Kidical Mass: The Parents Are Back
While some people managed to keep on cycling all winter long, many people who bike with their kids were sidelined by the terrible weather. As much my daughter and I love riding together even when the weather isn’t 100% ideal, there was simply too much snow and ice in the bike lanes to make riding with my most precious cargo seem worth it.
But now that spring has (mostly) sprung, lots of parents are back on the road, toting their kids to daycare, school, activities, and play dates. The fact that it hasn’t even been all that spring-like hasn’t stopped a lot of parents from taking to the streets, suggesting to me that the decision to ride with kids isn’t so much a factor of weather as it is a factor of road conditions. Parents ride not when it’s comfortable, but when it’s safe. And comfort and safety are two very different things.
A little rain isn’t a problem as long as you’re prepared, as this mother and child were this morning. Squint and you could be in Amsterdam or Copenhagen.
I spotted the dad above at Union Street and 6th Avenue on Thursday. My guess is that his wife dropped the kid off at daycare in the stroller and he had to get creative to get the bike, the kid, and the stroller home. It’s a solution I hadn’t seen outside of more bike-friendly cities.
That same day I met Lisa and her son in front of the Park Slope Food Co-Op, about to take off on their Onderwater tandem. As you may recall, they’re the subject of a photo I submitted to a Streetsblog contest last year. I frequently see them on 5th Avenue on their daily school run, so it was nice to finally meet the people on the “Amsterdam bike,” as my daughter calls their sweet ride.
Gowanus is full of people on bikes these days, and I spotted the dad and son above on Bond Street on Saturday. (Note the soccer ball in the basket.) It wasn’t a particularly nice day, but there were plenty of parents and kids out and about. With the growing amount of bike facilities in the area, not to mention the area’s Slow Zone, Gowanus is becoming one of the most bike-friendly places between Prospect Park and the waterfront.
Another mom on 5th Avenue, fresh from a school drop-off. Normal clothes, ready to start the rest of her day.
Of course the real sign of a bike-friendly city isn’t just how many kids you see on the back (or front!) of their parents’ bikes, but how many kids you see riding their own. I spotted this father and son at 5th Avenue and 3rd Street a couple of weeks ago. What a sight to see.