July 2022 Kidical Mass Report

On the importance of Networks and Nettles

I had been looking forward to the third Kidical Mass Reading cycle ride. I’d seen how my five year old had loved them, I really liked the community involved, and I’m a big fan of campaigning for better cycling infrastructure. 

So, despite the heatwave, I was very disappointed to wake up ill on the morning of the ride. This report is therefore brought to you in partnership with the Kidical Mass Reading Intern, Michael (the aforementioned five year old), who kindly answered my questions.

The start of the Kidical Mass Ride from Green Park. Picture: Steve Smyth

Where did you ride?

We started at Green Park. We chatted and rode our bikes around as everyone arrived. We cycled to Wateloo Meadows. There was one road that we went next to that was very busy but apart from that it was very quiet ones. There were quite a lot of paths not next to a road.

It’s nice and quiet when cars are absent!

What’s different about a Kidical Mass Ride?

It felt safe riding on the road because of the marshals. They were making sure the cars didn’t hurt any of the cyclists. It’s busy with a lot of riders, so I felt more safe. It’s nice to ride with other children because they go at the same speed as me.

What happened afterwards at Waterloo Meadows?

We had a snack-ish lunch and I rode my bike down the tallest hill on the bike track with my friend. Then we had some water gun fun. Some of the adults joined in spraying with their water bottles, but the children got them more wet than they got us.

Reading’s Mayor enjoying our post-ride hangout.

At Waterloo Meadows Cllr Rachel Eden (Reading’s Mayor) and Cllr Jacopo Lanzoni joined the riders, and spoke at length with our lead campaigner, Kat Heath. The ride was written up by RDG.TODAY, and attended by a representative from Sustrans.

The path after @ReadingCouncil kindly cleared the stinging nettles. Thanks!

Here are three things you can do to help our cause:

  1. Please report any infrastructure issues you see on your outings to the council. When scouting the route, we found that one of the paths was overgrown with stinging nettles – particularly bad for child height riders in shorts. We raised this (which can be done through Love Clean Reading) and it was resolved in time for the ride.
  2. If you know of any businesses that will let us put up a poster, please contact us on twitter or through our website
  3. Come and join us! All are welcome. Kidical Mass Wokingham are hosting a ride on Saturday 13th August (You can register on the Facebook event.)
    Our following ride will be a joint one with them on Sunday 25th September – the Reading leg will meet at Palmer Park and finish at Reading Cycling Festival on Christchurch Meadows.

July 2022 ride

Saturday 16 July, 11:30 β€” Meeting at Green Park in Reading, Lime Square, RG2 6UG, finishing at Water Meadows for picnic, play and cake!

We had the pleasure to see Rachel Eden, the Mayor of Reading, who joined us for the picnic. It was pretty hot, so the water pistols at the end were very welcome… πŸ”« πŸ”« πŸ”«