Maybe you heard about yesterday’s CicLAvia – To the Sea. Maybe you were there biking, rollerblading, running with your dog, or toting a stereo behind your bike blasting upbeat songs like “Jump Around.” If you didn’t hear about it, CicLAvia is a day when the city shuts down major streets and opens them up for people to bike, run, rollerblade, skateboard, walk, and play. This event started in 2010 and has attracted tens of thousands of people. Not only is it fun and good exercise, bit it’s a great way to see Los Angeles, a city that many people argue is too spread out and historically unfriendly to bikers (the latter I definitely agree with). But slowly, it’s becoming clear that Los Angeles is beginning to make room for bikers.
For this CicLAvia, Venice Boulevard was blocked from Hoover all the way to the ocean in addition to parts of streets downtown including Main. I was personally unable to attend the last CicLAvia in October, so I broke out my bike early this time around. I biked to and from Venice for the first time, a nice 26 mile roundtrip. I was surprised when I realized all of my friends who had said it wasn’t a difficult bike ride were actually telling the truth. Venice Boulevard is almost completely flat, so most people biked leisurely.
The camaraderie, smiles and high-fives were infectious. There were people of all biking and endurance levels present, but everyone was there to have fun. Parents brought their kids who still had training wheels, cyclists blasted ahead when they could, and some groups of friends donned costumes.
Biking down Venice Boulevard from the Vermont intersection to the beach took roughly two hours because of the sheer number of bikers, but bike traffic did nothing to dampen the mood and the bike ride back was more of a workout, but it went by in a flash. Quite a few people took some time to stop at the Mar Vista farmers market along the route.
There are two more CicLAvias scheduled for this year; the next is CicLAvia – Iconic Wilshire Boulevard on June 23rd followed by CicLAvia – Heart of LA on October 6th. For those of you who couldn’t get your bike on yesterday, try to make future CicLAvias; they are completely worth it.