Tuesday, October 23, 2012

FINAL Kidical Mass Ride of 2012: 10/27/2012 to the Zoo!

Can you believe it's October already? Falling leaves! Pumpkins! And, of course, Halloween!

We'll have our final Kidical Mass ride of 2012 this Saturday, October 27. Alex and I will be converting our Big Orange Bike into a pirate ship, complete with Jolly Roger flag, and I encourage you to bring your own fun bike-inspired costumes. We'll have a costume contest with copies of bike journalist Elly Blue's new book about bikes and childhood (and maybe some other goodies) as prizes!

For this month's ride we will bike to the National Zoo. I've biked there a few times, always going the "hard way" up Connecticut Avenue; but thanks to Friends of the Ride Tim, Lori and Reina, we have a new kid-friendly route that ends conveniently close to the Children's Zoo!

This ride will have three meetups:
  • Eckington (Met Branch Trail @ R Street NE): 10:30am
  • Edgewood/Brookland (Met Branch Trail @ Franklin Street NE, near Chocolate City Brewing Company): 10:45am
  • Columbia Heights (Columbia Heights Circle at 14th Street & Park Road NW): 11:15am
  • arrive at Zoo: 11:30am. Costume contest judging.
Route map is here.

Total distance (R Street to Zoo entrance): 4.5 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate. We will ride on the sidewalk for the Michigan Ave/Washington Hospital Center section.

I hope to see you out this Saturday.

Thank you all for joining us for a splendid biking season!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Next Ride, Saturday September 15: H Street Festival!

We took a survey late last week about where people would prefer to ride for the September Kidical Mass ride, and it looks like the "H's" have it! We'll taking a very easy ride from Turkey Thicket Rec Center in Brookland to the H Street NE Festival to enjoy the many sights, sounds, smells and tastes that this fabulous street festival offers. The ride will start at Turkey Thicket at 11:15am on Saturday morning and will head down the Met Branch Trail and through NoMa and Near Northeast before finding a place to park on the North side of the H Street NE Festival (I'll try to find out if there will be more bike racks for the Festival).

Since the route is so easy and largely consists of trails, bike lanes and quiet residential streets, this is a GREAT ride for novice cyclists, parents new to cycling with their children, kids, and anyone who wants to practice their street riding skills in a friendly (and slow-moving!) group.

The H Street Festival is one of my favorite street festivals in DC, featuring lots of great food, entertainment for all ages, and booths from fun organizations and vendors, including two of our favorite bike shops, BicycleSPACE and The Daily Rider. You can check out the Washington Post's recommendations on festival highlights here; a list of the performances on the Family Stage is here (scroll down).

As a suggested trip to the National Zoo also saw a late-election surge in last week's poll, we'll be taking a trip there next month. Maybe with an animal-themed costume contest? We'll see!

Date: Saturday, September 15, 2012

Destination: H Street NE Festival, H Street NE from 8th St to 12th St

Meetup Times:
  • 11:15am, Turkey Thicket Rec Center (East side of the building, near the parking lot and basketball courts)
  • 11:30am, R Street NE @ Met Branch Trail
  • 11:45am, J.O. Wilson Elementary School, 6th & K NE
  • 12:00noon, arrive at H Street Festival

Total Distance: 3.5 miles, starting from Turkey Thicket

Difficulty: Easy! Bike trail, bike lanes, and residential streets.

Route: Click here for a route map.

Hope to see you there!

E-mail Megan Odett, organizer, at KidicalMassDC@gmail.com with questions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kidical Mass "Auxiliary" ride this Sunday, September 9!

Kidical Mass regulars Tim, Lori and Reina are organizing a family bike ride in Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant this Sunday, September 9. This is a great chance for our NW-based riders to participate in an event closer to home! 

Here are the details:

Inspired by Kidical Mass, we are organizing a short family bike ride in Columbia Heights / Mt. Pleasant. Anyone who rides a bike is welcome to come. The ride is intended to be kid- and family-friendly and is a 2-mile loop.

