There are times when an idea is good. There are times when the implementation of that idea is excellent. CicLAvia falls into the latter category. To make it even better, the weather in Los Angeles was perfect for a bike ride through the city.
On Sunday, I packed up the kids and we went over to Hollenbeck Park to see one of the end-points of CicLAvia. We’ve visited the park before and enjoy it immensely. There is rarely more than 50 or so people around the park, so it was even more amazing to see hundreds of Angelenos congregating at the northern end of the park with their bikes, scooters, skateboards and feet.
According to their site:
Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States, connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. The health benefits are immense. Ciclovías bring families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space.
I’m am glad that they not only brought this to Los Angeles, but that the City was open to this idea. A 7.5 mile route between Boyle Heights and East Hollywood was closed down to allow participants full access to the streets. Most points were near subway and bus stops, making it easier for Angelenos to keep their cars at home. We had a wonderful time talking to people we probably would have never been able to talk to, like the MTA mechanics. How often do you get to speak to the awesome people who keep the public transportation vehicles safe? And it wouldn’t be LA without some cool item to play with, right? We saw Xylovan and my kids had a blast beating on the plates.
The first CicLAvia was held in October and I was saddened to miss it. I was told that turn out yesterday was even bigger than the previous one. That gives me hope for the future of this event. It was wonderful to see all kinds of cyclists riding and my kids are eager to be among them.