October CicLAvia: Oh, the Humanity

For a nineteenth time the City of Los Angeles, under the guidance of the CicLAvia organization, threw the largest bike party of the year. A slightly less than six mile route between Chinatown, MacArthur Park, and Boyle Heights saw cyclists, walkers, runners, wheelchairs, skateboarders, stand-up pole-boarders, and who knows what all else cram the streets in a rollicking, weaving, stop when you want, go when you can, rolling party.

I think I could easily sit at one spot all day long and people watch. Few, if any, civic occasion can match CicLAvia for that activity. But then I would miss the participation part, being amongst the crowd, the art, the architecture, the food, the neighborhoods, the culture, all the craziness that CicLAvia engenders, and that just wouldn't do. There is something about rolling along, shoulder to shoulder, with total strangers sure, but sharing the same experience, and thus oddly not strangers at all, that cannot be duplicated at any other event.

The people keep riding past, hour after hour, the strangers who are oddly not strangers, some in helmets, some in hats, a lot of Dodger blue, Rams fans reborn, some costumed, some barely clothed, the eyes rove from one to another, pause, then move on, then all of a sudden there is someone standing next to you and, hey what do you know, its Walt from Claremont. Later you are turning this way, then that, and there is Dorothy, the same Dorothy who never seems to stop moving, but this time she does, to talk about the cyclocross season and other upcoming events. It is funny that in all this humanity, this city of millions, we can always spot that familiar face.

Thanks LA, CicLAvia, everyone who's effort makes this event possible - I have not made it out to all nineteen rides, but those I have made have all been worth it, and have left me waiting for the next one.

heading out from the Chinatown hub

the family that rides together

jumpin' in Chinatown

the mob rules

out to the MacArthur Park hub

a ridin' smilin' kind of day

MacArthur Park hub back toward the city core

the Broadway crowd

The Los Angeles - hope you took a few minutes to check out the interior - amazing, an entirely different era

riding to and fro

everyone stops for the tall-unicycle juggler

are they texting each other?

the Nitro Coffee bike

a superhero in every crowd

Metro Bikes doubled their ridership in a single day

back to Chinatown

well, okay then

so long Strawberry Shortcake, until next time.

There are more photos in the Flickr album, and you can get there by clicking here. See you next time.