CicLAvia Draws Thousands To Celebrate Los Angeles Bike Culture
On Sunday, June 23, thousands of Los Angelenos took to the streets—no longer confined to a measly bike lane—for CicLAvia.
People showed up on unicycles, tricycles, tandem bikes, scooters, wheelchairs, rollerblades, high wheelers, and of course regular bicycles for the increasingly popular event.
This event was the most pedestrian-oriented CicLAvia to date, with designated walking areas at the beginning and the end of the path. Food trucks, bike repair stands, LACMA interactive zones, and booths set up by a variety of organizations made the event exciting for walkers as well as cyclists.
This was the seventh CicLAvia since its inception in 2010. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) puts on these events as part of their larger initiative to make Los Angeles more bike friendly by creating more, safer bike lanes.
In addition to the goal of promoting Los Angeles’s often-overlooked bike culture, the June CicLAvia event celebrated the many architectural gems dotting Wilshire Boulevard.
Stretching from Fairfax Avenue in the West, to Grand Avenue in the East, the 6.3 mile route passed by MacArthur Park, Bullocks Wilshire, Wiltern Theatre, LACMA, and other beautiful Los Angeles landmarks.
“Today made me slow down and really appreciate all the buildings that I tend to overlook on my way to work,” said Greg Morgan, a first time CicLAvia participant.
CicLAvia fostered more than just awareness; it fostered a sense of community and connectedness.
“It is awesome to see people getting out of their closed off cars and into the streets, mingling with each other” said Roy Nwaisser, s two-time CicLAvia attendee.
While he preferred the April CicLAvia event that stretched from Downtown to Venice because of the longer path and larger turnout, Roy was pleased to observe that the smaller crowd meant that there were far fewer accidents than last time.
But not everyone shared Roy’s perspective. “I preferred this event,” remarked Tim Zamora. “The shops, restaurants, and bars gave people something to look at and a way to interact beyond simply biking.”
Zamora suggested extending the path along Wilshire all the way to Santa Monica for future CicLAvia rides to fully connect the Eastside with the Westside while running through Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood along the way.
Like a majority of the other CicLAvia attendees, Zamora expressed his desire for not only a longer route, but for more frequent events too.
Attendees also suggested incorporating live music, art shows, street fairs, and foodie fests into future events to celebrate all of the things that contribute to making Los Angles such a dynamic city.
“I think the CicLAvia events are the best thing in L.A.,” gushed Nancy Laemmle. She and her husband, Greg, are longtime sponsors of the event on behalf of Laemmle Theatres.
“The director is planning on having CicLAvia events along different routes every month,” explained Nancy.
“Every route is an opportunity to explore different parts of the city,” said Greg, explaining the motivation behind diversifying the CicLAvia events.
The Laemmles seemed optimistic that the increase in CicLAvia events may help foster greater citywide support for bike culture in general. They hope that creating more bike lanes throughout the city will enable more people to turn to their bikes as a standard means of transportation.
The next CicLAvia, along the Heart of LA route, is set to take place October 6.