This past weekend, Bike Friendly Richardson, participated in the City of Richardson’s 42nd Annual Christmas Parade. Of all the rides we do, this is one of our favorites. It’s not because of the great speeds or distance, but rather the opposite. Since this is a parade, the route is extremely short and equally as slow, which opens it up for people we don’t normally get to ride with, families.
Many folks decorated their bikes and brought candy to hand out to spectators. Local rider, Howard, even brought his goat on a trailer, pulled by a tandem. BFR’s Jenny brought her young baby for his first parade. Both the goat and the baby were big hits with the crowd.
Riding with families in a parade accomplishes many goals – two of which are important to us. First, it allows families with kids (and goats) to be part of the bike culture, which hopefully builds a stronger bike community. Also, it allows the other folks, who weren’t riding, to see that cycling is something that’s fun and can be shared by all.
Participating in the parade definitely requires a lot of patience. Since you have to get there early, there is a more waiting than there is riding. We suggest that if you want to be part of a Christmas parade, folks with families, should try to arrive a bit later or have ways to entertain the kids until the start. Also, bring plenty of candy to hand out. We always seem to run out in the first 200 feet.
Here are a few pics from the parade. Click here to see the full set.
This is exactly the direction we want Bike Friendly Richardson to head. We want Richardson cyclists to have organic and spontaneous group rides that are organized by anybody interested in setting one up.
A few weeks ago, a couple of folks on the BFR Facebook page were wondering if there will be a BFR participation in the annual City of Richardson Christmas parade. With our busy schedules and efforts put into setting up our annual Black Friday Ride, we just didn’t have the bandwidth to sign up for the parade.
Fortunately, those folks, Crystalyn and Josh, took it upon themselves to jump in and get it set up. We’re glad they did.
The day of the parade, we had a great variety of bikes, including one with a kid trailer, one with a couple of dogs leashed on, an urban cruiser, a couple of family truckster cargo bikes (loaded with kiddos) and even a penny farthing bike – all decked out with holiday lights and decorations. Even the riders were dressed with festive gear. All together, we had 12 bikes and 16 participants.
The ride itself was mostly stop-and-go or very slow paced, which made it easy to enjoy each other’s company, as well as the spectacle of the parade. The ‘super mom’ (I actually heard that term used by a spectator) family trucksters and the penny farthing bike got a lot of crowd’s attention.
Participation in the parade was our way to build on our bike community, make more folks aware of Bike Friendly Richardson and to just have fun. To our surprise, we found out that we won an award from the city. The Bike Friendly Richardson parade crew won 1st place in the ‘Civic Clubs/Organizations Mixed Unit Category’. Not bad for our first time out.
The parade was a big success for the city as well. They said there were 115 parade entries, and 2400 participants. Also, 1200 toys were donated, as well as $2,200 for Network of Community Ministries – a great way to kick off the holidays.
Since this ride was such a great success, we’ll definitely add it to our annual group ride list. We hope you can make it out to the next one.
Here are some pics from the parade. Click here to see the entire set.