CicloSDias celebration to make Pacific Beach streets ‘car-free’ for a day
The bicycling tradition of ciclovía, a mass recreation event that shuts roads to automobile access and allows unfettered bicycling and pedestrian use, began in Bogotá, Colombia in the 1970s.
In the decades since, ciclovía has become a weekly tradition in the Colombian city. It is this tradition that has inspired the CycloSDias event in San Diego, put on by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Bike for Humanity.
For the upcoming event on Sunday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., three miles of Pacific Beach streets are set to be closed to car traffic, allowing people to explore their neighborhoods by biking, walking and skating. The event area will extend on Garnet Avenue from Ingraham Street to Mission Boulevard, and on Diamond Street from Mission to Cass Street.
This event will be the fifth ride for Bike for Humanity and the 10th event put on by the Bike Coalition. This will be the second time a CycloSDias event has been hosted in Pacific Beach. The event was organized in collaboration with BeautifulPB and DiscoverPB, the business improvement district for the community. Representatives from the city of San Diego will be on hand, and local businesses will be accessible during the day.
“It’s really collaborative, this is an ‘all-worlds-collide’ kind of event,” said Kerin McGibben, an event organizer for Bike for Humanity.
Andrew Hanshaw, executive director of the Bike Coalition, said that the event provides a safe, car-free Sunday for families and people of all ages and abilities to enjoy a street however they like.
“It’s a chance to give the streets to the people for a day, car-free, to enjoy other forms of mobility,” Hanshaw said. “It’s not just for bicycling, it’s an open street for walking, for skating, for rollerblading, for connecting with your local businesses. It’s for community building.”
Bill Walton, co-founder of Bike for Humanity, will be accompanying the Electric Waste Band on bongos for a free Grateful Dead tribute set Sunday evening at Aquarius Bar and Grille.
The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is a nonprofit agency that advocates for bicycle safety and encourages people to take bicycling as a mode of transportation. Their advocacy efforts have helped the recently opened Rose Creek bike path, which connects bicyclists from Pacific Beach to UC San Diego, come to fruition in May.
“This is a critical time to see these projects get done, and get done well, in order to give people the choice to move through more places by bicycle,” Hanshaw said. “In the near future, you’ll see protected downtown bike lanes start to grow and connect to create a nine-mile cycle track network downtown for the growing number of residents and employees.”
The CicloSDias event was put on as a way to celebrate bicycle advocacy and educate the public on healthy mobility options.
“We saw the need for this to happen in the city of San Diego,” Hanshaw said of adopting the ciclovía model. “The Bike coalition has been able to help move it along and now we’ve got a pretty good formula for success in having a great event wherever we do it.”
Apart from celebrating the accomplishments of bicycle advocacy in San Diego, another significant cause that will be at the focus of the event is the Free Bikes 4 Kids campaign. Free Bikes 4 Kids is an organization that raises funds to refurbish bicycles and give them to deserving children. Bike for Humanity, which began as an operation that hosted virtual bike rides to benefit coronavirus charities, has partnered with the Free Bikes 4 Kids initiative as of this year.
Proceeds from Sunday’s event will also help fund the Free Bike campaign’s newest chapter in San Diego, some of whose members are also involved with the bicycle coalition.
“The last ride we did, our fourth ride with the coalition, we were focused on Free Bikes 4 Kids and raising funds for their organization,” McGibben said. “This next ride is to raise awareness for their new chapter in San Diego and generate donations that will go toward helping get them launched off the ground.”
For more information about Free Bikes 4 Kids, visit sdbikecoalition.org/fb4ksandiego/
For more information about the CicloSDias event, visit sdbikecoalition.org/event/ciclosdias-2021/