For a while now I’ve been keen to get our son cycling with other kids, for no reason other than to boost his cycling confidence and away from the iPad.
Last week hubby mentioned that there was a group called Kidical Mass – Berario. An unofficial “Critical Mass” bicycle pace around the suburb of Berario as per the groups Facebook page.
Off we went. I was extremely surprised by the turnout… quite large for a Sunday afternoon.
Hubby knows one of the organisers, Nigel Laver. The thinking behind it is similar to the Critical Mass Rides only this time the goal is to get more families outdoors cycling.
Critical Mass Rides
Critical Mass Joburg was formed to bring more people back into the city and raise awareness about the viability of bicycles as a form of transport in and around Joburg in 2007 and then in 2011 found “new energy”. Normally takes place once a month in the early evening and is not usually anything formal beyond a request to meet at a set place and cycling as a group through a predetermined route through the city. The event originated in 1992 in San Francisco and by the end of 2003, it was taking place in 300 cities across the globe.
Kidical Mass Rides
In a similar fashion, Kidical Mass is a safe and FUN bike ride for kids and their families. The first ride was held in April 2008 in Eugene, Oregon and has now spread to over a dozen communities throughout North America and beyond. The rides are meant to be family friendly bike rides through a community. They generally meet at a park and end not too far away at another fun spot (park, ice cream shop, pool, or special event). Each community figures out the type of ride, routes, locations, and events that work best for their area families.
Nigel Laver is part of the Berario cycling community and the team come up with the ride route around the suburb. It’s very family friendly and suitable for all that can cycle on two wheels. Like Critical Mass Rides, the Kidical Mass Rides take place the last Sunday of the month at 3pm – time may differ in summer. Everyone riding goes off together and the group rides at a pace that suits everyone, remember this isn’t a race, but a leisure Sunday ride through the burbs as a “family”, the kids however can’t help but want to see if they can be first to finish.
The Berario route is 5km long, done twice. Those that feel that 5km is more than enough are able to leave the group after the first round. Our son loved it so much that as he rode past me I was informed that he was going off again for another round. I still can’t believe he rode his first 10km so easily.
Kidical Mass Rides is a brilliant concept, great to get the family away from the house at least once a month and getting the heart rates high through exercise. Parents can ride or run with their child that is cycling in a reasonable safe environment. Cars are securely parked at the Berario Recreational Centre while everyone goes off cycling.
It was a wonderful afternoon and gathering from our son’s feedback I have no doubt we will be there in June.
Nigel and the Berario Kidical Mass team have a great concept going. May there be many more safe miles around Berario!
If you not doing anything last Sunday of June, why don’t you give Kidical Mass Rides – Berario a try? Remember your helmet, no helmet no ride rule applies!
Best part, it is FREE!!!