “Kidical Mass” was coined.

“We want our rides to be comfortable for families just starting out and biking on city streets for the first time. A ride like this is meant to help families feel that comfort by having a group to ride with and hopefully they will incorporate it into their daily transportation choice.”

There are Kidical Mass groups in multiple cities all over the states including Portland, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and more. No ride in your town? Start your own!

Image via Bike Portland.


Kids Bike Seats

Kids Bike Seats

Adding a bike seat may be the easiest way to get started riding with your kids. Whether you prefer to have your little one in front or back, there are plenty of options. Since we don’t have as much experience, we’ve pulled these recommendations from experts Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo, Madi Carlson of Family Ride and the Adeline Adeline Kids Bike Seat Buying Guide.

1. WeeRide Kangaroo Child Bike Seat, at $64 is an affordable option and you can order it easily from Amazon. Joanna notes that because of the seat’s position, you have to ride with your knees slightly out to the side. Ages 1-3. 2. Bobike Mini, $140, the seat is well designed  and comes on and off easily. The down side is price and it may feel little less stable when getting on and off your bike because it is mounted to the stem (near handlebars). Ages 1-3. 3. Yeppi Mini, $218, this bike seat was awarded The National Parenting Center’s 2012 Seal of Approval and is well designed, coming in multiple colors. Ages 1-3. 4. Bulldog Seat, $92, this classic design from Germany is great for the minimalist biker. Ages 1-5.

Just in case you want to pick up some other fun kiddo accessories, visit Adeline Adeline’s great selection.


Biking with Kids | Interview with Madi Carlson

Madi Carlson of Family Ride | Biking with Kids

It seems that being the primary caretaker can be a huge barrier to biking for a lot of women. So this week, it’s all about the kiddos. Madi Carlson of Family Ride is one of the most inspiring women on wheels in Seattle, making most trips (all over the city) with two little ones in tow. That’s why we’ve asked her to answer a few questions about biking with kids, get ready to feel motivated…

How long have you been biking?
Since shortly after my *younger* brother learned to ride a bike–at age six or seven. I think my excessive biking now may just be very drawn out sibling rivalry.

What made you start biking?
A lot of reasons – friends, easiest way to get around, finances, health – but also it really feeds into my laziness. I abhor looking for/paying for parking, walking from my parking spot, convincing kids to get into car seats. The bike is right there when I need it and I can always park right in front of our destination. And it’s fun! And it’s the only exercise I get. When I wasn’t yet at the point of biking everyday, I soon noticed that my mood was elevated on the days I rode. It’s amazing the difference it makes.

What kind of bike(s) do you ride?
Mostly a Surly Big Dummy longtail cargo bike. It’s really a life-changing bike. I love that I can carry both kids (and even a third in between them!) and all their stuff…or the kids plus six grocery bags. I don’t want to imply one needs a cargo bike to make family biking work. I still have and use my previous rig, a Bianchi Milano city bike with front Bobike Mini seat and rear Bobike Maxi seat. We primarily use “the little bike” if we want to utilize the bus or train for destinations too far or hilly for bike alone. On the rare occasions I ride alone, I have a Specialized Dolce Elite road bike upon which I feel so fast!

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Soma Buena Vista Mixte

Soma Buena Vista Mixte Frame

I stopped in to my new favorite bike shop, Back Alley Bike Repair the other day and spent a few minutes chatting about valve caps (why people keep stealing mine and why they are not really necessary) and most importantly, I got the soft sell on the Soma Buena Vista Mixte. Made in California, the frame comes in gold and a pearl white that makes my heart pitter patter. I love their philosophy – practical, durable, comfortable, affordable – made for the everyday cyclist. I’ve had my Motobecane for more than seven years and I’m itching for something new. I guess I  need to see one of these ladies in person.

As a side note, like most bike shops in Seattle, Back Alley appears to be a man’s world inside, but owner Ben Rainbow is quite possibly the kindest mechanic I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking my bike to. If you are in Seattle and need a shop, they come highly recommended.


City Bike Style

City Bike Style

I love combining structured basics with bold patterns and textures, it’s tailored and playful at the same time. Perfect for creative professionals or anyone looking to have eye-catching bike style. Our Daily Blouse is back in stock and I thought I’d pull together a look inspired by these late summer days.

1. This dyed silk knot necklace from Seattle artist (and Her Bike Style feature), Rachel Ravitch is super comfy when riding and adds great texture, $120; 2. Iva Jean Daily Blouse, $80; 3. Geometric, loose fitting jacquard trousers from Zara, YES PLEASE, $79.99; 4. These pointed vamp flats in red are a match made in heaven for the knot necklace, $35.90; 5. To pull it all together and to take you from bike to coffee meeting, this rucksack will do the trick, $79.90.

What do you pair with your Daily Blouse?