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Wednesday 5 August 2015

Pedalfest 2015

A few weekends back we attended Pedalfest, one of our favorite local festivals.

Pedalfest, held at Oakland's waterfront Jack London Square, is a day full of bike related fun. We watched BMX riders do tricks, made pedal powered smoothies and art, decorated our bikes, took part in a parade, learned bike safety skills, powered a stage with our pedaling, rode crazy bikes, and took in the atmosphere of the festival.

First up Ava and Lola took part in the kids' parade. We've always missed out on this in the past so the girls were pretty excited to join in. They decorated their bikes with ribbons, stickers and pipe cleaners courtesy of Oaklandish and then followed El Arbol the Bike Tree, through the festival.

Mathilde desperately wanted to join in the parade (she's a little obsessed with bikes at the moment) so I decorated her hair with a sparkly pipe cleaner and put an Oaklandish tattoo on her leg before we followed the bikes with her stroller. She was pretty happy to join Lola for a photo opportunity afterwards. Check out that giant burger she's holding!

After grabbing a bite to eat the girls had fun trying out crazy home made bikes. This is always one of the highlights for Ava and Lola, and this year there was even a bike small enough for Mathilde to ride. She was pretty excited to be able to join in the fun. 

We then watched BMX riders doing jumps on ramps. My favorite was when they chose a volunteer from the crowd to stand on one of the ramps as a rider jumped over the top. Ava put her hand up to volunteer but I'm pretty sure she would have changed her mind if they'd picked her for the stunt!

It was a hot day so smoothies were in order. Of course, to get our smoothies we had to do a lot of pedaling! Our pedal powered smoothies were delicious but it was a lot of hard work for the girls to pedal hard enough to power the blender, especially for Lola who could barely reach the pedals.

From pedal powered smoothies we moved onto the pedal powered stage. Ava, Lola and Kim hopped on bikes and pedaled as hard as they could to help provide power for the stage. This year the bikes were equipped with meters that showed what they could power with their pedaling. Ava was pretty keen to get that little green light as high up the meter as possible. Lola struggled with her bike but was determined to keep going. After a while it was too hard for her so she switched jobs and walked around holding up a sign encouraging those on bikes to pedal harder.

More pedal powered fun was in order so we moved onto the spin art station where the girls made fun artworks together.

One of the best things about Pedalfest is watching all of the amazing bikes go by throughout the day. There were tall bikes, miniature bikes, trikes with giant speakers, bikes with armchairs, bikes with bubbles, and even bikes with big teeth. The scraper bikes are always among my favorites. I love the simplicity of the decorated wheels.

Ava and Lola took part in the kids' bicycle rodeo where they learned important bike safety skills. Lola is super fast on her balance bike but hasn't yet mastered pedals (without training wheels). She zoomed around on a regular bike that had had the pedals taken off. She was a little nervous at first as it was much bigger than her balance bike, but before long she was really confident and going super fast. Mathilde joined in by riding a small bike with the pedals removed. As she couldn't reach the ground I had to push her around. Her balance is amazingly good for someone so young. Before we know if she'll be riding Lola's balance bike everywhere.

The Whiskeydrome was fun to watch as always. The girls and I tried to convince Kim to have a turn but he wasn't keen. Next year. Next year we'll gang up on him and make him do it!

As always, we had a great time at Pedalfest. It's such a fun event for the whole family. Looking forward to next year! 

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