Kids on bikes – join in the fun!

The Kidical Mass ride on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway in fall, 2023. (Gabriel Rivett-Carnac/For Our Kids Ottawa-Gatineau)
The Kidical Mass ride on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway in fall, 2023. (Gabriel Rivett-Carnac/For Our Kids Ottawa-Gatineau)

Eugenie Waters and Erin Maher

We’re bicycle-loving parents with For Our Kids Ottawa-Gatineau. Our group is organizing family-friendly events for Ottawa residents starting this spring and into fall.

First is a series of joyful family-friendly group bike rides (aka bike parades!). They will feature a slow-paced loop on separated paths and calm streets geared towards riders of all ages and abilities, including your youngest family members.

Dubbed Kidical Mass, these celebratory bike rides are part of an international movement (kidsonbike.org/) inspired by “Critical Mass” events held to emphasize the number of people who want to ride bikes for transportation but need infrastructure improvements to make it safe.

Kidical Mass expands on that idea with a focus on children and families. We believe children should be able to safely and independently travel to school, parks, sports, and other destinations. With climate change already impacting the lives of children, safe streets for kids also means seriously addressing the climate emergency. There are measures – both big and small – that cities like Ottawa can pursue to make this possible.

But even beyond the message it sends, the Kidical Mass stands to be the most festive bike ride your family has ever been on! Bike decorations, stuffy friends, music and costumes are encouraged.

Last September, the first Kidical Mass ride in Ottawa was held on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway in Centretown.

Mark your calendars for this year’s upcoming Kidical Mass rides on June 22, July 21, August 24, and September 21 (the big one). Meeting locations and routes will vary and will be posted on the website and social media (bit.ly/kidical-mass-ottawa / @KidicalMassOttawa). For every ride, meet at 9:30 a.m. Bike rides will depart at 10 a.m. and will take about an hour. Check out the website to download a fun colouring page invitation!

Cargo bikes and movie at the Mayfair

Secondly, we are thrilled to be hosting a community showing of the award-winning documentary film MOTHERLOAD as part of Let’s Bike Month. This film captures a new mother’s quest to understand the increasing isolation and disconnection of modern life, its planetary impact, and how cargo bikes could be an antidote.

Join us at the Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.) on Sunday, June 9 at 12 noon (doors open at 11:30 a.m.). The event is a fundraiser for the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation Hop On Bikes program that provides bikes to young residents. Entry tickets can be obtained at cargobike-motherload.eventbrite.com with a suggested donation of $10 per person, $5 for students and youth.

Prior to the film, come check out a wide variety of cargo bikes and chat with their owners about what works for them to make family transportation by bike easy and fun.

Bikes will be on display from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. next to Hopewell Avenue Public School (17 Hopewell at Bank) for an informal cargo bike show and tell. All are welcome!

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