CicLAvia No. 10: Huge, Wonderful, Happy, But No Longer Newsworthy?

Los Angeles Public Library book bike at yesterday's CicLAvia. Image via Facebook.
Los Angeles Public Library book bike at yesterday’s CicLAvia. Image via Facebook

If a CicLAvia opens the city, and almost no media coverage ensues, does anybody hear?

My answer is a resounding yes.

Even if CicLAvia is now becoming almost taken for granted by the mainstream, it still changes lives, activates places, and brings Angelenos together.

L.A.’s 10th CicLAvia came and went yesterday. Tens of thousands of people showed up. Every shady spot on the route was mobbed. As were restaurants, parks, and neverias. The mainstream media ran some of advance warning coverage, still mostly along the lines of this L.A. Times warning: “CicLaVia [sic] […] means closed streets  from Echo Park to East Los Angeles.”  The only mainstream coverage I could find was this worthwhile 7-image CicLAvia 2014 [sic] photo essay in the L.A. Times.

Luckily those standard news sources are not all there is these days. There’s plenty of #CicLAvia social media on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.

And even if CicLAvia somehow remained secret to the outside world, it still lives on in the smiling recollections of those of us lucky enough to experience one of the best days Los Angeles has to offer.

How was your CicLAvia Day yesterday? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Alex Vickers

    It was so hot! While I’m usually a CicLAvia road warrior and am able to stick out till the bitter end I had to call it early this go-around. I also didn’t have the uphill trek to Echo Park in me after checking out the Downtown/Boyle Heights routes. One regret was starting in Downtown, I feel like I should’ve started in Echo Park, then gone from there.

    Did anyone else notice that the Boyle Heights end of the route was much less crowded than the Downtown/Echo park segments? Traffic really died down after the Mariachi Plaza hub. It was an unexpected result, especially after all the “gentrifier” hullabaloo that was raised in advance of the event.

  • MultimodeLAvia

    Because of the heat I planned for an early ride – got on about 8:30 and enjoyed the empty streets. Rode most of the route but decided to stash the bike and rest and then continue on using the Goldline (it has excellent AC) to see more of the route. Belvadere park was a wonderful place to enjoy my burrito(from Al & Bae’s in Boyle Heights) and a paleta from the local vendor. One of my favorite Ciclavia routes so far.

  • C Monroe

    Well the national media pretty much ignored the largest climate change rally in NYC, it is even worse because it was within a couple of street blocks from them.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    I’ve never missed a CicLAvia, but yesterday was the first time I haven’t ridden 100% of the route. But we can’t blame the event for the crazy hot weather. My Garmin was saying it was about 100 in East L.A. The poor woman working the papusa stand at the civic center had to take a break and go sit in the shade. On the plus side, I was riding with about a half-dozen first timers, and they all seemed to love it. One of them even stopped and bought a rack and bags from bike shops on the route, for future commuting!

  • Terence Heuston

    My wife, toddler, and I road from Echo Park to Mariachi Plaza and then back to Grand Central Park. Red Tricycle had a great tip sheet on things to do with kids during CicLAvia and playing in the fountains at Grand Central Park was one of their ideas. It was the perfect place to cool off before riding home. I didn’t even know it existed. We’ll definitely be riding back there to play in the water.

  • Alex Brideau III

    With my 6 year old in tow, we just stayed in Chinatown due to the heat, but I was wondering about the Boyle Heights leg. I was concerned CicLAvia participants might not be welcome there as CicLAvia might be viewed by some as an agent of gentrification. Did you find that to be the case?

  • Alex Vickers

    I wouldn’t say I felt unwelcomed, but it was definitely strange to see so few people at the Civic Center Hub during the heat of the event. It felt like no one really made it past the Mariachi Plaza. I was there from 12:30-1:30 at the peak of the event and it felt a bit empty by comparison to every other hub I frequented

  • When Mom and I were lunching at Un Solo Sol, the owner (we presume) made a crack to the woman operating the set-up outside about all the white people ruining things. I’m sure he was kidding because the place was packed with white people spending money. I got zero negative vibes when I was out riding, or stopping to talk/rehydrate. I think the larger discussion of gentrification may have been tabled for the afternoon.

  • When we got to Civic Center we had a drink, and turned around. I think a lot of people did…not a knock on the hub, just that it was so far out I think people wanted to get some of the ride back before stopping.

  • brianmojo

    Only issues of gentrification I saw were a couple signs posted and a stand with signs and some volunteers manning it. They all said something to the effect of “say no to gentrification.” I didn’t see anyone actually upset, just people politely stating their opinion on the matter.

