More than 100,000 cyclists rode down CicLAvia’s longest route yet on Sunday as part of Southern California’s most popular bike-riding event meant to inspire Angelenos to abandon their automobiles and make Los Angeles a more walkable city.
Cars were banned from the 15-mile route, which stretched from Union Station to Venice and Abbot Kinney boulevards, giving residents a chance to walk, bike and “play” at the free event.
“It just brings everyone together,” said Yesenia Land, a CicLAvia participant.
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Security at the event was heightened in the wake of twin explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line early last week. The attack killed three people, including a former UC Riverside Extension student.
The Los Angeles Police Department said there was no specific threat against the event and the extra security was a precaution.
“We have put out a lot of messaging to all of our volunteers and officers working the event to be very, very vigilant,” LAPD Capt. Peter Zarcone said. “We do have bomb squad assets deployed out here on the event.”
Despite the increased security, there was no cause for concern as cyclists rode along the route.
“My family and friends, they always come out and have a lot of fun,” said Gerald McGee, a first-time CicLAvia participant. “I like bike riding, so I decided ‘why not?’”
DJ’s, food trucks and bike repair stations were posted along the course.
The five-hour event kicked off at 10 a.m., drawing residents, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and city councilman Tom LaBonge.