October 2022 report


Keeping the rides safe is the thing we spend most time on when planning. Most importantly, we just don’t want anyone to get hurt, but it would also set back all of our goals if they did.

It would raise the wrong kind of awareness of cycling issues. It would not increase confidence in our child (or adult!) attendees. And, though a community can be bonded together by a traumatic event, that’s really not what we’re going for.

Maps, marshals and messages are the three key legs of our safety strategy.

  1. Maps, because we can’t have a safe ride without having a safe route and a plan. We ride the proposed route making notes on where the difficult junctions are so that know where we need to position our –
  2. Marshals. We are so grateful to have a growing pool of marshals who position themselves (at junctions and when riding) to ensure that children are kept clear of hazards. We make sure they know where they need to be with –
  3. Messages. We circulate the marked up map ahead of time and hold a briefing just before the ride. We maintain headset communication between the ride organiser and the front and back of the ride, so that we can keep the group together and safe.

October’s ride was a big success – the weather was beautiful, people came (40 of them!) on a variety of bikes (including our first recumbent trikes!) and we all arrived safely and together at Forbury Gardens.

For me, a highlight of the day was watching the children play and the adults mingle after the ride. Our three year old does not yet have the speed or stamina to ride the route, but we brought his balance bike with us and he was delighted to be able to whizz around the gardens with the bigger children.

He also offered his little bike to a one year old to have a go. Many adults also test rode each others bikes. It was great seeing the knowledge sharing of how we all make it work between families with children of different ages.

Please come and join us for our next rides! We’ll be in Wokingham on 12th November or in Reading on 10th December. We’d love to see you, as a rider or a marshal, or even just to meet you at the end of the ride.


October 2022 ride photos

Today’s Kidical Mass ride went from Palmer Park to Forbury Gardens and was attended by about 40 people.

The ride proceeded down the Kennett towpath accompanied by the music of bike bells, children’s chatter and ‘I Want to Ride My Bicycle’ by Queen.

Many thanks to the marshals who helped us to make the ride a safe and relaxed experience for all involved. It was lovely to see the smiles on the faces of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers as we passed by.

After the ride participants mingled and ate cake and the children rode their bikes together and decorated the ground with pavement chalk.


September 2022 report

On Festivals and Friends

When we talk about why we do Kidical Mass, it always comes back to three C’s

  1. Campaigning (for better infrastructure);
  2. Confidence (creating a safe place for kids to practice road skills); and
  3. Community (building one).

And, my goodness, September’s ride was strong on that last point.

To start with, it was a collaboration between two Kidical Mass organising groups. Our good friends and neighbours in Wokingham started in Woodley and followed the planned Woodley to Palmer Park cycle route, where they seamlessly flowed into the start of our Reading ride.

To finish with, our destination was the Reading Cycling Festival – we swung over Christchurch bridge to arrive at the festival as a 65 strong group – I’m informed we were a very impressive and encouraging sight!

In the middle, our wonderful marshals kept us all safe, pedestrians pointed and took pictures, and drivers were generally very well behaved – we got lots of waves and smiles! And the kids, of course, were all brilliant.

At the festival Kidical Mass shared a stand with WATCH Wokingham (if anyone was wondering what Adrian had in his trailer on the ride, it was everything needed for the stall!). We also met in person some of the lovely people behind other local cycling groups – watch this space for some exciting collaborations regarding post ride activities on future rides!

We were grateful to Woodley Councillor Carol Jewel for finding the ride and volunteering to help as a marshal. All are welcome at our rides – but it’s especially wonderful seeing our elected representatives take our issues seriously.

If you want to help us further our aims, any of the following would help:

  1. Write to your local councillor and invite them to join us on a ride.
  2. Let us know of any community notice boards where we can pop a leaflet up.
  3. Come and join us! Rides will be running on the second Saturday of the month in Reading or Wokingham through until at least January. If you are coming without kids and happy to consider marshalling, please contact us (on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail) so we can send you the details of what is involved.