Partly inspired by “Kidical Mass,” a group bike ride for families first held in Eugene, Ore., the first Baltimore Family Bike Party will launch Sept. 15 from the Stadium Place Playground located at the YMCA on E. 33rd St.
The short Saturday ride, scheduled for 3 p.m., is about two miles, and should be easy enough for young children who already ride two-wheelers. Bike seats, trailers and cargo bikes are welcome.
Kidical Mass rides have now spread to over a dozen communities, according to their website. The purpose of the law-abiding family friendly rides is “to teach kids, parents and caregivers safety skills and provide a ride in which to practice them.” Helmets are required for children by Maryland law and no one will be left behind — volunteer "sweepers" will keep the group together. More info can be found at the Baltimore Family Bike Party’s Wordpress blog.
This weekend's ride will travel along the Guilford Avenue bike boulevard as well as a few quiet neighborhood streets in the Abell and Ednor Gardens neighborhoods.
Eli Pousson, one of the Baltimore Family Bike Party organizers, said the expectation is that the ride will become a monthly event. An October ride is scheduled for Patterson Park in East Baltimore and another in November from Riverside Park in South Baltimore. The ride's Facebook page can be found here.
“There may be some intrepid 5-year-old bicyclists out there who would ride through the winter, but the plan is that after the November ride we will resume in March,” Pousson said.
Pousson said other organizers include Nate Evans and Patrick McMahon, bicycle and pedestrian planners with Baltimore City Department of Transportation. “We all have young children,” Pousson said. “It’ll be a chance, too, for parents to talk about bike seats and cargo trailers. I just saw a father pulling his two-year-old in a trailer on the Guilford Avenue bike boulevard the other day that I’d only seen online before.”