I’m won’t waste your time talking a lot about yesterday’s first ever CicLAvia.
There’s already been a lot written on the subject — some of which you’ll find below — and there will be a lot more in the next few days.
Instead, I’ll let the pictures tell the story.
But I will say, this was one of the most successful events I’ve experienced in L.A. And one that has the potential to change the way we see and experience out city.
We owe a big thanks to the people behind it.
And like virtually everyone who was there, I can’t wait for the next one.
Just a few additional thoughts.
The overwhelming majority of people I saw were on bikes. While there were a relative handful of skaters, boarders and pedestrians, we need to find a way to get word out to the larger community beyond those of us on two wheels.
Especially the people who live in the area.
For me, the saddest moment of the day came when a couple of young boys stopped me as I was leaving to ask if it was a race or a bike ride. I watched their faces brighten as I told them no, it’s CicLAvia, and you can do anything you want. Bike, walk, play, even — taking note of the boards tucked under their arms — skateboard.
Then I watched those faces fall as I had to add that it was over now.
And suggesting that there should be another one in a few months and maybe they could come out for that one didn’t seem to help.
That’s a long way away when you’re about seven years old.
Just a few of the many, many anticipated reports from CicAvia, from Bicycle Fixation, the Claremont Cyclist, Straight Out of Suburbia — who rates it awesome — and Orange 20 Bikes, along with a great timelapse video and panoramic shot from Will Campbell. This Girl’s Bike offers a great photo of Downtown as seen from the 4th Street Bridge. Gary called it life changing, while Ubrayj says the city looked the same afterwards, so it must be something inside him that changed. L.A. Cycle Chic provides unedited video of a friend’s ride, while L.A. Creek Freak offers a couple of videos, including one of the thousands of small children who rode the route. Damien delivers three stories from Sunday, but says the most important number was 0 — as in the number of incidents reported. The L.A. Times says an estimated 100,000 people were there; no wonder I couldn’t find most of the people I was looking for. KPCC’s Larry Mantle discussed it on his AirTalk program; a podcast should be online soon. And in perfect L.A. fashion, Green LA Girl starts her day Downtown and finishes up on the beach. Even the LA Weekly finally got on board just hours before the kickoff. CicLAvia wants your pictures and stories, while the Mayor says this was his favorite shot of the day.
Alberto Contador says that’s his story and he’s sticking to it, or he’ll sue. The count in the Spanish doping scandal now stands at seven. Australia owns the biking events at the Commonwealth Games, while Uganda riders have to make do with old gear and Kiwi riders get slapped — literally. Bicycling explains why next year’s Amgen Tour of California should be a good race, even though it may never be a great one. The next great American cyclist could be starting his racing career right now.
The Ride 2 Recovery to help wounded war vets reclaim their lives comes to a successful conclusion at the Santa Monica Pier; thanks to Stanley for the heads-up. Gary gets two more questionnaires back from candidates for Santa Monica City Council. The L.A. Time’s Sandy Banks looks at the Wilbur Ave road diet from a decidedly windshield perspective. At least some people in Orange County think it will take more than better manners to reduce to their one-a-month rate of bike deaths, as new sharrows hit the pavement in Newport Beach and a writer makes a suggestion to improve a dangerous intersection. Maybe you can’t ride the L.A. Marathon anymore, but you can ride the Long Beach Marathon next weekend. The C-Blog offers good advice on how to ride in a group; he may be doing a lot of that now he’s got a new bike. Long Beach’s cycling expats travel from Philly to New York, dodging a flood and a close call with a falling branch along the way. Four people were arrested in Stockton after attempting to rob a cyclist and shooting at a witness who tried to intervene. It’s not cars that’s killing off bike messengers, it’s the economy.
As we’ve discussed before, being pro-bike doesn’t mean you have to be anti-car. A how-to video on safe bicycling for children, courtesy of Madison WI and the NHTSA, and a look at the man behind a plan for a 20% bike share in Mad City by 2020. A physician in my hometown uses exceptionally dubious statistics to suggest that the local paper should only show photos of people wearing helmets, while another couple argue that bike paths lower property values, contrary to all available evidence. The Wall Street Journal jumps heads-first into the great helmet debate, though they miss the point on when helmets offer protection — and when they don’t; link courtesy of San Diego bike lawyer Amanda Benedict. Good to know — 12 emergency bike fixes. Learn how to carve a corner. Nevada cyclists get a chance to break in the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge, but why can’t the media figure out the difference between a ride and a race? Don’t build a Maine casino, build a bike tourism industry instead. Biking is getting better in New Orleans, resulting in the nation’s 6th highest level of bike commuters for larger cities.
Bikes are the latest amenity for upscale boutique hotels. Maybe more people would ride to work if they didn’t face death traps along the way. London’s Guardian newspaper endorses the city’s new bike share program. Separate looks at biking in Rome, and the wine country of Tuscany. If you’re tired of driving your Mini Cooper, now you can ride one.
Finally, by far the best report I’ve seen on the death — and more importantly, the extraordinary life — of endurance great Jure Robic.