On Saturday we welcomed 75+ kids, adults, and cargo-bike enthusiasts at our Family Biking Open House in partnership with Baltimore Family Bike Party! Peabody Heights Brewery was overflowing with local bike shops and advocacy organizations, and with a wide range of bikes — from bikes with kids seats on the front and back to custom cargo bikes to trailers. Attendees roamed and mingled among the bikes, asking questions and comparing notes on what has and hasn’t worked for biking with their own families.
Some of the questions we heard included: What helmet is right for this age? I used to bike all the time before I got pregnant, how do I get back into it now that I have a little one? My kiddo moved around too much in this seat for me to feel comfortable; are there other options? At what age can they ride on their own bike in the street? Where are good places to ride with kids in Baltimore?
And the most common answer to most of these questions? There are best practices and recommendations (many of which are in Family Bike Party's resource guide), but there’s a wide range of options and what works for your family is dependent on your own needs, level of comfort, and your own kids. The mentality we heard was very much "if this doesn’t work, try that." But it was clear that creating a friendly space for families to discuss pinch points with each other was a step in the right direction to getting more families riding.
WHY IS FAMILY BIKING IMPORTANT FOR BALTIMORE?
A city that is bike friendly, means one that's great to ride in no matter your age. And in order to make Baltimore this bikeable city, we need families to keep on riding. We need you riding in a park or on trails on the weekend, we need you riding to school or to the grocery store, we just need you out there, in whatever way your family enjoys.
Because families who bike stay connected to the city in a way that changes how they view transportation and how they view the design of our streets and sidewalks and trails. And families are a constituency that has significant political power, creating the demand for policy that creates more bikeable and walkable neighborhoods.
If you're a parent or caregiver that wants to feel safer riding with your own kids, or if you envision a future Baltimore where kids and adults alike can ride comfortably throughout the city, consider a donation to Bikemore.
Check out the full Facebook album for more photos.
Want Baltimore to be a safer place for kids to bike?
→ Interested in getting more involved in family biking in Baltimore? Sign up to be part of the Family Committee!
Many thanks to all the families that shared their experience and knowledge, Baltimore Family Bike Party, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Baltimore City Department of Transportation, Race Pace Bicycles, Baltimore Bicycle Works, Peabody Heights Brewery, and Side A Photography!