Well, it is not often I get to say this, but Sunday’s CicLAvia event was, for me, completely perfect. It was simply about community, family, and enjoying the streets. It did not have an overtly political or activist vibe to it (as is often the case when you try to do some things a little differently from others in this town, like ride the bus or walk to the grocery store), and I saw a lot more people simply enjoying (and remarking on it out loud) the fact that they were out on the streets of the city than I saw people proclaiming rabid anti-car sentiments, as I’ve seen at bike-centric events before. I think the former feeling will go a lot further in making lasting change than the latter in the long run. There was some political content around, but it was largely confined to the steps of City Hall, where (when I passed) there were endearingly naive chants being led by a bloke with a microphone about “LA saying no to oil!’ and “no to coal!”. Don’t get me wrong – naive is not necessarily used as a derogatory term here. Noble dreams begin with a heavy dose of naivete, I believe. Hope, against the odds, for significant change, and so forth. (I could use the fully decorated version, naïveté, but it looks a bit pretentious to me today…)
So the event was mostly about people getting out there and enjoying the city streets, and sharing their enjoyment by doing it together. I was impressed with the turnout by ordinary people (the LA Times says 100000… really?! Wow!). Not bike enthusiasts per se, just people. All kinds of people, all kinds of bikes. Some with no bikes, but walking, running, skating, blading, etc. All in good spirits, many just delighted to be on a car-free seven mile stretch of road. This event was simply marvellous and the organizers and LA in general should be proud of the day.
Find enclosed fourteen of the many pictures I took. Click on an image for a larger view. It begins with the gathering at the East Hollywood end (near Bicycle Kitchen and Scoops, etc) passes through some scenes at the lovely MacArthur Park and the crowd outside Mama’s Hot Tamales, right through to people relaxing in the sun at the also lovely Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights. Notice, from the last one (taken just outside City Hall on my return trip), that not only did I encounter many folding bike riders, I also found and chatted with two fellow Brompton riders!
Go to the CicLAvia site to share links to your photos, if you like, or just leave stories, or thanks.