A Christmassy Ride
Santa’s a busy man in December, so we were lucky to secure his attendance at Reading’s Kidical Mass Ride. Crucial, of course, was what method of transport he would use – it had to be bike related.
Our own Kat Heath (one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling 2022) made the opening suggestion that he should ride on a sleigh pulled by six cyclists wearing reindeer antlers. The rest of the planning team, who are blessed with a little less ambition, but a smidgeon more common sense, shot that right down on safety grounds. Can you imagine the tangle we would have got into crossing London Road?
When one of our families pointed out that their Urban Arrow box bike can safely carry an adult, it was the perfect solution. We consulted with Santa, and he was keen, after all if it’s good enough for our children then it’s good enough for him. R(e)i(n)de(e)r Balthi even wore antlers and a red nose as he captained the bike.
For the first time ever, as we approached London Road, I was worried that drivers were getting impatient waiting for the kids to cross as a group, but they were only honking and waving at Santa. Throughout the whole ride we got a positively delightful reaction from onlookers.
On arrival at Forbury Gardens Santa handed out Kidical Mass bike bells, and our wonderful bakers handed out Christmas cookies. There were bells leftover (I’m saying nothing about the cookies) so Santa left them with us; we’ll bring them to future rides for those who missed out. My three-year-old was excited to fit his official Kidical Mass bell to his balance bike when we got home. I’m not sure our neighbours have been quite as pleased.
Our kids were also very pleased to see their grandfather who came along for the biscuits and tea in Forbury Gardens. Sadly he just missed seeing Santa, but he loved hearing from them how much they’d enjoyed the ride.