Los Angeles being a city of self-promoters, there was of course a press conference, which yer editor attended, happily surrounded by fellow cyclists, politicians, media mannequins, and just plain folk fired up by memories of the happiness the last three street openings brought to the city. Our ever-dapper Mayor, Tony Villaraigosa, introduced City Council members, NGO coordinators, and various city staff that had had a hand in organizing CicLAvia--and also unveiled a new PSA, a poster addressing the Spanish-speaking residents of LA, reminding them to be careful around cyclists, because "your family also rides a bike."
In truth, the speeches were (mercifully), pertinent, clever, and short, and everyone, from the functionaries bound in their dark grey suits to the Real Rydaz lowrider bike crew from South LA, felt relaxed and joyful--perhaps in anticipation of another few hours of the city's biggest and most inclusive party, soon to come.
Several speakers noted that merchants are also gleeful with anticipation, many having reported record crowds at their establishments during the last CicLAvia. In a city where neighborhood commerce is often neglected in favor of the megacorporate chains, this is good news indeed--and the speakers went on to state that dollars spent during the ride largely stayed within the city's economy, turning the ripple effect into the tide that lifts all boats.
For photos from the first three CicLAvias, see the Bicycle Fixation Flickr page:
And if you're in LA in a week and half...don't miss it!
More info at CicLAvia.org.