Ari Sherman, Creative Advertising

Ciclavia LA 2013: Car and care free for the day

Posted in Los Angeles Community Event, Story Telling, Uncategorized by Ari Sherman on April 22, 2013

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For anyone wondering what all the Ciclavia stuff yesterday was about, here’s the experience that I have to share. My day began north of the Santa Monica pier, heading south on the beach bike path. At Windward Circle in Venice I joined a growing crowd of Eastbound bicycles flowing on to the Ciclavia route.

Basically, for all who came along, it was about sharing access, from downtown LA to Venice Beach and vice versa, with tens of thousands of other summer clad Angelenos, riding bikes or strolling, skateboarding, skating, walking their dogs, or just strutting their stuff as it were, enjoying a completely car free day up and down the city spanning Venice Blvd.

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For those who actually joined in and did some miles, or even a few blocks, the community feeling was warm, energizing and quite simply amazing. The route itself was packed, a denser flow of people then I would have imagined – one can only compare it to a freeway full of cars…minus the cars. And while along the way a few thousand peeled off here and there to quickly check out the various community hosted ‘hubs’, consisting of local merchant based business promo opportunity/rest stops, the real action was on the road. The crowd surrounding me, combined with the crowd coming toward us in the opposite direction, made for a non-stop feast of fun eye, ear and mind grabbing stimulation. And it wasn’t a bad work out either !

By and large after all the main event was for the participants, for Angelenos of all kinds, from entire families exploring long distances or just tooling around their own neighborhoods, to swimsuit clad beach goers, to equally beachwear clad Venice types, many heading all the way downtown for lunch before heading back.

From Laker and other sports team Jersey sporting fans, to bike club garbed enthusiasts, to Rock band and hip hop fans in torn t-shirts and logo hats to the afore mentioned beach ready crowd, the variations were endless. And from the guy I rode beside for awhile who was playing The Grateful Dead on bike borne speakers, to the engagingly friendly sun worshippers and cheerful families chatting along the way, it was also an awesome ‘we are LA’ chance to get to know great people of every kind. People watched out for each other, and shared refreshing patience. No one could take a fall without a crowd of helpful hands rushing to pick them up, no one swerving accidentally heard anything other than ‘it’s all good’ from nearby riders who might have been inadvertently cut off or had to brake abruptly. While perhaps you could only fully absorb it by being part of the free wheeling crowd out journeying back and forth along the road, maybe we can all appreciate the idea of so many making friends, meeting up, and sharing a day with so many others, all caught up in the same great spirt and clearly holding in common a deep pride in our beautiful and all embracing city and everyone who loves it. It’s the kind of pride that makes putting in serious miles especially energizing (in my case about 18.6, but who’s counting…). It’s the kind of love that makes appreciating a city all that much more special. It’s even the kind of motivation that just might make me want to tackle even more of the route next time…Image

I urge you all to think about joining in next year, if you’re in LA, or hit the next Ciclavia coming to your city – I know there’s one scheduled for San Diego this August : )

http://www.ciclavia.org/about/

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