Monday, 28 July 2014

Pedalfest 2014

It has been another busy weekend for our family.

Not one, but two of our favourite local festivals were held this weekend. The 4th annual Pedalfest was held in Oakland on Saturday and the Berkeley Kite Festival was held on both Saturday and Sunday.

We started our weekend by spending the day at Pedalfest. In past years we've gone on a nice long family bike ride to Jack London Square where Pedalfest is held. This year that proved a little tricky with Mathilde too young to ride on the cargo bike. Instead Kim and the big girls rode on the cargo bike while Mathilde and I took Bart and walked the rest of the way. It pretty much took the same amount of time and we arrived within minutes of each other. Perfect!



Ava and Lola were keen to take part in the kids' bike parade so we made sure to take their bikes with us. It was too far for Ava to ride the whole six miles to Jack London Square so our new towing tray on the cargo bike came in very handy for this. Kim was able to easily tow Ava's bike the whole way without any problems. Lola's Skuut bike easily fit on the wheelie board attachment on Mathilde's stroller so it went on Bart with me.  

Unfortunately there was a bit of a mix up with the start time for the kids' parade (two different times had been advertised and I saw the later - and incorrect - one) so we arrived just as the parade was finishing. The girls had been looking forward to decorating their bikes and taking part in the parade so they were a little upset when they realised they'd missed out. Luckily the decorating station run by Oaklandish was still set up and the girls were able to decorate their bikes with spokey dokes, stickers, tape, tattoos and glitter - which Lola went a little overboard with! We decorated Mathilde with Oaklandish tattoos too! While decorating the bikes we met another family who had arrived expecting the parade to be held at the later time, so once the kids were done we had our own little parade together!








As always there were plenty of exciting stunts to watch: bikes on an obstacle course, unicycle basketball, bikes jumping people and, everyone's favourite, the Whiskey Drome. I really tried to convince Kim to take a turn in the Whiskey Drome but by the time he decided to sign up they were finishing up for the day. Hmm... coincidence? Next year. I'll definitely get him on it next year!









Rock The Bike provided plenty of pedal powered entertainment with their Fender Blender Spin Art and smoothies, and the Pedal Powered Stage. While we listed to local bands performing the girls took it in turns pedaling and squeezing paint bottles to make Spin Art creations. Ok, Lola couldn't quite reach the pedals so Kim had to take over pedaling for her.








After working up a thirst creating their Spin Art masterpieces the girls needed a nice cold drink. What could be better than Fender Blender smoothies? The smoothies proved a little tougher to pedal than the Spin Art but Ava eventually got there creating smoothies for herself and Lola. I had a go too - not the easiest in a maxi dress and heels!
   







While the girls and I enjoyed our smoothies Kim added some pedal power to the stage. Lola was desperate to have a go at powering the stage too but she's still too little for the bikes.



It was pretty hot on Saturday so the big girls cooled off in the fountain for quite some time. Poor Mathilde was pretty hot and sweaty in her stroller but she's too little to play in the fountain with her sisters. She was pretty happy laying in the shade in the grass for a break from the sun. And did you notice that she dressed appropriately for the day?





The girls had fun playing sideshow style games: throwing tiny bean bags into helmets, throwing rings over handle bars and tyre pumps, spinning bike wheels roulette style... My favourite was the mini Port of Oakland crane and container ship that the kids got to load and off load. Just like the real thing (which you can see in the photo below the mini crane shots).







Throughout the day Super Weevil was cruising around on his tricycle promoting bike safety. The kids were happy that he stopped for photos with them. 




There are always plenty of interesting bikes to see at Pedalfest. The giant Two Penny is always a crowd  favourite and this year kids were given the chance to climb up to the top of it.  Ava was pretty exciting about climbing all the way to the top. Lola lined up for a turn but I had a feeling it would be too tricky for her. Sure enough she decided it was too scary once she saw Ava start to climb.





A monster bike, a skeleton bike and a bike covered in pebble mosaic were a hit with the girls too.





You can see my favourite group of bikes in the video below.



Of course, it's all well and good to look at these interesting bikes, but getting the chance to ride on crazy wheeled contraptions is even better. The girls had fun riding around in the Bicycle Expo. They pedaled around (sometimes by hand, sometimes by foot) on all sorts of wheeled contraptions and posed on a few others that were just there for display.












New Belgium Brewing hosted a photo booth with lots of fun props. The girls enjoyed posing for photos although there was a little complaining about heavy hats, itchy wigs and ticklish feather boas from Lola!







We stayed at Pedalfest until late in the afternoon. Kim and the big girls rode home on the cargo bike towing Ava's bike again. Mathilde and I caught Bart with Lola's (now personalised!) Skuut bike. Look at how perfectly the stroller's wheelie board fits Lola's bike.



Another fantastic Pedalfest! We can't wait to go again next year.