  • Dennis_Hindman

    The top four things that this CicLAvia lacked is bicycle racks, bicycle racks, bicycle racks and of course bicycle racks. I saw absolutely no portable bicycle racks from the Civic Center through East LA. Its not encouraging you to stop when you find no place to park your bike. The most popular place for parking a bicycle in front of businesses seemed to be parking meters. I did see some portable fencing for crowd control that was used for parking bicycles, but these aren’t designed to accommodate bicycle wheels

    I realize that there is a rather large cost involved with supplying parking racks for a event involving tens of thousands of bicycles along a route that is at least 8 miles long. But the initial cost might be recovered by renting bicycle racks to the businesses. It would likely have increased the number of people stopping if they could see a place to easily park their bicycle.

    Oh, and the heat. I live in the San Fernando Valley and regularly ride my bike, so I’m used to the weather. You do have to frequently drink water to keep hydrated. I was told by one of the event organizers that the heat reduced the number of people attending.

    The upcoming CicLAvia’s for south LA in December and the San Fernando Valley in March are being held in the rainy season. Rain would severely limit the number of people attending the event–even more than heat.

  • I’ve missed the last couple events due to baby issues, but this brought back the love fast. Having some of the course traveling to new sections brings the intrigue out there. I think the next couple events will really be an eye-opener to the Ciclavia faithful.

    I do agree with Dennis on the bike racks. The Los Angeles Theater had free tours aimed at Ciclavia, but had no idea what to do with the bikes. Also, the mobile water fountains needed a flag or something more with presence to get notice. Otherwise, another great day.

  • Had the two other adults in the party cancel at the last minute, so it was me and two little kids… but we still had a great time. Had ramen for lunch in Little Tokyo and lots of fun scootering around. Love CicLAvia. Let’s hope everyone takes it for granted so much that no one complains when it really does happen once a month. :)

  • LAPL BookBike

    Our CicLAvia was a blast! The Los Angeles Public Library Outreach team signed up beaucoup people for library cards, we met F.L.O.W., we danced in DanceLAvia, gave away over 250 free books, and we partied with the Cyclops. Couldn’t have asked for a better day. Thanks for featuring our photo:)

  • sahra

    I think it was pretty hot, and pretty far for those that were not in the habit of heading out that way. And, I also think the fact that East LA was less familiar with what CicLAvia is, it is harder to get the word out in both that community and Boyle Heights (they’re not online as much or not following open streets kinds of stuff when they are), and the event is still sold as a bike-centric event as opposed to a family-oriented and pedestrian street festival (which might have had a wider appeal – targeting messaging to communities really matters depending on how they tend to use their streets and throw celebrations) meant that fewer folks from those communities participated. I was thrilled to see kids along St. Louis learning to ride bikes in the street. But that was actually kind of rare, unfortunately…

  • M

    We went around 9, expecting to finish up early in the day, but we we having fun just doing our thing, spending time with friends, exploring (we stopped and wandered through cemetery for a bit!) and riding our bikes. Going through the 2nd street tunnel was an awesome respite from the heat… I joked about just biking back and forth through there…. Some of my photos:

  • User_1

    Hmmmmm……. I saw temp bike racks in lots of places on the route. OK maybe not your favorite donuts shop, but at main hubs and what not. May I suggest that if you had a lock and you were riding with one other person, you could relatively secure both bikes where it would be fairly obvious that if someone was stupid enough to try and carry them away, they would be asked “wtf?”. And please don’t use a cable lock.

  • User_1

    I thought this route was an awesome route planned! I really didn’t know what to expect on this one, but was pleasantly surprised. Was kinda thinking everything can be knocked out in 3-4 hours, but was riding for well over 4 hours. Great to see that the businesses are starting to see the potential of a Ciclavia too. They’re starting to step up and market this thing! You can never have too many taco stands in East LA!

    Yeah it was kinda sad not seeing to much hype on the news networks in the LA area. Really didn’t catch anything on the news networks on Sunday. I’m sure MANY cities would love to get something like this started. Hope they learn about the correct venues for publicizing the thing when they come!

  • Sirinya Matute

    I participated in a bit of WalkLAvia on Sunday. It was very hot and I didn’t dress right — should’ve worn my SPF 50 camping shirt plus capris instead of a tank top and running shorts. I enjoyed stopping in at Olympic Donuts at Cesar Chavez. That stretch I walked between the East LA hub and Indiana Avenue was very quiet but it was also very early when I called it quits. I was so thankful that Ciclavia is a recurring event and that I didn’t feel like I needed to stay until the very end… I am looking forward to the event in December and March. Thanks again.

  • Phantom Commuter

    The route went beyond the Echo Park/Downtown hipster comfort zone. Not many adults ride bikes in East L.A., hence no bike racks. Not rocket science.

  • James Gross Jr

    Had a great time riding the course. Made it to all four endpoints. Got a chance to make up for not making it to at least Mariachi Plaza on the ride from two years ago. It was fun riding through Boyle Heights and East L.A. It was my first time ever seeing that part of the city.


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