  • Where: The Trolley Turnaround Park at the corner of 11th St. NW and Monroe St. NW (the full route on a Google map is here) 
  • When: Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10:00am 
  • Who: Anyone! Especially kids and families, including kids on their own bikes or riding on a parent's bike

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Next Ride: Saturday, August 25: St. Elizabeths Bike Carnival

St. Elizabeths East--site of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital and a designated National Historical Landmark--is hosting a Bike Carnival as part of its "Season of Discovery" during summer 2012. The festival will feature a kids' bike rodeo, a bike decoration station, the chance to take a self-guided tour on campus streets that have been shut down especially for this event, and a family bike parade to wrap up the festivities.

We will follow a similar route to our "Tour de Fat" ride from June--heading south from Brookland (Edgewood, really) along the Met Branch Trail  to 4th Street and then 11th Street, which we'll follow to the Southeast Waterfront. There, we'll cross the Anacostia River on the 11th Street Bridge and spend a short time on the beautiful, peaceful Anacostia Riverfront Trail before cutting through the heart of Historic Anacostia. If you've never seen the "Big Chair" in person, now's your chance!

We'll be aiming to arrive at the Carnival around 12:00 noon. I will lead a return biketrain at a time to be determined by the group, probably after some of the afternoon festivities such as the bike raffle and Family Bike Parade.

You can catch up with the group in:
  • Edgewood at 10:45am (8th St. NE & Franklin St. NE near Chocolate City Brewing Company)
  • Eckington, 11:00am (R Street NE @ Met Branch Trail)
  • NoMa, 11:15am (M Street NE @ Met Branch Trail)
  • Capitol Hill 11:30pm (Stanton Park @ 4th Street NE)
Estimated arrival at St. Elizabeths: 12:00pm
Route map with meetups is here; more information about the Bike Carnival is here; learn more about the fascinating (and creepy) history of St. Elizabeths here.

This ride will be almost 7 miles one-way, so I'm rating it as advanced (best suited for adults and older children, with little kids as passengers); however, the route itself is fairly easy, relying mainly on bike lanes and paved, separated trails.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Next ride: Saturday, July 21 SPLASHDOWN!

Cool off with us in the splash park at the newly-renovated Joe Cole Recreation Center. Once again, we'll start out at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in Brookland and coast downhill along the Met Branch Trail. After a quick swing through Near Northeast, we'll bike up to the Rec Center for some noisy, wet fun in their new splash park. Afterward, anyone who's hungry can join us for lunch at The Argonaut, one of H Street's most kid-friendly dining establishments.

more details below the break!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saturday, June 16: Biketrain to the Tour de Fat!

Have you heard about the exciting new festival that's making its way to DC for the first time this year? Tour de Fat, sponsored by the New Belgium Brewing Company, is a celebration of all things bike in honor of New Belgium's Fat Tire line of beers. Events include a bike parade, a "slow bike" competition and a celebratory car-for-bike trade. Best of all, costumes are encouraged!

New Belgium is making a real effort to incorporate families through event planning and by holding the Tour de Fat at at Yards Park, the latest addition to DC's family-friendly parks. If your little ones get tired of admiring all the bike wackiness, you can cool off in Yards Park's new wading pool!

We'll be riding as a convoy with multiple meetup points, starting at Turkey Thicket in Brookland and heading south along the Met Branch Trail, with a brief pause at R Street NE to meet with anyone who wants to join. We're adding a new stop at Stanton Park, in case any of our Capitol Hill friends would like to join us.

When: Saturday, June 16
  • Turkey Thicket meetup: 10:30am
  • Met Branch Trail @ R Street NE: 11:00am
  • Stanton Park (4th Street NE @ Mass Ave NE): 11:30am
  • arrive at Tour de Fat: 11:45am

Where: Turkey Thicket Rec Center, Met Branch Trail, 4th Street NE/SE, Yards Park (4th & Water Streets SE) [route map here]

Distance: 5 miles (one-way, full ride from Turkey Thicket)

Difficulty: Intermediate (for distance. Street navigation is very easy)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Saturday, May 19: Easy-Peasy!

