Cycling in and around Santa Monica-North of Montana
The second CicLAvia was held near downtown Los Angeles on April 10. This celebration of cycling in urban spaces – usually dominated by autos – was a great success. With a group of some 100,000 cyclists, ranging from kids with training wheels to lycra-clad racer types, explored 15 miles of car-free streets.
This event — you cannot really call it an organized ride, since it has no start, no finish, and no real goals except to cycle in car-free streets — had some wonderful side effects, including helping change the mind of former anti-cycling LA Times columnist Sandy Banks. In her April 12 column, she wrote that CycLAvia showed her “a Los Angeles I felt proud to be part of.”
But CicLAvia is a three-time a year event, and while it’s wonderful, what about cycling on a day-to-day basis? Here’s a suggestion: consider making your own miniature, personalized version of it, right here on the streets of Santa Monica. For many, riding a bike in traffic is very intimidating, especially if you aren’t used to it. What CicLAvia gives a person is a chance to ride in a car-free, supportive environment. With some care, you can duplicate some of the event’s power.
Why not gather a few friends or family members and go ride a beautiful route locally? By doing rides with friends or family members on a well-chosen route, you will get the essential social support that makes cycling on the road seem less scary. Such rides will help you to graduate to more challenging trips by yourself for shopping, yoga, or trips to the bank, or even just to get a quick, hassle-free workout right outside your own front door.
Time to ride