Ciclavia — A Bike Party through the Heart of L.A.

CicLAvia is closing L.A. streets for a bike event.

I’ve never heard of Ciclavia until now, but I like what it’s selling. Instead of Critical Mass with its undertone of social protest, CicLAvia has worked with Los Angeles officials and other cities to close roads and encourage cyclists to enjoy the streets free of cars.

It visited San Francisco in April and it’s coming back for more events. Based on ciclovia, a bike street event that started 30 years ago in Bogota, Colombia, the movement is spreading throughout U.S. to metropolitan cities.

I like the idea of closing streets for bike parties. It gives people a chance to enjoy a city free of cars, not just for cycling but for walking, skating, and other forms of human-powered mobility. Someday people may wake up and say, “Wait a minute, let’s try this on a weekday and encourage people to ride to work.”

I’ll never forget the time I rode on the Hwy 85 freeway through Cupertino days before it opened. What a rush. I can envision a bike to work day with freeways open for bikes only.

Wishful thinking, sure, but there’s always hope that someday we will see the light. Maybe when gas goes to $10 a gallon our vision will suddenly improve. I hope it’s not for that reason, but rather because it’s something we choose to do.

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