downtown los angeles

My First CicLAvia Adventure in Los Angeles

People board the Gold Line Del Mar station in Pasadena heading downtown for CicLAvia

These are the kinds of days that make you so proud to be an Angeleno and just make you want to scream: “I love LA!” The empowerment I felt being amongst my fellow Angelenos yesterday during the second CicLAvia event was tremendously exhilarating. The fact that 7.5 miles of roads that sliced through the middle of the city (usually choked with traffic and road rage) were closed off to traffic, and we were all free to “frolic” on our bikes without worrying about cars, was like a dream come true.

To see the city from a bike was so different from being stuck in a car. You would notice things you would have never looked at if you were driving, like say, the architecture of the buildings you rode by or just the faces of different people from all backgrounds surrounding you (LA truly is the most diverse city on the planet). And best of all, being on our bikes acted as “bridges” between communities as we traveled from neighborhoods like DTLA to MacArthur Park that felt seamless and wonderfully connected. It gave me a glimpse of how incredible LA could be if we could somehow form strong urban connections between our amazing neighborhoods.

I had heard about the very first CicLAvia event last year in October, but didn’t have a bike back then. After seeing all the photos and videos from the last one, I decided to go out and get a bike so that I would be able to participate in the next one. Experiencing CicLAvia made me realize that LA truly is wonderful, but it has been ruined by the automobile run amok that has made our sidewalks more narrow, pedestrians afraid to cross the street, and the freeways that have sliced up our communities. LA can be livable and wonderful, but it takes these community-building events to allow more and more people to realize that we can have a livable city (yes right here in LA!) if we put pedestrians and bicyclists first, not the automobile.

Enjoy the pics from the event:

Riders get off Gold Line at Little Tokyo station to join CicLAvia

I started off my CicLAvia adventure in Little Tokyo

A big sign in Little Tokyo thanking Mayor V and the council districts involved in CicLAvia's route

A little rider with his green helmet starts off in Little Tokyo as well

1st Street through Little Tokyo heading toward the Civic Center in Downtown LA

I was surprised to see so many people already by 10:30AM

Gathering in LA Civic Center

How does that thing even work?

This was beautiful! "LA Beyond Cars"

Again, just beautiful.

Joggers join bikers in Downtown LA's historic core

CicLAvia made into a family outing

CicLAvia stop signs where cars still went through

People enjoying their day either riding their bikes or just sitting at Coffee Bar in the historic core watching them go by

Biking through the historic core on Spring Street

Now we're riding down 7th Street through the heart of Downtown LA. Do you see the little boy with the green helmet that started off with me in Little Tokyo? :)

I thought this was cute: "Co-Pilot"

I loved this when traffic had to stop for us

Riding down 7th Street toward City West

A look back behind me while I'm on 7th Street in Downtown LA

Crossing the 110 Freeway overpass

Still on 7th Street now in City West heading toward MacArthur Park

You see Wilshire Bullocks in the distance as we head into MacArthur Park

We're not in MacArthur Park by Alvarado and 7th Street

One of the best delis in the country: Langer's in MacArthur Park

Performances going on all over, this one in MacArthur Park

Taking a break in MacArthur Park

Now we're by Vermont and 4th Street in Koreatown

A look behind me while in Koreatown

Things you notice while riding on your bike include architecture like this beautiful church in Koreatown

Organizations passing out food/water along the bike route

Riders going underneath an overpass heading into East Hollywood

Heading up Heliotrope into East Hollywood

We are nearing the end of the CicLAvia route

The route ends here at Melrose and Heliotrope in East Hollywood

The route ends right in back of LA City College

Now that we finished the route toward East Hollywood, we are riding back on the route toward the other end being Boyle Heights

Dogs join humans on CicLAvia

Riding back to MacArthur Park we pass by more beautiful churches

Library Tower stands in the distance while we enter MacArthur Park

Perched high above, these guys are looking down wondering where all these bikers came from :)

Passing by MacArthur Park

Oh refreshing water provided by LADWP

The water was filtered from the water hydrant

Heading back toward Downtown LA

Along the 110 overpass again heading back into Downtown LA

Back on 7th Street in Downtown LA

On Spring Street in Downtown LA

Businesses along the way are busier than ever

LA City Hall stands proudly over CicLAvia

Heading into the Arts District in Downtown LA toward Boyle Heights

In the Arts District

About to cross the historic 4th Street bridge

We are now on the 4th Street bridge

Riders take a break on the 4th Street bridge overlooking the LA River

CicLAvia: What an amazing day!

Me and LA Mayor Villaraigosa outside Bottega Louie in Downtown LA (we obviously both love LA!):

Me and Mayor V both love LA! :)


  1. Lawrence says

    This is such a great event. It allows angelenos a chance to really gather and enjoy each other’s company while exploring our city outside of the confines of the car. I look forward to participating in July and October and hope this becomes a monthly event with an ever expanding route.

    • Angelenos would love LA if they actually felt connected to the city, which is pretty much almost impossible in a car (with the hassles that come with it like finding never enough parking, tickets, road rage, etc.).

  2. Robyn says

    These are fabulous images that really capture/create the experience! (And the last one is quite a gem!)
    It looks like you had a great day.

    • Thanks Robyn! It -WAS- a great day!

      If you didn’t go to this one, you should definitely try to participate in the next one in July 2011.

  3. Tucker says

    Great post! Your photos are great – made me live it vicariously ’cause…

    Wish I didn’t have food poisoning all weekend… totally thwarted my CicLAvia plans. Grrrr. Oh well, next time!

  4. Illithid Dude says

    Great photos! I totally missed those great temporary water-fountains.

    • Yeah it was a cool idea to connect the water filter fountains to the fire hydrants. If you didn’t drink from them, I hope you brought your own water!

Comments are closed.