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Sunday Parkways 2009: How was it for you?

This year's Father's Day coincided with the second annual Sunday Parkways, the first of three.  We started the day by hosting a little pre-ride gathering where families from the neighborhood & beyond came by to check out one another's bike gear, test it out, and let the older kids ride solo on a one block stretch of the parkways near our house.  For me, the most magnificent aspect of this year's Sunday Parkways is how completely comfortable I felt letting our girls, ages 5 and 8, bike alongside their friends, aged 6 to 9, well ahead of us.  We had few worries about oncoming motor vehiclesIMG_1977.  They didn't want to stop!  They kept pedaling and pedaling and pedaling along.   The crowds were not too thick, so they were able to maneuver quite easily.  The route was relatively flat and intersected with just a few major intersections, where the kids knew to stop and wait for direction from the officers directing traffic.  Really - they would have ridden the entire 7.5 mile loop again if we'd've let them!  It was a great exercise in freedom and independence on our neighborhood streets.  It felt wonderful to see the community taking full advantage of the opportunity.

Apparently, with all our riding around, we missed plenty of action, from music and free tune-ups to bike play parks and more.  Check out the complete coverage on bikeportland.org.

Zinemama in a comment on another thread mused:

I'd love to hear other folks reactions to the Parkways. It felt a lot shorter than last year and a lot less crowded. It was fun, but for me some of the excitement about last year's event was missing. Maybe we were there at the wrong time of day (earlier in the day)?

Did you walk, bike, or play at last weekend's Sunday Parkways?  How was your experience?  If you weren't able to make it, there are still two more Sunday Parkways planned: one on July 19th in Northeast Portland and one on August 16th in Southeast Portland.  And, please, consider volunteering for Sunday Parkways.  The event's success relies on the contribution of many, many volunteers.

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We loved it. It did seem less crowded this year, especially at each of the parks, which I actually appreciated.

We had the kids in the trailer (our almost 4 year old and our 8 month baby), and rode the whole day and played at the parks. Both kids loved it, and the baby napped in the trailer when needed, it was a perfect day!

It was so great to ride and not worry about cars. And awesome having the police there directing traffic. I was really sorry to see it end.

oh and yummy food, too. and a perfect ending to the day when donuts went on sale for $5 a dozen at voodoo donuts at Peninsula park :-)

This was our first year to go and our almost 6 y.o. and our 3 y.o. traded turns on the trail-a-bike while the other rode in the double Chariot. We had to stop a few times to put our rain jackets on. I quickly learned to walk my bike with the tagalong across the bridge over I-5, there was no way I could make the turns with the bike traffic. We had a great time. If it had been more crowded it would have stressed me out. We did the whole loop twice. We loved the voodoo doughnuts on sale too! It was my first one, enjoyed while the 6 y.o. climbed the rock wall. Judging by the pics, we missed a lot too. I was impressed by how well organized the event was and how many volunteers there were.

Missed out this year because our youngest is five months. No biking with a little one till they are ten months old, Poo! I am curious what others do with this situation. We have a double Chariot and the baby sling but the manual says no baby in the bike trailer.

We didn't get to make it this year. Sadness. Getting my boyfriend to bike is like pulling teeth and since it was Father's day I figured we should do something HE likes. But when the NE Parkways rolls around all bets are off!
-When we bought our Burley they told us no baby in there until he could wear his helmet and hold his head up with it on.

We had our 8 month old in the trailer, but haven't found a helmet small enough to fit him. We felt ok with it for just this ride since there weren't cars around, but I wouldn't take him otherwise. He sat next to his big sister in the trailer, too, so she reported up to us when he spit up or whatever. :-) I've also heard of people riding with their baby in the ergo, but I woudn't feel comfy with this personally.

We just walk - carry baby and big sister rides her own bike. Just as much fun!

I did see a lot of people walking, and with strollers too!

We spent all day out there and had a blast.

Highlights for us were the skills track at Kenton Park (Mila and I attempted it with the Xtracycle), free tune-up with Community Cycling Center, bike decoration station with Portland Village School (yes, we are biased on that one), delish food choices at Peninsula....

But seeing friends on the road and at the parks, meeting new people, all the smiling faces, and just being outside with the family was what really made the day.

Looking forward to the Northeast Route next month!

we walked with our 3 week old in the stroller. It was great!

I especially loved Tater and Craig playing bluegrass in Kenton Park. Oh, and that amazing kickball game at the end.

We must have missed the food at Peninsula. Wish we found it because we were starving and ended up walking to New Seasons. Was it down the side of the rose garden? We were there for almost an hour hanging out by the music and hula hoops. Loved the hula hoops.
Anyway, we walked the loop from Arbor Lodge, along the bluff to Peninsula.
Looking forward to NE next month and SE in Aug too.

The food vendors aren't in the parks. The are situated on a bordering street. So at Pennisula they were a little hidden from the actual activity in the Park.


We are a family of 5 and finally have the right bikes/trailer for everybody. I am excited to do the SE ride in August because that's our neighborhood.

we rode w/ two other families early in the day and didn't at all t get the sense that it was either smaller or quieter than last year. north portland is our home and we had a lovely time bumping into neighbors and friends and just getting to ride leisurely around -- too often we're in a rush to get somewhere, worrying about traffic, etc.

we were down from seattle and loved it - certainly stoked our portland envy.

2 quick pertinent links -
for baby on a bicycle considerations:
http://totcycle.com/blog/baby-on-a-bicycle.html

helmets for wee heads:
http://www.longleafbicycles.com/products/cycling-with-children/helmets-for-tiny-heads/

Julian, thank you for the posts. It could be a long summer without my bike and trailer. I would love to make it work before the ten month marker.

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