Freewheeling at CicLAvia
April 12, 2012
A hundred bikes will be available for 90 minute reservations at the upcoming edition of CicLAvia, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 15th. Each person can reserve a maximum of two bikes. Helmets will not be provided, so riders are strongly encouraged to bring their own. The bikes will be located at the MacArthur Park and El Pueblo “hubs” for start times of 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. For a full event map, click here.
Ethan Fiamingo, chief technical officer for Bike Nation, said most reservations so far have been made by people who live downtown or by public officials who don’t want to haul their own bikes or perhaps don’t have one. As of Wednesday, only 130 of about 300 available time slots were filled, but the bulk of demand is expected to come from “walk up” traffic.
Bike Nation has provided cycles for events in the past, but none of the magnitude of CicLAvia. The company approached CicLAvia organizers during preparations for the October, 2011, event, which drew tens of thousands of participants.
“Any time they shut down the streets of L.A. for something, you know it’s going to be huge,” Fiamingo said.
Bike Nation was one of several companies that participated in Metro’s “bike sharing demonstration” earlier this year (see video above). Acting on a July, 2011, motion by Metro board member Zev Yaroslavsky and others, Metro began planning for a permanent bike share program to provide short-term, automated bike rentals. Bike sharing is designed to give commuters a way to get to and from mass transit stops near their homes and workplaces, as well as provide a healthy alternative to short car trips for errands. Similar systems are already in place in Denver, Paris and Washington D.C.
“We have been working with the city and organizations like Metro for the past two years to bring bike sharing to L.A.,” said Derek Fretheim, Bike Nation’s chief operating officer. “CicLAvia seemed to be a worthwhile event to increase bicycling awareness and bicycle behavior.”