Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Philly Bike Expo Part Two: Kidical Mass & ABCs of Family Biking

Right before our Kidical Mass ride in August I realized the Philly Bike Expo was a great way to remind the Philadelphia bike scene that family cycling is "here" and alive. Families cycling is not just in places like Amsterdam or Portland but right here in Philly! Most people probably think Philadelphia cyclist and picture hipsters on fix gears or cyclists in lycra climbing the Manayunk Wall. But hey here we are just a group of parents dressed like we normally do who use bikes as both transportation and fun with our kids. Additionally, I knew Diana from the Bike Coalition planned on doing another round of ABCs of Family Biking and I had volunteered to talk about Kidical Mass and our efforts to bring safe streets and group rides to Philly. 

This past Saturday Husband, kids and I rode to Fitler Square for a group ride to the Philadelphia Convention Center and the Philly Bike Expo. We had about 25 people overall including kids and adults. Small group, but what a great showing of different cargo bikes. Please see this fantastic video my husband shot of us leaving the park. Note Marni's handmade cover, the tricked out Haley Trike & the crowd favorite the "Bike Doozer". Nutcase Helmets also came by with snacks and bracelets for everyone. They were so very sweet to us. Clearly M and I both wear nutcase helmets so we love them at the least!

The ride was 1.5 miles and pretty straight forward, we rode mostly on bike lane less 18th Street and Race Street so we just took the lane. With so many big bikes the lane was easy to take. We rolled up and into the convention and BOY did we make a splash. A splash of people all staring at our crazy cargo bike gang. We overwhelmed the indoor bike parking and were asked to park neatly on the side. For about twenty minutes upon entry I actually couldn't get away from my bike. People were taking pictures of the bike while M was passed out just sleeping in it. What a way to "sell" people on family biking here is my kid fast asleep. I happily answered as many questions as I could and then dashed away to see the expo before ABCs. 

I have absolutely no pics of the inside of the expo. Not really sure why I didn't take any pictures but it was set up really well. There was a great mix of local and national bike people. A little bit of everything as the expo promotes, frame builders, artisans, bike shops and more. Both small business and big business were inside. 

After exploration I made my way over to the seminar rooms for ABCs. I won't dwell too much on the actual seminar I will say that we live in a fear obsessed culture. I felt like a lot of technical advice may have seemed overwhelming to the people there trying to figure out how to bike with kids. My personal take away goal is to just get more families biking and help change the face of who you are "sharing" the street with.  Kidical Mass Philly's, aka Marni and I's biggest take away is we need to make more opportunities to talk about family biking both on a local and national level. We are planning to host a KMPHL open house of sorts this winter for families to talk about family biking and try out bikes at a local shop. Stay tuned for more information.  

(This ride added another total of 16 miles to my weekend total.)

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