CicLAvia is a event that closes the streets and makes it open to all people to walk, skate and cycle through the streets traffic free. It is a good way to encourage people to be active and use a different means of transportation. It gives the local shops to attracted different customers as well as helps people explore different places in their near by community along the route.
The October 6th CicLAvia was names The Heart of LA as it’s route was in Downtown LA. The route had four major start points; China Town, McArthur Park, Mariachi Plaza and The African American Firefighter Museum. All these start points flowed to the center of Spring St. where they had plenty of booths to grab a bite and visit the local shops.
For my wife and I this was an exciting event, It marked my daughters first cycling event of her. Now I’m an avid cyclist, I spend hours a week on the road and it does not go un-noticed by my daughter. She considers my casual rides as training because I do a tour about every month or so. So when I told her that she will be cycling in her first event when hundreds of people through Downtown LA she was so excited and asked me when her training was going to start. A couple night during the week I took her to an empty parking lot so she can ride around and learn to control her balance. She recently got off her training wheels and needed to work on her balance if she was going to cycle in such a large group. She was doing great and I was able to ride with her on the sidewalk to the store. Testing her balance on a more narrow road was key to her training. I knew that during the ride she will have to squeeze through some small opening in the crowed and I wanted her to be prepared for anything.
On the day of the ride we loaded up the car with our three bikes and headed towards Downtown LA. One thing that worried me is that she would be intimidated with the size of the crowd. But I think having my wife and myself there with her made her feel comfortable and confident to ride amongst the crowd. We started on the Mariachi Plaza point on 4th street and made out way to Spring St. to connect to the other routes. On Spring St. the amount of people was overwhelming even for me but she was so excited and determined to ride it did not bother her one bit. We made our way towards McArthur Park weaving through the crowd and looking at all the high rise buildings in Downtown. I told Syndel that this is a great opportunity to explore downtown as it is usually filled with cars and annoying traffic. She did great controlling her speed and knowing her surroundings. She was able to push through cycling over the bridges and had a blast going downhill.
We hung out at McArthur Park and had ice cream before heading back to the car. My daughter cycled about 7 miles through the streets of Downtown LA and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Looks like she really took an interest of what I do and I cant wait till she is tall enough to buy her a road bike. In a few years from now she will be cycling right next to me and I can’t wait for that day to come and those miles we will be sharing together.