The Ciclovía Movement

The Ciclovia (roughly translated as the closing of city streets to automobiles for the enjoyment of cyclists and public alike) originated in Bogotá Colombia long ago and this unicyclist hopes it catches on in Louisville Kentucky with the first annual CycLOUvia. Of course anytime they close the streets, I’m there with my geared 36er. But, whereas the Bi-annual Hike, Bike, and Paddle takes you thru the heart of downtown, the CycLOUvia takes place in the beatnik neighborhoods of Bardstown road where us hippies feel right at home. Rest assured I will be representing for the full four hour period.

We have a good one in San Francisco, called “Sunday Streets.” They tried one in Oakland called “Oaklavia” which sounded a little too much like a part of the female anatomy and wasn’t very successful (although we did play perhaps the first-ever game of unicycle four-square). “Berkeley Streets” is coming up in a couple of weeks.

It’s always great to be reminded that cities are for people, not cars.

We have another one coming up in LA a week from Sunday. Anyone going? I will be out with some bicycling friends this time.

Here is an excerpt from the 10 o’clock news last night where I was interviewed by WDRB Fox 41. They cut a bunch of it out but oddly decided to leave the portion of my tired and lazy ass using a street post as a mounting assist. Not sure I could have freemounted at that point. My legs were jello before the days end.

Given 4 hours, I was planning on riding my age (ended up with just a bit over 30 miles on the odometer) and I could have done it too but it got way too crowded (hundreds turned into thousands) and I was only able to use my high gear coming down the top of the hill that nobody else felt like climbing.

I had a couple of nasty UPDs. The worst was caused by an errant skateboard that “accidentally” got away from some punk kids. Then there was one where I dodged a football and came off the front. My favorite was the parade of protesters who, taking up my lane, tried to run me off the road but that one was on purpose on my next lap when I ran straight into the horizontal pole use to carry their banner. I went right over the front of that bitch, got up, wiped myself off and said rather loudly “the center lanes are for cyclists, the right and left lanes are for pedestrians!” We might need to put up barriers next year. Too many people (even cyclist) stopping in the middle of the road to chat. Considered grabbing my 29er out of the truck but then the terrorists win, right? I was glad to see the yoga instructors put their mats out for the demo, just keep it in the right (or left) lane. We’ve got 4 lanes and cyclists get the center two. They might want to put that little tidbit in BIG BOLD letters on next year’s invite.

There are many bars and restaurants lining the street (like Champs-Elysées in Paris except with beatniks and hippies) so the cheers and jeers (got my fill of Entrance of the Gladiators) got louder with each passing hour. All in good fun. Enjoy the video. More still shots to follow.

I’ll copy and paste the article below in case the link goes dead.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) – Hundreds of cyclists, walkers and runners flooded Bardstown Road Sunday as the city shut down a stretch of the road for cycLOUvia - an effort to promote a more pedestrian and bike-friendly environment.

The event is modeled after similar events in the U.S. and South America. The road was shut down to promote local businesses and healthy lifestyle.

Mike King, with Louisville Metro Goverment’s Economic Growth and Innovation department, said the city earned $3,000 through an online “kickstarter” campaign to help pay for the police presence, which blocked traffic but allowed a few cars to pass at Eastern Parkway and Grinstead Drive.

There were a few traffic backups from drivers trying to cross the road.

“Some motorists might get upset about today, but I’m loving every minute of it. Thank you,” said David Hood, an avid unicyclist.

Hood, 44, road back and forth along Bardstown Road on a 54-inch tire for his unicycle, a sport he took up at the age of 10.

“It was interesting when we first told (the business owners) we’d shut down Bardstown Road, their jaws hit the floor. But they thought about it and it’s been really successful,” said King.

City workers took surveys Sunday to see if there were any problems. The event is expected to return.

Wow, putting a Schlumpf on a 54" wheel is really crazy! :smiley:

We’ve got a similar event they’ve been trying to get going here (it’s happened twice a year for the last couple years, but the most recent one moved to a more remote part of town, so I think it’s dying). Anyhow, I’ve made it to most of them on my 36er. Even when it’s not crowded, people are wacky and not paying attention. Very fun to do, but not the kind of place to try to get in a lot of miles or ride at speed. I’ve also previously ridden in GG park in SF on Sundays on bike when I was a kid, and my memory of that also gives me the impression that it would not be a good place to track up miles. Sounds like it was a great event if there were thousands of people - maybe next time slow down and enjoy the crowd? :slight_smile:

So much win! And cool segment on the news! In Portland, Oregon, we have Sunday Parkways, which I would love to attend, but downtown Portland is a cruel, cruel mistress and I avoid it at nearly all costs, especially if there is some large event going on, which makes parking even harder than usual!


Uh, why would you park? Take your uni on the train.