What is your current family bike setup?
We have two adult bikes that my husband and I share: his regular bike and an Urban Arrow family cargo bike. Our daughters (4 and 6) both have bikes with pedals.
We also own a trailer and a bike seat although we use both very rarely these days and prefer the cargo bike.
We have a special pannier bag on the cargo bike that allows us to attach kids bikes if they get tired, increasing the range for all-family cycling trips.
How does cycling fit into your life?
Years ago, when I started university, I didn’t like cycling much, rather preferred my inline skates. During my time at the university I gradually used the bike more and more, to the point when I used it for almost everything in my daily life.
Once I actually got frustrated with my husband when he recommended I should not cycle any more on the icy roads using my half-broken bike at the time, while being pregnant with our second child and towing a toddler in the trailer. (Retrospectively I absolutely see his point but back then, it felt like he was taking away my freedom).
Long story short, since then we moved to the UK and I needed to look for a new bike. At the beginning of the first COVID lockdown, we decided to buy a cargo bike. At that point it felt like we got our freedom back. We were able to go on cycle tours and with very few cars on the road, we felt safe even on lengthy cycling tours on country roads.
We now use the bike every day for school runs. It’s nice being able to pass all the cars waiting in traffic – making the commute time a lot more predictable in the morning.
Why did you get involved in Kidical Mass?
Since lockdowns ended, we could see a steady increase in car traffic and felt less and less safe on the roads. Our kids would love to cycle themselves to school more often. But having them this close to heavy traffic is a stress factor for me, in particular along the horrendous Shinfield Road.
We learned about Kidical Mass from friends who organised the first Reading Ride. Thanks to our great marshals, I can relax and enjoy a bike ride together.
What is your role in Kidical Mass?
I have since joined the organiser team as the regular baker, making sure the kids (and adults) have a little treat at the end.