Bicyclists Take Over Los Angeles, Cars Forced Out

OK, so the cars weren’t forced out completely, just forced out of the roads on the CicLAvia route on Sunday. This CicLAvia seemed more crowded than the previous two, yet it also covered a much larger area. This is great news, because it means more Angelenos are discovering the joy of cycling. I became a convert at the first CicLAvia last October, which you read about here. I have loved getting an adrenaline rush AND an endorphin rush on my way to work (or anywhere, really).

Yes, urban cycling is dangerous, but the city is doing a lot to make the streets safer for cyclists. And, as more Angelenos discover the benefits of cycling, cyclists will become more visible and therefore safer. I did my best to keep up with Harlan Flagg, owner of Hollywood Electrics, on his e+ electric bike. Harlan had this to say about riding the electric bike at CicLAvia:

“It’s like riding an R1 on a road full of mopeds”

It wasn’t easy to stay with them, but all my training to try and be worthy of riding with the Wolfpack Hustle certainly helped. You can see in the later half of the video where the markings for a car lane were sandblasted off and replaced with a bike lane. That’s one of the many bike lanes that’s been created in LA in recent years. The next CicLAvia will be in April. Get on their email list, or follow CicLAvia on Facebook or Twitter to stay informed.

One of my favorite features were the nifty drinking fountains. Hooked up to fire hydrants and providing a nice, tall stream of cool water that could easily refill one’s water bottle. Pure genius.

There was more music this year, both on bikes and with musicians & DJ’s scattered along the route, but this guy definitely had the system with the most potential.

Here’s a map of the route. The short extensions running north to El Pueblo and south to the African American Firefighter Museum are new this time. They’re hoping to extend the route as far south as the Watts Towers next time.

But what made it really interesting is that the route runs right past City Hall, where OccupyLA has been in residence for the past week or so. This guy had something about Ron Paul on the other side of his sign. The protest here has been very peaceful, with little police presence and no clashes. The only problems I’ve seen were when a group of them decided to march down Spring st at 1AM chanting and making a racket. They woke up quite a few of my neighbors. That’s no way to win support. Because you didn’t come to Gas2.0 to read about politics, you’re welcome to visit my personal blog to read my take on the whole movement.

 

Susanna Schick

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.