One year ago this month, we announced the launch of our CicLAvia Explores program. Since then, nearly 1,000 people have joined us and various community partners to dig a little deeper into some of the neighborhoods that CicLAvia routes visit. Tomorrow night, when we head to Culver City’s Backyard Bash, we will hold our eighth Explores event in our eighth community since the launch of the program.
But what is this whole Explores thing? CicLAvia is all about riding bikes or something, right? It’s not like it’s called ExplorLAavia orSkateLAvia or WalkLAvia – well wait, that last one sounds familiar…
Many people tend to think CicLAvia is just about bikes and a good time, and that is certainly a part of it. But when it comes down to it, CicLAvia is more about re-imagining how we can engage with communities throughout Los Angeles County in a car-free way. If you only ride your bike or roll on your skateboard down streets without worrying about cars, you’re missing the point of CicLAvia. Our mission is to help people realize they can use city streets to interact with businesses, communities and each other in a way that is not possible when we’re all stuck in our cars. The best part about CicLAvia day isn’t seeing people riding on car-free streets: it’s seeing them talking to each other and laughing, sharing smiles with strangers and finding a new favorite local businesses.
CicLAvia Explores is an extension of that mission, as we invite people into the community a few weeks before one of our routes heads through the neighborhood. We partner with local groups who are eager to take CicLAvia fans on a deeper journey into those communities. Our CicLAvia Explores partners have revealed the hidden history of neighborhoods in North Hollywood, Venice and Pasadena.
Our Explores events have opened up the eyes and mouths of participants to fantastic food in East LA and Downtown. We’ve explored the visual expressions of artists in South LA. And at our first event, we brought together some of the best and brightest minds in transportation to talk about the changing streets of Los Angeles.
After each Explores outing, we hope participants return to these communities on a CicLAvia event day and share what they have discovered with their family and friends. In other words, we are building a deeper connection between the communities we visit, the people who live there and each other.
So, come on out tomorrow night and join us at Culver City’s Backyard Bash from 5 PM to 9 PM. Get a jumpstart on discovering the shops and restaurants (and bars!) downtown Culver City has to offer, and impress your friends with your Culver City expertise when you return on August 9 for CicLAvia – Culver City Meets Venice Presented by Metro. See you downtown tomorrow night