In lieu of its third massive street closure event, CicLAvia organized a community ride this past Saturday through Boyle Heights, Downtown L.A. and a few other neighborhoods that weren't included in the original cicLAvia route, but are under consideration now. Sadly, I was out of town and missed the ride. So the wonderful video above, shot by Blogging Los Angeles' Will Campbell will have to suffice.
However, I did speak with CicLAvia's Joe Linton, leader of the ride, who told me more than 200 people showed up. Not bad. All in all the event raised about $600 for the upcoming CicLAvia in October--one that, according to Linton, will likely be double the size of the previous events.
"We're currently in discussions with the city about overall length, budget, etc... but it looks like we will be able to roughly double the existing route, adding some mileage in South L.A. (that extension includes the Fashion District), Boyle Heights, and Chinatown... but that's still all tentative... we'll be announcing the final-final October route by August 1st."
Here's hoping CicLAvia organizes a few more community rides before October. For one, because I seem to keep missing them. But also because cycling really does seem to be catching on in L.A. Five minutes before I wrote this post, my girlfriend and I were out riding our bikes to the bank when a man in an SUV pulled up next to us at a stoplight. "Hey," he yelled out his window, "I'm jealous. Do you know how much I'm paying for gas with this thing?"
He told us that we had just inspired him to buy up a bike, and he'd start riding as soon as he could. Now, this may have had something to do with the fact my girlfriend looks pretty great in bike shorts, but anytime you can get a guy to keep his SUV in the driveway and ride around town on a bike, in the summer, that's saying something.
If my girlfriend and I can convince a guy to hop out of his SUV during a ride to the bank, can you imagine how may new cyclists this city would have if CicLAvia threw together a Carmageddon ride to the beach this weekend?
The L.A. Vitamin Report is a column about quality of life issues by Matthew Fleisher. It is brought to KCET's SoCal Focus blog in partnership with Spot.Us, which receives support from the California Endowment.