If you were disappointed last month when CicLAvia announced they would be forgoing their July event to focus their energies towards a larger event in October, you wouldn't be the only one. But fear not. CicLAvia promised they would organize a group ride in lieu of a major event. The details of that ride are finally starting to come out.
On July 10th, Creek Freak blogger and CicLAvia organizer Joe Linton will lead a ride from Hollenbeck Park on 4th Street at St. Louis Street in Boyle Heights. An exact route hasn't been posted yet, but the ride will be 10 miles and will stops at various city landmarks, with speakers providing some history along the way. Families shouldn't shy away, as unlike a lot of group rides in Los Angeles, Linton assures everyone he will be "obeying traffic laws."
CicLAvia is asking for a donation of five bucks of all those who attend--which is more than reasonable, especially with all the rumors still swirling that lack of funds killed the July event. The organization is looking to launch major route expansions for their next event in October--which won't be cheap. The long discussed "South L.A. Spur," which CicLAvia says will include parts of the Fashion District, Central Avenue and Exposition Park, is poised to make its debut. And organizers are trying to expand further into Boyle Heights, as well as El Pueblo and Chinatown.
Personally, as disappointed as I was that the July event was canceled, (especially since I was in the Philippines for the event last April) I think CicLAvia is being extremely smart in their approach. CicLAvia can only be true, sustainable success if the entire city gets involved--if a pleasant, car-free Sunday bike ride becomes the right of all Angelenos, not just the privilege of those in certain neighborhoods. The only way to do that is to expand. Running a limited route three times a year is not as effective as running an expansive route once or twice a year. All Angelenos need to experience this event, so they can support it and start to demand it.
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.