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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kidical Mass

Cyclists from Oregon and Oklahoma are hoping that their new grassroots effort, Kidical Mass, will take root and encourage children and families to ride their bikes.

Why the effort? "To celebrate the fact that kids are traffic too. For family fun on vehicles that don’t hurt the future! Another excuse to get ice cream," The Kidical Mass site for Eugene, Ore., says.

In a recent story on the Bike Portland blog, editor Jonathan Maus explained the concept in a little more detail:
The city of Eugene has come up with a kinder, gentler, and younger spin on Critical Mass — “Kidical” Mass.

The idea came from bike advocate Shane Rhodes. Rhodes — who manages the Safe Routes to Schools program for a Eugene-area school district — says the idea came to him during an early morning brainstorm about an upcoming visit to his city by filmmaker Ted White.

“The bike movement has grown up, and now it has kids!”
The first Kidical Mass ride in Eugene was scheduled Friday night (April 18). Kidical Mass rides also were slated for Friday in Bend and Ashland, Ore., and Tulsa, Okla. The Kidical Mass rides began April 3 in Portland, and a Kidical Mass ride is slated for June 20 as part of Portland's Pedalpalooza event.

Promoters of Kidical Mass say it is a law-abiding easy ride in traffic. Helmets are required, and decorations and bike bells are encouraged.

I learned about the rides through the ChampaignCountyBikes e-mail list. There seems to be interest in developing Kidical Mass for the Champaign-Urbana area, but no definite plans have been made.

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Roger 2 comments links to this post 12:52 AM

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Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 7,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.

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