The Militant knows you've been on a CicLAvia high since Sunday, and he perfectly understands. The fourth iteration of Los Angeles' open streets event was much like the past three: Sunny, cloudless skies and smiling faces everywhere. Add to that the fact that the Dodgers and the Lakers were playing home games in their respective venues at the same time, yet there were no noticeable traffic or logistic hitches. At the end of the day, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lakers, Kings and CicLAvians won.
This being a repeat of last October's route, The Militant decided to ride on parts of the route that he missed last time, namely the brief El Pueblo spur up Main Street. This time, it was less about discovery and more about appreciating the sights and sounds of CicLAvia. Here's what The Militant saw on Sunday:
|THERE'S NO COSPLAY ALLOWED IN CICLAVIA!!! (New Hampshire Avenue, Koreatown)|
|This guy is having a Three Dog Day. (New Hampshire Avenue, Koreatown)|
|This minister from the First Congregational Church hands out free blessings, greetings and high-fives to CicLAvians|
(6th Street, Westlake)
|They may not be Tongva, but these folks are gettin' indigenous with it. (7th Street, Westlake)|
|Party rock is always in the house at CicLAvia. Even Robot PETE (or a reasonable facsimile) rides! |
(7th Street, Pico-Union)
|This woman had a Walky Dog bike leash attachment for her four-legged CicLAvian.|
The Militant might want to look into it for his K-9 unit!
(7th Street, Downtown)
|Amgen Tour of California Balloon Rainbow...what does it mean?|
(7th Street, Downtown)
|Time for some double-dutch! (7th Street, Downtown)|
|Chess having some fun (Main Street, Downtown).|
|The Infamous Barcycle! (Main Street, Downtown0|
|Who needs Coachella when you got CicLAvia? (1st Street, Downtown)|
There were even some things The Militant saw, but did not have a chance to take a picture, like a side-by-side tandem bike and a mountain bike ridden by a man with one leg (You officially have no excuse for not riding now). And even he was smiling.
And now the downside of CicLAvia: The hour between 3 and 4 p.m., when the roads gradually re-open to the cars. And therein lies the problem: Five hours is too damn short. The Militant didn't get to enjoy the ride to the south end at the African American Firefighter's Museum. He didn't even make it all the way to Hollenbeck Park. He didn't even get to chill at the 4th Street Viaduct.
There has still been talk of pedestrians complaining about cyclists complaining about pedestrians. All of this can be mitigated with a longer CicLAvia day -- people are in such a rush to ride the entire course (you know you are) that it creates problems. Let's increase CicLAvia from five to eight hours! After all, the typical workday is eight hours long. If we have to work an 8-hour day, then we must have to play an 8-hour day!
Alternately, maybe we can have a CicLAweekend, with 4-hour events on both a Saturday and Sunday. That would allow people to ride on part of the route one day, and another part on the other, or ride on one day and walk or just do other things on the other day. Instead, people are trying to cram everything into that oh-so-quick 5-hour span of bliss. Time flies when you're having fun, and during CicLAvia, it happens at light speed.
The CicLAvia route is gradually growing, with talk of expanding the route further south and east in the near future. And that's something that will inevitably happen. The Militant would rather have longer hours than a longer route. And with a longer route, how can people enjoy it in a brief, 5-hour span? That would only induce more "rushing the route" and make the course more dangerous for pedestrians and slower cyclists.
Of course, as the saying goes, freedom (from cars) isn't free. It costs hundreds of thousands of duckets to make CicLAvia a reality (which is why the proposed July CicLAvia has been nixed again this year). So why not text the word SMILE to 85944 to donate $10 to CicLAvia?
See you or not see you on October 14!