Lots of good coverage of Sunday’s CicloSDias event that spanned City Heights, North Park, South Park, Grant Hill and Logan Heights, including BikeSD and Voice of San Diego. Rather than repeat what they’ve reported I’ll describe our experience, which surpassed our already high hopes for the day.
We started off at the eastern end of the route at Cherokee Elementary, where we picked up our gear for donating to the event on fundly.org. We also ran into our friend and neighbor Dan Soderberg, who’s worked extensively with the folks at SOHO San Diego and helped stop the Irwin Jacobs Balboa Park abomination. Check out the video he put together from Sunday.
From there we headed down Wightman, amazed to be riding in the middle of the westbound lane. People were on their front porches and lawns, enjoying the break from auto traffic and watching the variety of bikes passing by. It was heartening to see so many kids riding safely on their own streets – they seemed to be having just as much fun as the adults. One blip came up as we entered North Park when I was waved through an intersection just before a car was waved through by the other volunteer. If it weren’t for Jay calling out for me to stop I’d have been up on the hood.
Taking the left down 30th and seeing the empty street in front of us – save for cyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders, joggers and pedestrians – was thrilling. I did a volunteer shift at the 30th and Upas hub, asking folks to fill out event surveys and label a map showing where they were from. Several people had come down from L.A. and other points north. One quibble was that the city signs along the route did not properly explain what the event was; hopefully future versions will address that. Overall though, there were two positive refrains from my conversations with survey-takers. The first: that an event like this, where we reclaimed a few streets from cars for a few hours, was long overdue. And the second was San Diego’s unrealized potential to be a great cycling city, given its climate and vibrant neighborhoods.
Next it was down the steep slope into Logan Heights for the southern terminus of the route, where delicious tacos awaited from the street vendors there. We ran into Dan again and rested up for the trip back up the hill – where I promptly blew a tire. Just as I started to change the tube, Jared from Performance Cycling in La Mesa came to our rescue with the proper change procedure and the smart idea of using a Cliff bar wrapper to keep the tube from coming out of the hole in the tire. We had to be at the airport in 90 minutes for the public Grand Tour of the Terminal 2 expansion (see below, plus the photo set), and that wrapper got me all the way home to Kensington. Thanks Jared!