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Global Kidical Mass teaches young bicyclists how to ride safely

In what has become warm weather staple in recent years, young bicycle riders and their parents take a ride through Kendall Yards as part of Kidical Mass.

This year’s event is extra special though, as riders in Spokane will be joined by Kidical Mass riders in more than 50 cities around the world, including cities in Canada, Belgium, the U.K., Germany, Israel, New Zealand and Hungary, during Global Kidical Mass.

The Spokane portion of Global Kidical Mass will take place on Saturday, beginning at Spark Central.

The first Kidical Mass took place in Eugene in 2008, and Bill Bender, chairman of the SpokeFest, Spokane Summer Parkways and Kidical Mass committees, quickly got Spokane on board.

Summer Parkways now hosts a regular Kidical Mass in May and one in September to coincide with Global Kidical Mass, now in its third year.

“It’s basically to get kids out on the roads and have them see that they can ride in traffic and understand bicycles are traffic, and kids on bikes are traffic,” said Katherine Widing, publicist for Summer Parkways and Kidical Mass.

Before riders embark on a 3-mile ride through Kendall Yards and back on the Centennial Trail, Kidical Mass committee members will teach riders things like hand signals for turning and stopping and how to watch for traffic.

Parents are allowed to ride with their children, though it’s not required. Parents must sign a consent waiver for their children to participate in Global Kidical Mass, and bicycle helmets are required for all riders.

All kinds of bikes, trailers, tandems, folding bikes and tricycles are welcome to participate in Global Kidical Mass.

Kidical Mass committee members will ride with the group to monitor the riders and ensure that everyone makes it back to Kendall Yards safely.

Committee members hope both riders and those who encounter the group learn and understand that kids are traffic too.

“People probably look at kids and think they’re just having fun on their bike, but these are the potential cyclists of the future.” Widing said. “They need to get the basics and I think we’re trying to tell kids, ‘It’s OK for you to ride on the road,’ and learn how to do it skillfully and educate them.”


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