Kidical Mass is a legal, safe and FUN bike ride for kids, kids at heart, and their families. The first ride in the U.S. 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 and to highlight routes that connect us to other parts of our community.
Kidical Mass rides in Tucson will host rides that connect the community to parks, schools, and local businesses. Our goal is to show people how easy it is to get to these destinations by bike and emphasize the importance of supporting local business.
All types of bikes, trailers, trail-a-bikes, Xtracycles, longtails, bakfiets, Long Johns, tandems, folders, trikes, and whatever rolls are welcome! We celebrate the fact that Kids are Traffic Too and aim for family fun on vehicles that don’t hurt the future and encourage healthy, active lifestyles.
Are helmets required?
Yes. By law in Arizona all children 18 and under must wear a helmet, and the ride leaders strongly encourage all riders to wear helmets. A limited number of free helmets will be on hand for those who need them and will be fit by El Grupo Youth Cyclists who have been trained in bicycle safety workshops. Helmets are provided by the Pima Association of Governments and the City of Tucson.
What if I have more than one kid to keep track of on the ride?
Ride leaders encourage all parents to take responsibility for all young cyclists so you should feel comfortable in knowing there are many eyes and ears on the road helping out. We sometimes have volunteers to ride with us who do not have kids as well as a ride ‘sweeper’ who stays in the back of the pack. However, you should still be very aware of your own child’s location and behavior as you are ultimately responsible for your child’s safety.
Speaking of ‘liability’, is there a waiver to sign?
Not having them keeps it a little less formal. We are organizing a meeting spot and a fun event at the end but when we ride “together” each family is responsible for their kids and surroundings (stop at all stops, ride with traffic, stay to the right, and no swerving).
Will my kid get left behind?
No. We have a ride ‘sweeper’ who stays in the back of the group to make sure no one is left. Volunteers are on hand to help out with mechanical troubles or flats. Also, the ride leader will stop as many times as necessary to make sure the group stays together since it’s safer and more fun that way! Since we are not stopping traffic or blocking traffic this may mean it’s the slowest ride you’ll ever take- but it makes it more fun and festive!
Bikes & Tykes Expo
Our first-ever Bikes and Tykes Expo was held at the Mercado San Agustin in March 2012. This free, educational event is designed to inspire cycling with the entire family, infant and up! Family-friendly urban commuters share their favorite gear and their experiences riding with small children. They also are available to answer questions, give demonstrations, discussion safety, and the best routes and trails to travel when you have a little Tyke in tow.
Family Fun Rides / Urban Living Rides
LSA hosts many group rides throughout the year to encourage would-be bicyclists to give bicycling a try in a setting that is safe, fun, and social. These rides usually utilize low-stress bikeways and help participants learn about good routes to take to common destinations. They show that getting “there” on bike can be both convenient and comfortable.
In June of 2012, LSA hosted its first ever Bike-In Movie Event in downtown Tucson, featuring the film Bill Cunningham New York. This event highlighted the combination of bicycles, fashion, film and downtown, by encouraging participants to dress up and enjoy a leisurely group bike ride to the event, as well as a bicycle fashion show at the event. Prizes were awarded to the “best dressed” attendees and everyone entered a raffle to win free prizes like bicycle bells and lights.
Architecture on Wheels
As part of AIA’s (American Institute of Architects) annual Architecture Week, LSA brings you “Architecture on Wheels” in partnership with the Southern Arizona AIA Chapter. On a beautiful Fall morning, LSA leads a guided bike tour through three of Tucson’s most iconic neighborhoods: El Presidio, Armory Park, and Barrio Viejo. The tour moves at a leisurely pace, along a roughly 3 mile route during which the history of each of the featured buildings is described by a local architect or historian. It’s a great way to pair history and community awareness with bicycling.