CicLAvia Growing Beyond the Big Bike Events

Adore the spirit of the community ride but want more of it? You're in luck.

When a giant event rolls along and connects with thousands of people in a real and meaningful way, those people can desire more of it, naturally.

But giant events are major undertakings to plan, stage, and manage. Take CicLAvia, for example. The free-to-join closed-streets bicycle ride, which regularly draws 100,000 riders and pedestrians, has three dates scheduled in 2014 (one has passed, but two are still to come, in October and December). The space between rides can make devotees crave more CicLAvia-like experiences, which aren't simply about the bike ride but about community, too.

Those devotees are in luck: The organization behind the thrice-yearly happenings are launching CicLAvia Explores, "a new program designed to connect Angelenos with communities in Los Angeles County through a range of engaging activities held separately from CicLAvia car-free days."

The first CicLAvia Explores is straight ahead, on Thursday, Aug. 7 at Levi's Commuter Workspace downtown. The evening will explore "The New Streets of LA" with "a panel discussion followed by music, food, and drinks. Transportation experts, local activists, and involved citizens will come together to talk about keeping the city's streets "vibrant, safe, and open."

More CicLAvia Explores nights are to come, including a couple in September (the first, on Sept. 7, will be all about Broadway downtown, which will feature free walking tours).

Cyclists who want to take on great stretches of SoCal streets, sans cars, must be patient for the Oct. 5 ride covering the Heart of LA. But those who want to engage in the spirit of CicLAvia more frequently, and keep the come-together feel of the rides robust, can hop into a CicLAvia Explores much sooner.

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