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100,000 People Riding Bikes Together in L.A.? Believe It

If car-centric Los Angeles can put on an event like CicLAvia, can the rest of the USA be far behind?

As a recent transplant to Southern California, I've marveled about how few people seem to ride bicycles here despite the usually wonderful weather. Lots of cars; few bikes.
Ciclavia: Riding past L.A. City HallUntil yesterday, that is.

CicLAvia, named after ciclovia (the Spanish word for bike path) and given an L.A. twist, opened 10 miles of roadways for car-free biking, skating and walking. L.A.'s fourth such event since 2010, CicLAvia (usually pronounced sic-la-VEE-a) was inspired by similar car-free days started more than 30 years ago in Bogota, Colombia.

The L.A. event was a huge hit. I joined an estimated 100,000 other Angelenos (!) in taking to the streets on a gorgeous Sunday.

Smiles were everywhere. The people watching was terrific, as you might expect for such an extraordinarily diverse city. And the happy vibe must have been contagious, as per this Los Angeles Times article, the police reported no arrests or major incidents.

"Angelenos are aching for a day without a car. CicLAvia provides us with one of those days," said Los Angeles mayor and bike enthusiast Antonio Villagarosa to the assembled media before joining the ride himself. The mayor also used the occasion to announce an ambitious bike-share program that will put 4,000 rental bikes at 400 kiosks citywide.

Furry bikeREI was one of the event partners, and folks from the REI Outdoor School hosted a busy bike-repair booth and portable climbing wall at the eastern end of the ride in Hollenbeck Park.

All in all, it was a great day in L.A., but a number of other cities host car-free bike events, too. Have you participated in an event near you?

Below: More photos from the event.

Barcycle at Ciclavia

Happy Ciclavia rider

Riding in downtown L.A.

Posted on at 7:17 PM

Tagged: CicLAvia, Cycling, Los Angeles and bicycle

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Ann B

Fantastic to see that kind of response.

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That's really great and I wish more people would ride... but it seems to me I see a lot of missing helmets. I hope someone is teaching these people bike safety.

Julie in Seattle Staff Member

Sounds like an awesome event! Keep it up L.A.! (btw, don't think we should be showing a cyclist listening to music while riding -- it's dangerous for the cycist and others around them -- as well as annoying!!)


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