Shared by Jen G.
On Mother’s Day, I led a Kidical Mass ride to celebrate Cyclofemme. This ride is a special one for me in a lot of ways. One reason is because this event was the first Kidical Mass I attended when moving back to Seattle. This ride holds a new importance to me because it is the first ride in a series of Kidical Masses and events I will be leading in a partnership with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.
As Seattle wrestles with executing a viable plan to incorporate better transportation options to connect our city, many families are taking advantage of any considerations for biking and making the best of the situation. Kidical Mass rides give us a chance to celebrate where we CAN ride. These group rides also shine a glaring spotlight on what improvements are sorely needed to get more people parking their cars in favor of more sustainable transportation options. It’s more fun to ride together, for sure. It’s also safer. Biking on your own is empowering, but through group rides like Kidical Masses, we are reminded that our strength lies in our community.
I am so excited to plan Familybike Rides alongside Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. SNG works to amplify the voices of community groups seeking safe streets, neighborhood by neighborhood. There are so many wonderful biking moments in our city; the Burke Gilman Trail, quiet no-name paths in parks, tree covered greenways, and urban protected velotracks. Unfortunately, in many neighborhoods, accessing these routes can feel like braving the high seas in a dinghy, without a life vest, in the middle of a hurricane. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways connects with the community at-large to recognize streets that could benefit from a wide range of traffic calming redesigns, sidewalk upgrades, and smart development.
I commit my time and energy to family biking because it is not an overstatement to say biking changed my life. When we arrived back in Seattle after 5 years away, I found myself packing my kids into the car more and more. Our schedules were clumped together and my commute was stressful (anyone want to cross the Montlake Bridge multiple times a day?). When I started cargobiking, I found myself savoring my commute. My health improved. I got a tan for the first time in my life. I feel more connected to my kids instead of feeling rushed to shove them out the door. I also found a supportive group of new friends. I will never tire of accidentally meeting up with other biking friends along my commute. When I made the choice to lower our family’s dependance on our single-occupancy vehicle I had no idea the ways I was missing out on community by travelling alone. Now it just makes so much sense! The more chances I get out by bike, the more I fall in love with this city and the people who live here. I hope to meet many more families through this year who have goals to shift their transportation habits. Biking is a joyful option. With support from Familybike and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, I look forward to helping more families feel confident and supported in choosing active transportation.