It seemed there used to be a car for every person in Los Angeles. These days, it’s all about bicycling, anywhere and everywhere. Bicycling as a way of life has really taken a stand, especially in the last few years. This may be thanks to CicLAvia, an event taking place this Sunday where thousands of bicyclists, joggers, skaters and walkers pour in from all over the county to enjoy a ten-mile route of car-free streets spanning from Boyle Heights to Hollywood.
As Los Angeles works to improve alternative transportation methods, more cyclists have taken to the streets. For others, CicLAvia has posed an opportunity to ride without fear of car traffic.
The all-female bicycle brigade Ovarian Psycos have also joined the effort to promote cycling, but not without giving back to the community. Last Saturday, they hosted ResuWRENCHion at Proyecto Jardin in Boyle Heights, a free bike repair clinic in preparation for this weekend’s CicLAvia.
The event was also supported by various organizations such as The California Endowment, Food Not Bombs, The Flying Pigeon and Proyecto Jardin, among others. Bicyclists, young and old, not only get their bikes fixed but learned the tools to do it themselves with help from volunteer bike mechanics from Bici Libre and The Bike Oven, both bike repair shops located near the Downtown L.A. area.
After seeing many kids not able to ride at past CicLAvia events because they didn’t own bicycles or had them in disrepair, the Ovarian Psycos felt compelled to offer a chance for kids to participate. The group is also encouraging people to donate their bikes to unprivileged kids and hopes to spread awareness of the rising cultural change that is CicLAvia.
“We often think of LA as a place that’s full of cars, and people don’t get out of their car except to go from home to destination,” explained Magaly “La Maga” Miranda, member and webmistress of the Ovarian Psycos. “The benefits of cycling are enormous; from providing transportation, to getting healthy, to helping the environment. So to have CicLAvia in LA represents a real shift in a culture.”
For long-time bicyclists like Ray Vitia, a volunteer from Bici Libre, being able to teach people how to fix their bikes is a way of getting them into action.
“We feel that teaching people the tools empowers them to want to get up and out on their bike and get around town. I’m trying to dispel the notion that you need a car to get around LA,” said Vitia. He plans to have a bike repair post set up on the route’s 7th Street corner, open to anyone that may need it on Sunday.
According to Ovarian Psycos members, ResuWRENCHion will hopefully be the crossroads to bring a bike repair shop to Boyle Heights. “We’ve been working with the Bike Co-Op Committee to start our own bike repair space which will be hopefully opening up next spring,” said Miranda.
At this Sunday’s CicLAvia, the Ovarians will take part in the Adopt-an-Intersection program, setting up a post at 4th Street and Boyle Avenue to promote their next event, Clitoral Mass, taking place in August. Look out for them!
If you’d like to share photos of your favorite CicLAvia moments, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on our Facebook page.
CicLAvia is a free event open to the public. It will be held from 10 am-3 pm this Sunday, April 15, 2012. You can begin the route at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights on your bike, your two feet or any other method you prefer.
Click here for map of route