Kidical Mass is a worldwide movement and its coming to Tāmaki Makaurau. Kidical Mass gives children a voice, creating a positive vision for the future, connecting the young and old across the cycling community. The vision of Kidical Mass is that all children and young people can safely and independently use bikes as a mode of travel. You can find out more about the international Kidical Mass initiative here.
Details for Kidical Mass in Tāmaki Makaurau are:
When: Saturday 29 October (Rain date Saturday 5 November) 9:45am – 12:00pm
Where: Meet at Queen’s Wharf, picnic at Silo Park
Tommy de Silva, biking/public transport enthusiast and University of Auckland researcher, looks at how kids and cycling are linked.
How do we measure how healthy and thriving a bike network is? Is it simply measured through numbers like ridership statistics or maybe the amount of bike infrastructure investment? Or should we measure the health of a bike network in a more abstract way? I’m not very good at maths, so I vote for the latter!
To me, the tell-tale sign of a great, safe bike network is whether or not it is safe for kids to use it. For example, in heaven – sorry, I mean the Netherlands – it’s normal for kids to cycle for practical reasons like to get to school, extra-curricular activities and play dates. What’s more, Dutch kids do this all without supervision. Through biking, Dutch kids experience transport freedom and independence, not having to rely on parent drop offs like in New Zealand. Is it really a surprise then that Dutch kids are among the happiest in the world?
Unfortunately, though, in many areas it is not safe for kids to ride their bikes in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. These days only 2-3% of our tamariki cycle to school, dramatically down from 20% in the 1970s. Our low percentage of kids biking to school reflects the sad state of our bike infrastructure. Few parents feel confident to let their children cycle to school when their route would mix with motor traffic
Although much of of Auckland is sadly unsafe for tamariki to bike around, our beautiful waterfront is a beautifully safe space! Some of my fondest childhood memories were biking around the waterfront and Wynyard Quarter with friends – and this was well before the recent bike improvements.
To make the most of our wonderful waterfront bike lanes, Bike Auckland has organised a group bike ride from Queens Wharf to Silo Park on October 29, with a picnic at the end. Known as Kidical Mass, this group ride is a fun and, most importantly, safe, free event for parents and their kids to enjoy alongside one another. The ride itself takes a flat 1km route from Queens Wharf to Silo Park, which should take 15-20 minutes.
On October 29, we would love to see as many of our Bike Auckland whānau as possible at Kidical Mass! The meeting spot is at the concrete area outside the Bike Hub on Queens Wharf (opposite the ferry terminal). There will be registration at 9:45am, a safety briefing at 10:15am, and then the group ride will get underway at 10:30am.
The picnic will roughly be from 11:00am-12:00pm, and it is BYO blanket, food and drinks. A bike valet team will keep your bikes safe as you picnic until 1:00pm. There will be water available, so bring a bottle.
Feel free to dress up, whether that be bright colours, onesies, pyjamas, dressed as monsters or superheroes – anything goes! We recommend using public transport to get to Kidical Mass, but if you need to drive, there are parking options throughout the city, including at Silo Park. If your kids would rather walk, soot or skate the route, that is completely fine! But if they’re walking, themselves and their guardian/s will need to use the footpath, not the cycleway
If you’re wondering what to bring, we suggest bringing a raincoat/windbreaker, sunscreen, a hat, a bottle, picnic food/drinks and a blanket.
Kidical Mass promotes biking as a climate-positive transport choice for whānau and tamariki. The demands of this worldwide movement are child-friendly bike infrastructure so that kids can get around safely and independently. This means a comprehensive network of protected, separated bike lanes, lower speed limits, car-free zones and special safety provisions around schools. Will you and your whānau support this important kaupapa on October 29?
Kidical Mass is brought to you by Bike Auckland, Crank, Auckland Transport, Eke Panuku Development Auckland and Interesting Things.