Dreary weather, low turnout and miserable conditions for the volunteers forced Cyclovia organizers to shut down the third-annual event down early yesterday afternoon.
The event was scheduled to last until 3 p.m., but organizer Emily Yetman made the decision to end it at 12:30 p.m.
“It was really hard, Yetman said of the decision to end Cyclovia early. “I mean the whole weekend was hard.”
She said they struggled with whether or not to cancel the event when it became clear the storm was going to hit Tucson, but decided to go forward with it because they had invested so much time and money and wouldn’t be able to get it back.
She said they were very specific about having it on March 18 because it was the one weekend where the event wouldn’t conflict with other major events.
“We didn’t have a backup date available and also a huge portion of our funding goes to doing the outreach that is necessary to get the neighborhoods on board and get the word out to the region specifically tied to the day,” she said.
In the end, the organizers decided to proceed and hope for the best.
“We gave it our best shot,” Yetman said. “We got be out there for a couple hours and people came out. I think we had at least a couple hundred people out, which was great. At some point we realized it wasn’t fair to ask all our volunteers and staff to be out there soaked and cold.”
Yetman said she and the other event organizers will sit down in the next few days to see where they stand funding wise and try to see if doing a second Cyclovia this spring is feasible.
She said there are a lot of hurdles they will have to overcome to pull a second event off so soon and with a depleted budget.
“It is a pretty big endeavor, but i think we are all pretty bummed out,” Yetman said. “We didn’t walk away with that feeling of like, ‘Oh my gosh Cyclovia happened today and it was amazing.’ It’s hard to think of waiting a whole year to feel that.”
Check out the video at the top of the post to experience the 2012 Cyclovia Tucson. Did you go? Any stories from the ride?
One of my neighbors was a volunteer yesterday. Despite the wind, rain, and cold, she had a great time. Heck, she's that kind of neighbor. Looks on the sunny side no matter what the weather is.
Any-hoo, I'd be in favor of another Cyclovia this spring. And, hey, while we're at it, let's go for the gusto and have another one this fall.
BTW, Mexico City has a weekly event that's like a Cyclovia. If they can do it, we certainly can. Here's Erik Ryberg's first-person account: