Report Ride

Dee Caf Kidical Mass

A few months ago, the lovely Tina from Dee Caf Community Cafe reached out to Kat Heath, our intrepid leader. To start with I got most of these conversations second hand, and there was clearly a level of escalation to them.

  1. Tina was considering getting a cargo bike for the business.
  2. She had one, but had some questions about it.
  3. Tina LOVED her bike and wanted to run a Kidical Mass Ride from Dee Caf. Could we help?

Well, the answer to that was a resounding yes, though there was a bit of groundwork to be done on finding a suitable route! It was a challenge to avoid busy roads and steep hills whilst still being on routes suitable for a big group of cyclists with some rather large bikes.

It was a delight to turn up to the ride and find a really good turnout from the Dee Caf community – there were 35 riders there, almost all new to the rides. The “Kidical Mass regulars” were not many more than the team who helped organise the ride. Tina led the ride on her big business bike, and clearly personally knew most of the families there.

Tina had also invited Mayor Rachel Eden and the Mayor’s Escort (Councillor Richard Davies), and they not only came but also rode with us. I did have a moment of confusion just after the ride had started when someone radioed through that there was a delay because the Mayor had lost her chain.

“How did she manage that?” I asked, thinking it had looked pretty secure round her neck – and was told that it was not the ceremonial chain but her bike chain. She got it back on herself (a feat I’m impressed by, my strategy for bike mechanical failures is to make my other half fix them).

Cllr Davies regularly uses his bike to get around town. I was able to have a pretty detailed conversation after the ride about the issues I see around cycling access from Caversham to the new secondary school being built by Rivermeads. I think he really understood my concerns – it does make a difference when our elected representatives are themselves users of cycling infrastructure.


After the ride Dee Caf kindly offered free cake and juice to everyone, and the kids set to work with chalk brightening up the pavement with artwork and several hopscotches. It was really special to feel that the ride was built around an already existing community, and to have the hub for that community as the start and end of the ride.

The children seemed to enjoy the ride – several of the families asked when the next one would be. Dee Caf is on the other side of Reading to most of our usual volunteers. We will need some locals to help marshal if we are going to run rides there regularly. Do let Dee Caf know if you’re keen to help – no prior experience required.

Finally, it took me most of the way through this article to realise that Dee Caf is in fact a play on the term decaf. I hope you were a bit quicker on the uptake than me!