This past weekend we participated in Ciclavia Iconic Wilshire Blvd.  The route was a 6 mile stretch of Wilshire Blvd. , from western downtown to Wilshire & Fairfax. This was our second Ciclavia; our first was downtown to Venice and it was a flat out blast!  To cruise through the streets with thousands of other cyclists and NO CARS in Los Angeles was such a feeling of freedom!  We took the rapid bus from Santa Monica to Union Station, then rode the whole route.  For this Cyclavia, Mike took the “feeder ride” from the Pier to downtown, while I sat in my chair finishing my coffee and reading.  He decided to stop at Fairfax, at the actual end of the route, and I rode to Fairfax a bit later to meet him.  We met at the old Farmer’s Market on 3rd & Fairfax and patronized one of our favorite burger joints, Short Order, a Nancy Silverton restaurant (founder of La Brea Bakery, former chef and co-owner at one of Los Angeles’ best ever restaurants, Campanile (which is now Walter Mantzke’s Republique) and now co-owner with Mario Batali of the Mozza empire).  Yes our route was a little backwards, and we didn’t actually even ride the formal course . . . but we had a good time, and a good meal.

Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States.CicLAvia temporarily removes cars from L.A. streets – and the streets fill up with smiles!  CicLAvia makes the streets safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike. There are activities along the route. Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the CicLAvia.

Ciclavia in LA began in October 2010 and has gone from a yearly event to a four-times-a-year event!  They take place on a given Sunday and are open for a predetermined set of hours. While primarily intended for cyclists, many people can be seen skateboarding, running, or walking down the path. Each street that is closed off is guarded by traffic officers who direct the cars to alternative routes through Los Angeles. On some streets the traffic lights are still in service which means the bikers and pedestrians must abide by the traffic laws. Police are guarding each intersection to allow ultimate safety of the community during this event. CicLAvia brings together densely populated and diverse neighborhoods through a bike route.  Awesome!  The event now attracts over 100,000 participants and expands to connect even more neighborhoods.

11 Comments on “Ciclavia!

  1. That is so neat. We need one of those in Toronto, but might have to wait for a new mayor.

    • Was it ever! Also you can tell there’s a lot of love in that place . . . the restaurant was originally conceived with a dear friend of hers who died quite young and quite abruptly of cancer before the restaurant became a reality . . . and Nancy went ahead in homage to her friend.

  2. No cars for a stretch of Wilshire Blvd—now that is something I will have to see to believe! Kidding, I love it when they close streets off from cars and bicycles and pedestrians can take over. This looks like a wonderful event!

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