CicloSDias—Coming this August.
The excitement is brewing here in San Diego as our own version of Ciclovia is coming this year. This car-free (aka open streets) event started in the 70’s in Bogota, Colombia and has spread to many countries and cities as the years have passed. With the idea of opening streets for safer cycling, walking and skating, our town has been pushing for our own going on four years.
With the help of many local cycling advocates, our new mayor and the bike friendly city council members, the date August 11th, 2013 is on the calendar for our first CicloSDias. It will span an area from near downtown, past Balboa Park, through South and North Park into the community of City Heights. There will even be a few mini-CicloSDias to prep the people around our area for the big day. Check the links below for the website and Facebook pages.
Although still in the planning stages, you can expect plenty of great food, live music, DJs, bike and crafts oriented booths along the route. They will start this event on a smaller scale and as the interest and participation builds thorough the years, it will get bigger and bigger. The San Diego cycling community is quite large so I see no problem with CicloSDias becoming a major draw before long.
My wife and I have ridden in three of the six CicLAvia days put on by the city of Los Angeles. I can say from experience what a fun and thrilling way it is to spend a Southern California day. The smiles and fun are so obvious with each block ridden. We just went to the Spring CicLAvia and it was better attended that any in their short history of hosting this event. With a group of 100,000 people on hand for each one, this day was said to have at least 150,000, and I read that possibly the amount was double that.
With so many willing to come to ride, walk and skate, it is no wonder that these types of days are becoming more popular. At each CicLAvia we have gone to, the amount of kids on their own bikes or in trailers and carriers was mind-boggling. Many brought their pets too. The variety of bikes and people is a sight to behold. All ages and genders enjoyed the ride. Costumes were not the norm, but seen quite often. All-in-all, it is the kind of day that you can’t miss no matter what.
As the route is car-free, there are places where they can cross the route. Volunteers and police are at each of these locations to make sure things go smoothly. Sometimes there was a little back-up, but this gave everyone time to talk and check-out each others bikes and fancy appointments. At each underpass, the riders would hoot and holler with joy to hear the reverberations of their jubilation. The bells on each bike equipped with one got the workout of the year with almost continuous use.
At last weekend’s Spring CicLAvia, my wife and I made it a two-day trip by enjoying some other bike events on Saturday and then spending the night in a motel right on the route in Venice Beach. This was the first CicLAvia that made it all the way to the water, that is part of what drew so many more people than before. We met up with a local friend, Steve, and the three of us rode together. Many of our other friends were there, yet we never spotted them in the mass of cyclists as the day progressed.
Our breakfast stop was at an outdoor café that allowed us to watch the action as we ate. Later when we made it back to the hub at Venice Beach, we recharged on fish tacos and cold drinks at a tasty spot. All along the route there were so many things to see and places to eat, but the spots we found were great. With thirty or more miles of pedaling behind us, we still toured the town of Venice Beach after the roads were reopened to the people behind the wheels of their autos.
In LA, the event is financed by the non-profit CicLAvia group, many sponsors and the city of LA with state and federal funds. I am not sure yet of how our city of San Diego will handle ours, but I would assume it will be much in the same way. It is s a costly event, but from what I’ve seen and heard, the amount of tourist and tourist’s dollars it brings to the community is well worth it. Plus, how can you put a price on the happiness of the citizens and visitors? I don’t think you can.
So please ‘like’ the CicloSDias FB page to get all the details. Attend all the events listed to have fun and show your support for this great new San Diego happening. See you there? Turbo Bob.
“If one cyclist is bad, he is nothing compared to a whole group. When they take to the road it’s goodbye to everyone.”—Octave Mirbeau, Sketches of a Journey.
CicloSDias on the web and Facebook
Here are a few videos I took last weekend at CicLAvia, plus if you scout my You-Tube channel you can find some from our last visit.
This next video just got put up on You Tube by a tall bike rider. Although I don’t recommend you do this, a good idea of the ride and view of the riders and event are shown here.