May's Kidical Mass ride will be an easy ramble through Capitol Hill with a tasty finish. This ride is designed to help cyclists of every age practice their street riding skills, so we will be incorporating the new Biketrain curriculum introduced by WABA and DDOT Safe Routes to School to ensure that the trip is safe and fun for everyone.

We'll leave from the parking lot at Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan at 11:00 a.m. and proceed at a leisurely pace up the 4th Street bike lane to the Eastern Market neighborhood. There, we'll enjoy  brunch at Pound the Hill (Nutella lattes, anyone?). Participants are welcome to form their own groups for cycling home; our family will be riding north through Capitol Hill and continuing up the Met Branch Trail.

When: Saturday, May 19th, 11:00am
Where: Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan, 215 G Street NE (parking lot entrance is on 2nd Street NE), and Pound the Hill Coffee, 621 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Click here for a map of the route.
Distance (one way): 1.42 miles
Difficulty: Easy

Monday, April 16, 2012

We Want YOU

... to learn the ABC's of Family Biking!

Yes, it's the family biking event of the season! On Saturday, April 21st, Kidical Mass DC, WABA and DDOT Safe Routes to School will help interested families learn more about the tools and resources available to help them bike together.
  • WABA staff will teach basic skills classes along with a special NEW class on biketrains and group riding
  • SCRAP-dc will have a special bike-decorating station with repurposed crafting supplies
  • The Bike House will offer a skills clinic on roadside repairs (so you and your little ones will never be stranded!)
  • Local bike shops BicycleSPACE and The Daily Rider will exhibit some of the equipment and special bikes they sell to help parents transport kids (and dogs, groceries, gardening supplies and anything else you can think of!) around town
  • And last but not least, several local biking parents will show off their own bikes and share their tips and tricks for riding with their children. 
Here's a short list of some of the nifty toys incredibly useful tools you can expect to see at The ABC's of Family Biking:
  • iBert and BOBike front-mounted bike seats
  • Yepp and Peanut Shell rear-mounted bike seats
  • Xtracycle Free Radical, Xtracycle Radish, and Yuba Mundo longtail cargo bikes
  • Boxcycles Christiania cargo trike
  • Larry vs. Harry Bullitt and Gazelle Cabby bakfietsen (two-wheeled boxbikes) 
  • Burley and Chariot trailers
  • Adams Trail-a-Bike
  • Strider Balance Bike
We'll also send all attendees home with a Resource Guide that lists contact information for participating bike shops and Show and Tell parents, along with other helpful sources of information on biking with kids of all ages.

When: Saturday, April 21, 2012. 11am -  2pm (biketrain class starts at 1pm)
Where: Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan, 215 G Street NE (parking lot entrance is on 2nd Street NE)
Places to eat nearby: Union Station Food Court, Ebenezer's Coffeehouse (201 F Street NE), Sidamo Coffee (417 H Street NE, very kid-friendly and has changing table in bathroom)

Join us on April 21st to get ready for the first-ever Bike to School Day. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cherry blossoms, anyone?

Kidical Mass DC's riding season officially begins next month with The ABC's of Family Biking (are you coming? You should!), but the weather has been so beautiful that we're throwing open the option of doing an informal ride to visit the Tidal Basin's cherry blossoms this Saturday. If you want to come along, meet me at the M Street NE terminus of the Met Branch Trail at 10:30am this Saturday, March 17.

We'll bike across the Mall to the Tidal Basin, take the obligatory pictures, and possibly (depending on how the little ones are feeling) extend the trip to Georgetown for lunch and/or cupcakes. Tentative route is here.

By the way, if you're a decent photographer, please come! I've been trying to get Official Odett Family Cherry Blossom Photos for three years running and have failed every time. Maybe fourth time's the charm?

If you're interested, e-mail Megan Odett at KidicalMassDC@gmail.com.