Kidical Mass and Bike Works at the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade

Every year Bike Works participates in a wonderful tradition in Columbia City, the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade. I love this parade! It is a cultural and community gathering that brings together high-stepping drill teams, urban farmers, zombies, salons with competition-ready hair style models and all sorts of community groups, like Bike Works, and sends them parading down Rainier Ave!

As you know, I’ve got a lot to say about that particular roadway. The thrill of a demilitarized Rainier is enough to send me over the moon, especially since they started combining the parade with the Annual Summer Streets Festival and have kept Rainier open to pedestrians, vendors, info-booths and parties for several hours after the parade is through. (Remind me to tell you the story of what happened to me at the first Summer Streets event in Columbia City. Spoiler, it’s also that story of this blog got its name!)

This year was especially fun because the date of the parade lined up perfectly with the date for the second South Seattle Kidical Mass (third Saturday of every month, meet at 11am at Bike Works!).

The Ride.

By 9am, we already had our first rider, dressed for fun and loaded to bear in that plushy-stuffed trailer! (You see how I did that, “Loaded to BEAR…”? It’s a pun? On teddy bear? Nevermind.) Actually, Marty’s trailer is even cooler than it looks. I cannot believe that I missed the chance to take a photo of the “Further” sign painted on the back. Apparently, the kid’s recent second birthday party was Merry Prankster themed. Her parents Ray and Elise are cool. Need Further proof of their coolness? They read this blog, just like you!

For our float in the parade this year, we rented the Conference Bike from Dutch Bike Co., Seattle. They were super-cool and gave us a great deal on the rental, just because they like us! What sweethearts!

Then we waited for quite a while.

That is Councilmember Tom Rasmussen in the western shirt on the left there. He is being chatted up by Ryan, a buddy of mine, a Bike Works volunteer and one of the organizers with Beacon BIKES. Hey, thanks for the Waterfront Tunnel, Tom! That’s gonna be awesome!

Just kidding. No thanks for the stupid tunnel, Seattle City Council.

Our group was staged right next to the City Art Farm, who made this amazing cardboard model of downtown Seattle as a collaboration between youth and adult artists. I love it!

I even got a little Spotted in the Wild action in when I ran in to Canuche and Cosimo and their Xtracycle Radish. The Radish is a bike sold by Xtracycle that comes fitted with a Free Radical kit. It is a complete longtail bike, sold pre-longtailed but not a dedicated, long frame. The gearing on the Radish is pretty limited as well. I guess I don’t understand what makes that better than buying a Free Radical and installing it on a bike of your own choosing. Any Radish riders out there wanna weigh in on that in the comments below?

I can tell you that Canuche and Cosimo seem really happy with their cargo bike! I wouldn’t try to pretend to be able to review a cargo bike I hadn’t ridden significantly and I’m not trying to do that here. I started the “Spotted in the Wild” feature on this blog as a way to at least share some info with you about the huge variety of cargo bikes that I’ll never have a chance to ride myself. I chase down every Pedal Family that I see and take pictures of their rigs and ask them a bunch of questions and get a chance to learn a little bit and to give them high-fives for riding Family Style. It’s fun!

Riding in the parade was a blast! I piloted the Conference Bike, Morgan played uke while being hauled by her kid on Bernice the recumbent cargo trike, Colina and her daughter handed out Popsicles from the Ice Cream Trailer and our whole group was decked out in streamers and huge grins!

One of my favorite Seattle Pedal Parents, Anna! She is an awesome mom, a fun and smart person and a hardcore cargo biker. Shoot, that whole family is hardcore. You can kinda see in the previous picture that she’s got an adorable infant in a car seat and two big kids in the bucket of that Madsen. Hardcore, Mom.

I think South Seattle Kidical Mass is here to stay.