On 10-10-10 about 60,000 Angelenos came out to ride bikes and walk on a route between Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights and the Bicycle District in East Hollywood. CicLAvia closed 7.5 miles of LA’s famously car-choked streets, and filled our roads with smiles instead. That sounds cheesy, but man, there were a lot of smiles! If you attended I hope you got swept up in the good feeling. I’m smiling just remembering it.
After all the pictures had been taken and the all the hands were shaken, we thought about where to hang the beautiful award we’d received. The eco-village lobby seemed like a natural choice, because this place has not only been the site of many of our meetings, its social network played an integral part in bringing an event like CicLAvia to Los Angeles.
The very first time I visited the eco-village, back in June 2008, I spoke with Lois Arkin about my interest in the ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia. She gave me the contact info of someone in Bogotá who then gave me the contact info for Jaime Ortiz Mariño, the founder of the ciclovía. I met with Jaime in Bogotá in August 2008, along with Bobby Gadda, another eco-villager and CicLAvia organizer, and he inspired both of us to work on getting this event started in LA when we returned that fall.
So, on Friday morning, I came home on the subway with the award in my hands, and of course the first thing I did was take a picture of it with my cat Borrego, who is a native eco-villager found in the courtyard last spring.
Now the award is out in the lobby.
I’m happy to report that the eco-village has again played a role in incubating progressive bike work in Los Angeles. Thank you!