A Really Big Guide to CicLAvia on the Eastside

CicLAvia for the first time will pass through the First Street Arts District and pass through notable landmarks like Mariachi Plaza. Restaurants, bars and stores will be open earlier, and activities will be happening throughout the route. Photo from LADOT Bike Blog

Updated: 10/06/2012, 1:10 p.m.

CicLAvia got a makeover this fall, and cyclists and pedestrians will definitely notice on the Eastside. While the Hollenbeck Park hub was cut, participants heading to the Eastside will come across restaurants, arts, and plenty of activities on the First Street Arts Corridor.

Here are a few notable events, feeder rides, and sites to check out during CicLAvia on the Eastside:

Mariachi Plaza, and First Street

The most promising addition to CicLAvia has been the First Street Arts Corridor and Mariachi Plaza. Home to mariachis, a weekly farmers market, and an Eastside art walk, there is plenty to see and do at this hub.

Local nonprofits will be giving out information at the stage area at Mariachi Plaza in conjunction with the weekly International Market, which offers food from local street vendors. Bike Nation will have a booth at the hub, giving out information about the bike share program that is coming soon to LA. Businesses like Libros Schmibros Lending Library and Used Bookstore, Restaurant Santa Cecilia and J&F Ice Cream Shop are all located at the plaza and will be open. And while CicLAvia is also taking over the space normally used by mariachis that wait there to pick up work, mariachis will be playing throughout the day, according to CicLAvia organizers.

This years CicLAvia Eastside Route. Image from CicLAvia

On First Street between Boyle Avenue and State Street, many of the restaurants and bars will be open early. Un Solo Sol restaurant, M Bar, and Eastside Luv Wine Bar y Queso will all open at earlier hours. Primera Taza Coffee House will have a photo booth in front of their shop, and Espacio 1839, a community radio, arts, clothing, and bookstore near the corner of First and and Bailey Streets, which will have had its grand opening a couple days earlier, will also be out front greeting passersby.

Feeder Rides:

Montebello Bike Coalition ride from Montebello to Soto Station

MBC have trekked from Montebello to Greater LA a few times this year – a few members came to our Eastside Streetsblog fundraiser in July – and  picking up other far Eastside bicyclists along the way. The MBC will ride  roughly 7 miles from Montebello to the Soto Street Station, the endpoint on the CicLavia Eastside route.

The ride will meet outside Daily Brew at Montebello Boulevard and Harding Street and meet up at 9:15 a.m and head out around 9:30 a.m. Cyclists closer to the Atlantic Gold Line station can join MBC’s ride there at 10 a.m.

Eastside Bike Club Heading to CicLAvia from El Sereno

If you are coming from El Sereno or West San Gabriel Valley,  meet up with the Eastside Bike Club. The EBC will meet at 8:30 a.m. Hecho En Mexico (4976 Huntington Drive. El Sereno CA 90032) and head out at 9 a.m.

Crankheads Early Ride to CicLAvia from Lincoln Heights

Crankheads bike crew will be meeting up at 8 a.m. at Parque de Mexico at the corner of Mission Road/Valley Boulevard/MainStreet. The ride will head out at 8:30 a.m. and arrive at  7th Street and Grand Avenue around 9 a.m.

Flying Pigeon LA Ride from Northeast LA/Lincoln Heights

Neighbors and friends from Flying Pigeon LA ( 3404 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065) will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the bike shop to ride to the Chinatown Hub. The group will head out around 10 a.m.

Ovarian-Pscyos Bicycle Brigade adopt the  First and State Streets intersection

Ovarian-Pscyo Cinthia Garcia at April's CicLAvia helping with the groups intersection adoption. The Ovas will be helping this time at the State and 1st Street Intersection. Photo from Ovarian-Pscyo Facebook page.

The sole intersection that needed adoption was taken up by the ladies from the Ovarian-Psycos Bicycle Brigade. Catch the ladies handling bike, pedestrian, and automobile traffic at the First and State Streets intersection. The women will also have their merchandise like their Ova stickers and t-shirts.  Either way, be sure to say hi.

Music and Water Station at Neighborhood Music School (358 S. Boyle Ave)

Neighborhood Music School near the corner of Boyle Avenue and Fourth Street will be giving out bottles of water to passersby. Even after they run out, they can always help with cups of water.  The school, which was founded in 1914 , also gives tours so stop by and take a look around the Victorian style house they are housed in.

And then the views: Hollenbeck Park, Soto Street Station, and the southeast/west corner on Boyle Avenue and First Streets

For anyone still nostalgic for Hollenbeck Park despite its exclusion from the Eastside CicLAvia route, it’s still a short ride away. Instead of heading up Boyle Avenue from Fourth Street, continue east on Fourth Street to arrive at the former station hub. While the roads won’t be closed, be sure to be safe if you head to this off the path destination.

While the Soto Street Station won’t have the arts pull like it’s sister station at Mariachi Plaza, the bustling of the day is clear here with many people either entering and exiting the Gold Line station or catching buses nearby. And if you get there early, look out for a pregnant Jessica Perez (@Jessicas2cents), founder of Misneighbors.com, who will be testing the walkability of CicLAvia starting at Soto Station.

While the Fourth Street Bridge usually gets all the attentions when it comes to views of Downtown LA’s cityscape, the corner of Boyle Avenue and First Street could easily be argued as having a comparable view, and if not better. With Mariachi Plaza, the newly renovated Boyle Hotel, and the traffic from the 101 Freeway visible in the foreground and the downtown skyline in the background, it is an intersection with multiple activities that make it a dynamic scene.

The Soto Street Gold Line Station is the endpoint for the Eastside CicLAvia route. Kris Fortin/LAStreetsblog