Monday, March 4, 2013


Hi there!

My name is Matt Boulanger, and I like bikes. No, wait- I love bikes. I ride my bike to and from work. I ride a bike all over Vermont for fun. I even ride my bike indoors, at home and on a set of rollers at Maglianero all winter long with Vermont Indoor Cycling- which I also founded. I write about riding my bike as a Spoke for Muscles Not Motors. I also serve on the South Burlington Recreation Path Committee, because I want to make sure that our communities get more bike-friendly for everybody else who likes, no- loves bikes. When I'm not doing all that I'm working as a land-use planner for the town of Williston, where part of what I get to do is participate in a municipal planning program that integrates bike access and infrastructure into many of the things we do.

So when I'm not riding and writing and meeting and planning and everything else, there's a couple of other someones in my life who I love very much- My wife Kate and our son, Austen. And they like bikes too- but not the part where all that riding and stuff I do takes me away from them. So the other day, while I was out riding my bike, I had a thought:

It gets lonely out on the road. 

What if we all rode bikes together? (I always have my best ideas when I'm on my bike.)

The next thought came pretty quickly after that:

I bet lots of kids and their adults would like to all ride bikes together.

Kids love bike maintenance, too!

And then I wondered:

Has anybody ever done this before somewhere else?

So I Googled around a bit (I was off the bike at this point, don't Google and ride, for heavens' sake!) and sure enough, here was this thing called "Kidical Mass." It's a take on Critical Mass, a movement where lots of people on bikes get together to ride at the same time to assert their rights to the road, but the focus of Kidical Mass is on riding together with kids. Some Kidical Mass groups ride on streets, other ride on paths. Most Kidical Mass rides involve a fun destination, like a playground.

A typical Kidical Mass ride- looks like fun!

Check out what Kidical Mass is doing in Eugene, Oregon, for example!
Yeah, a pirate-themed ride. Eugene has also done a hot cocoa ride and even "Kidical Camping, which sounds excellent!

And in the Burlington area, we have paths, streets, and playgrounds and other cool places to ride to- so it sounds like a pretty good fit.

Come ride with us!

I have no idea how many people might be interested in such a thing, or where people might want to ride, but it seems like a pretty safe bet for a first ride would be to meet somewhere along the Burlington Bike Path and ride along the path to somewhere fun, then back again. It might make the most sense for it to be a regularly-scheduled ride, in which case I am thinking the first Saturday of every month at 9:00 (C'mon, parents, you have kids- you've been up for HOURS by 9:00!) in the morning might make sense. And let's get started soon, like in April.

So in true kid tradition, I'm going to "call it!" Saturday, April 6, 9:00AM in by the covered railroad stop behind One Main and we'll ride to the playground at North Beach, hang out, then ride back!

We'll start here, where we can be undercover if there are any April showers!

See you there,