Kidical Mass Autumn Report


On the importance of Networks and Nettles

I had been looking forward to the third Kidical Mass Reading cycle ride. I’d seen how my five year old had loved them, I really liked the community involved, and I’m a big fan of campaigning for better cycling infrastructure. 

So, despite the heatwave, I was very disappointed to wake up ill on the morning of the ride. This report is therefore brought to you in partnership with the Kidical Mass Reading Intern, Michael (the aforementioned five year old).

Where did you ride?

Michael: We started at Green Park. We chatted and rode our bikes around as everyone arrived. We cycled to Waterloo Meadows. There was one road that we went next to that was very busy but apart from that it was very quiet ones. There were quite a lot of paths not next to a road.

What’s different about a Kidical Mass Ride?

Michael: It felt safe riding on the road because of the marshals. They were making sure the cars didn’t hurt any of the cyclists. It’s busy with a lot of riders, so I felt more safe. It’s nice to ride with other children because they go at the same speed as me.

What happened afterwards at Waterloo Meadows?

Michael: We had a snack-ish lunch and I rode my bike down the tallest hill on the bike track with my friend. Then we had some water gun fun. Some of the adults joined in spraying with their water bottles, but the children got them more wet than they got us.

At Waterloo Meadows Cllr Rachel Eden (Reading’s Mayor) and Cllr Jacopo Lanzoni joined the riders, and spoke at length with our lead campaigner, Kat Heath. The ride was written up by RDG.TODAY, and attended by a representative from Sustrans.

Here are three things you can do to help our cause:

1. Please report any infrastructure issues you see on your outings to the Council. When scouting the route, we found that one of the paths was overgrown with stinging nettles – particularly bad for child height riders in shorts. We raised this (which can be done through Love Clean Reading) and it was resolved in time for the ride.

2. If you know of any businesses that will let us put up a poster, please contact us on Twitter @kidicalmassread or through our website

3. Come and join us! All are welcome. Our next ride will be a joint one with Kidical Mass Wokingham on Sunday 25 September – we will finish together at Reading Cycle Festival on Christchurch Meadows. See our website above for full details.

Further dates for your diary are Saturday 8 October, Saturday 12 November and Saturday 10 December. I hope we see you there!

Hillary Smart

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