Categories
People

The people behind KM — Alex

What is your current family bike setup?

I’ve got a couple of bikes. For a long time I used to ride a Charge fixed gear bike I bought on eBay, but as my commute has changed (and my fitness has declined!) and includes more hills I’ve invested in a geared touring bike.

When the kids were very little I used a Burley Bee cycle chariot and a front seat to take them both to nursery, but as they’ve got older and we live near their school I no longer have that set up. It’s a shame as they used to enjoy the journey and it was very satisfying cycling pass the cars going nowhere in the rush hour traffic jam on the Reading road, and the slightly unorthodox set up was always a talking point with parents in the car park.  

How does cycling fit into your life?

I use a bike to commute to work and for local journeys. As both myself and my wife work, this allows us to only own one car, which is a big plus given that we don’t have any off road parking at home. 

The kids cycle, although we live within a short walk of their school and so don’t need the bikes on a day-to-day basis. 

Why did you get involved in Kidical Mass?

I started cycle commuting (and subsequently got more into cycling) when I moved to Reading in 2010 and have been a member of the Reading cycle campaign (RCC) since then. A few years later we moved to Wokingham and I got involved with the Wokingham Active Travel Campaign (WATCH).

It was at a RCC meeting that I heard Kat talk about Kidical Mass and how she wanted to set it up locally, I was really impressed with her drive and enthusiasm and the idea of Kidical Mass, as a way of getting a broader cross section of people (beyond the Lycra MAMILs) out on bikes and so got her details. I helped marshal some of the early Reading rides and really enjoyed the fun and support that can sometimes be absent at cycling events (not all!) I have attended in the past.

WATCH had been looking for a cycle event we could put on in Wokingham and after chatting with Kat, we agreed that we would run a Wokingham ride every other month under the Reading (and Wokingham) Kidical Mass umbrella. 

What is your role in Kidical Mass?

I am one of the organisers of the Wokingham KM events and try and help out with many of the Reading events as I can get to.

Categories
Ride

May 2024 ride

Ride in the Reading Campus, for the University of Reading community festival – very well attended with 50 people at the start, and no rain!

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Next rides

Our next rides

Save the dates for our next Kidical Mass events, in Reading and Wokingham. No need to book: just turn up and enjoy a safe, family-friendly, joyful ride with us.

Sun 23rd June, 10am in Wokingham

Ride for the Wokingham Bikeathon, from Cantley Park

Sun 7th July, 2pm in Reading

Summer ride ☀️ — start from the Palmer Park

Sat 10th August, 2pm in Wokingham

Circular ride from Elms Fields Playground.

Sun 8 Sep, 12pm in Reading

Circular ride from the Reading Cycling Festival in Christchurch Meadows

Sun 20th October, 2pm, Halloween rides 🎃
Sun 1st December, 2pm in Reading

Christmas ride 🎅 — circular ride from the Thames Lido

Sun 15th December, 2pm in Wokingham

Christmas ride 🎅 — circular ride from Elms Fields Playground.

Categories
Ride

April 2024 Reading ride

We had an amazing ride today, for the national action day of Safe Streets Now, with around 40 people, including 3 Reading councillors!
Full report available next week, but photos available right now:

Categories
Ride

February 2024 Wokingham ride

We had a rather low turnout of ~20 for our ride in Wokingham today — maybe because of the yellow warning of rain, issued just before. 🌧️⚠️
In the end, we didn’t have any rain, and this just meant we had more cake at the end. We have photos to prove it! 🍰🍰

Categories
Ride

February 2024 ride

Slightly wet ride today, with about 35 people, and a new route that brought us on Blake’s Wharf through Filbert Street, which many of us discovered today! Hot chocolate was de rigueur at the end.

Categories
Ride

January 2024 ride

We had a lovely, sunny ride away from traffic today, on the campus of the University of Reading, enjoyed by 50 people. We also had our Annual General Meeting there, but there will be more on that later.
Check the pictures!

Also, for the people asking: the hot chocolate at the end of the ride was Twinings Swiss, and it is indeed very nice ☕

Categories
People

The people behind KM — Jeroen

What is your current family bike setup?

We are a family of three: two parents and a 9 year old.  We have a fairly basic bike setup: boring hybrid bikes for mum and dad and a much cooler mountain bike for our beloved son. To transport groceries and other items we use low-cost, low-tech solutions such as panniers or a crate tied to a bike rack. To transport heavier or larger objects I have a flatbed trailer.

When our son was smaller we shared a bike, using various versions of Yepp bike seats. At first he was seated at the front of the bike, on the stem of the handlebars, then moving to the rear before graduating to his own balance bike (his first bike was an actual BMW convertible, btw).

How does cycling fit into your life?

Cycling has always been my primary mode of transport, in all of the 6 different countries I’ve lived in. We’ve never owned a car and so many beautiful moments in my life are inextricably linked with cycling. Cycling to Sydney’s scenic Bronte beach or Copenhagen’s fantastic indoor and outdoor playgrounds with my son are some of my most precious memories.

I really loved to have my child on my bike with me, either happily chatting about all kinds of things we’d see along the way, or him quietly dozing off with his head resting against my back after a busy day out. I’m very grateful for these wonderful moments that we wouldn’t have had if we’d have been in a car.

Why did you get involved in Kidical Mass?

If you had told me ten years ago that I would get into cycle campaigning, I probably would not have believed you.

Growing up up in Flanders, cycling was such a normal part of every day life that I never gave it much thought. Where I grew up, no family was considered to be a “cycling family”, every family cycled! As a child, I could visit friends and explore my neighbourhood by bike. My bicycle was a very important part in the development of my sense of independence.

Many years later we moved to the UK and even though I’m a very experienced cyclist, I still vividly remember how anxious I was the first time cycling on UK roads. Nevertheless, we still cycle nearly everywhere as a family for many reasons. It keeps us fit, it’s sustainable, and we don’t put others at risk, or pollute the air.

Here, my child isn’t free to cycle independently at all, though. Because of the dangerous UK roads, I constantly need to supervise him. I got involved in Kidical Mass because I want him to have the same freedom I had. I want him to have safe public spaces to explore. I want him to have clean air to breathe and a liveable future climate.

What is your role in Kidical Mass?

I only participated in my first Kidical Mass ride less than a year ago, so I’m a newcomer to the team. I’ve marshalled a few rides, I’m working with other organisers to obtain funding to support Kidical Mass and I’ve helped to spread the word about Kidical Mass by distributing leaflets.

Categories
Ride

December 2023 ride

Categories
Annual General Meeting

A Kidical-Christ-Mass booklet

Here is the booklet that Santa offered to the kids – and a few adults too – during the last ride he shared with us!

We’d also like to announce our first Annual General Meeting, which will happen after our January ride, in Reading, on Sun, 14 Jan 2024 at 15:30 in Park House on the campus. You’re welcome to join us, in which case please book here on Eventbrite so we have an idea of the attendance.

Our next ride is on Sat 16th December, at 2pm in Wokingham. See you there!