(Throughout the day we’ll be adding personal stories from our three regular writers who were at CicLAvia about how they spent their Sunday. – DN)
Having cycled CicLAvia multiple times now, and inspired by recent renewed interest in pedestrian advocacy in L.A., I decided to leave the bike at home this time. My wife Meghan and I set out to catch the opening ceremonies with just some good walking shoes and bus fare.
Traveling by foot made CicLAvia a new experience again. I noticed details I never noticed before. We stopped into small businesses I otherwise would have rolled past. We also found lunch at a little booth called Southern Fried Vegan at the back of what is usually a parking lot, along with a few other pop-up establishments. The booths were all advertised from the street as a biker pit stop on a hand painted banner. Had I been riding my bike however, I had to admit I probably would have glanced my head over for a moment, and would have just kept rolling. In the pursuit of trying to see everything by bike, you can so easily overlook the smaller attractions in between the big destinations on the map.
There were a few moments where those on bikes came a little close for comfort as we walked in the street. I see more clearly now the concern to keep it all slow, chill, and inviting for all participants. Although it never once came close to the threatening feeling of cars roaring and blundering around. On the whole it was delightful, liberating, and spontaneous traveling CicLAvia on my two feet instead of two wheels. I hope to see more walkers enjoying the event next time in October.