Editor’s note: Karilyn Roach wrote this post. She holds a MS in Urban Planning from the University of Arizona and works as a Program Coordinator with Watershed Management Group, a Tucson non-profit. She currently sits on the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee and rides a Jamis Aurora Elite.
About 150 kids and their parents came out for Tucson’s first Kidical Mass on Saturday. The website of the original Kidical Mass describes the event as “a legal, safe and FUN bike ride for kids, kids at heart, and their families.” Tucson’s event surely lived up to that!
Living Streets Alliance hosted the event as part of Bike Fest 2012, Tucson’s annual, month-long celebration of bicycles as a means of transportation, recreation and fun.
Staff and volunteers from Living Streets Alliance were at Himmel Park early to set up an information table with free temporary Kidical Mass Tucson and Bike Fest tattoos, stickers and other fun stuff. They also gave away about a dozen free helmets to kids who needed them, and BICAS was there to offer free bike maintenance and advice.
The Kidical Mass ride set out from Himmel Park at 10 a.m., after a brief safety talk from Emily Yetman of Living Streets Alliance. She reminded riders that cyclists are just one user of the road, and we should be considerate of cars and pedestrians and respect traffic signals and laws.
The route circled the east side of Himmel Park and continued down 3rd Street (a planned Bike Boulevard route) into the University of Arizona campus. Riders took a quick snack break outside the Student Union before circling Old Main and returning on 3rd Street to Himmel Park at noon. Riders were rewarded with $1 scoops of ice cream provided by Isabella’s Ice Cream, a locally owned, 100% electric powered, Model T-style truck.
At the end of the ride, one young rider said, “This was the funnest day ever in Tucson!” just before digging into his Solar Strawberry ice cream.
Yetman said one of her favorite parts of the day was “looking back at the group (when we came to a stop light) and seeing a sea of people on bikes as far back as the eye could reach.” She also liked “seeing and meeting so many new faces” and riding her bike with “so many people on a beautiful day.”
She credits the success of Saturday’s event to the momentum that is building for cycling in Tucson, in general, and for Living Streets Alliance, specifically, “thanks to great partnerships with BICAS, Tucsonmama.com, El Grupo,” and others.
Cyclovia, Bikes and Tykes and Kidical Mass may have passed, but Bike Fest still offers some fun, family events. Walk and Roll to School Day is April 13, and Bike to the Zoo is coming up on April 21. The full Bike Fest event calendar is here, and will be updated regularly.
Were you at Kidical Mass? What was your favorite part of the event?
Check out a few photos from the event. Check back often for additional photo from the ride.