July’s Books and Bikes ride combines reading with fitness

Books and Bikes ride

Our “Books and Bikes” ride was a success! For July’s Kidical Mass ride, we decided to visit a few of the newly erected Little Free Libraries in town. Before long, we had a whole “books and bikes” theme to the ride complete with a story time reading of “Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon and the making of bike lincense plates for the kids. I paired up with my friend “Book Club Mama,” who runs our Baby Toddler Book Club and asked her to plan the story time and bike-themed activity to take place in a park at the end of the ride. You can read more about the book she chose, the idea for making bike license plates, and her perspective on the ride on the Baby Toddler Book Club blog. (The blog is also an excellent source of ideas if you’re thinking of forming your own book club for kids, complete with reading suggestions and themed crafts and snacks for each book).

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

We met at our usual location and set off for the ride. We planned to stop at three Little Free Libraries that were all en route to Bandshell Park from Brookside Park. Everyone participating was familiar with the concept of Little Free Libraries (or “book boxes” as some of the kids called them) and we encouraged riders on the event flier to bring a book to swap or donate. Since there weren’t many kids’ books in the Little Free Libraries we stopped at, many of the kids ended up walking away with books brought and donated by fellow Kidical Mass riders. Which worked out very well and some even plopped right down next to their bikes eager to start reading their new finds.

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

After stopping at all three Little Free Libraries on our list, we ended the ride at Bandshell Park where we spread out blankets and listened to “Duck on a Bike” read by my friend S. The kids loved the book and getting to say “hello” to all of the barnyard animals just like the bike-riding duck does. At one point in the book, a group of bike-riding kids all storm the barn yard and all of our own bike-riding kids got to see themselves in the story. We ended the story time with supplies for making bike lincense plates with the kids’ names on them and barn yard stickers, letting our kids share their bikes with farm animals just like the kids in the story.

Judging from the eager crowding around the Little Free Libraries we visited and the enthusiastic response to the book we read and the bike license plates, I’d say the “Books and Bikes” ride was a hit with our young cyclists.

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

Books and Bikes ride

We usually vary our routes and destinations to keep each Kidical Mass ride fun and somewhat new. Last month’s ride ended at the downtown farmer’s market and a cold and rainy ride in March meant that we skipped the park and opted for hot chocolates at Cafe Diem instead. I’ve learned that it’s best to stay flexible and decide on a route and destination as the day gets closer and as we get a sense of the weather. And you can always get the latest news on our route, weather-dictated plans, and destination by “liking” our Facebook page and getting updates on your newsfeed.

You can read more about our Ames-area Baby Toddler Book Club here as well as submit your own kids’ book club page/blog to be added to the site. You can also read more about Kidical Mass here and let me know if you’re going to be in the Ames area and would like to join one of our rides! Also, check out Seattle’s special July Kidical Mass ride: 19 adults, 19 kids, and 19 bikes went bike camping!

More photos from our ride here. See you in August!!

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