dsc5285More than 15,000 people participated in Sunday’s Cyclovia Tucson (more photos) making it the highest attended Cyclovia ever.

The total marks a 50 percent increase from the 10,000 people who attended the first event earlier this month.

Kylie Walzak, the event’s organizer, said the new route likely played a part in the increase.

“It seemed like a very different crowd,” she said.

According to a preliminary analysis of a survey conducted by Pima Association of Governments 74 percent of the attendees of the April 28 event did not participate in the April 7 event.

Walzak said she learned a lot by organizing a ride with a new route.

“We received  a lot of positive feedback about the route,” Walzak said. “A liner route is awesome. We’ll also continue to move the route around to different neighborhoods to get people who may not come out to where the other ones were held.

Moving the route around to new neighborhoods can be a challenge however.

“Every time the route is new or changed it takes time to educate people,” Walzak said. “There were a lot of people who didn’t know or weren’t prepared. Ninety percent of the work of letting people know about the event happens in the first year and then people remember  in the following years.”

There were more incidents with residents along the route being frustrated about trying to get in and out of their neighborhood, but Walzak said Karin Uhlich the council woman who represents the area the ride went through, received mostly positive feedback.

Cyclovia organizers will host a community meeting with the neighborhoods to discuss what worked and didn’t work for the residents in the area.

Walzak said she wants to investigate changing the time for the events from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. since the peak times for both Cyclovias were between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Finally, Walzak said she wants to work on organizing a fall event. She said she sees a need for doing events like this more frequently.

“We’ve seen increased momentum for these kinds of events,” she said. “Every city that is doing open streets events are seeing increases in people engaging and participating. The more often you can do these events, the better it is.”

Walzak said it takes about $100,000 in money and donations from business to make an event like Cyclovia happen. A recent Cyclovia update has ways to help put together the next one.

12 thoughts on “Sunday’s Cyclovia biggest event ever”
  1. Thank you to all Cyclovia people. You are ALL KINDS of awesome! =)  A big “Yes!” to more events.  A 9am-2pm time slot sounds great.  And please, please, please, investigate the viability of hosting one of these Cyclovias  on a Saturday?  Most of these great bike-related events take place on Sundays, leaving out a slew of folks who have to work on that day.  People are just hungry for more of these events! And more adult novice  bike-riding/safety classes…and more bike shops in town that offer commuter/dutch/adult tricycle/cargo style bikes in all price ranges (ie: not just for the wealthy). Its so hard to find things like that in Tucson proper. Ajo bikes carriers some (and they are a great bike shop), but they are waaay out there, and not all folks do the SUV thing, so no way to carry one home.  A LOT more people would take up riding as an everyday thing, if it was made just a little more convenient.
    Anybody with money getting a hankering to open such a bike shop in, say, Midtown area? =)

  2. Well, waaay out there is only 3½ miles from campus. It’s a perception thing (ref. today’s first Link article). Last July, the Tuesday Night Bike Ride got rather close, I thought, to Ajo Bikes on some new multi-use paths in that area, but I haven’t been back in the daytime. It’s hard to keep up with the paths that have been added in areas you don’t frequent, but some are out there. Along with back streets that have few cars, it can be your own personal Cyclovia.
    In zz’s world, there would be a spur route to Ajo bikes.

  3. I hear you, ZZ, but to an elderly person, or one just starting out, or one with disabilities, or one without a car, or one too afraid to ride a major road with cars while only separated by a stripe of paint, or any combination thereof, that can become  a daunting trip.  Now, I don’t happen to know what a “spur” route is (will do the Google thing), but a separate bike route (as in car-free) to that area would sure be cool! =)

  4. @zz That’s the problem isn’t it?  We have some superb paths and bike ways but many of them lack connections.  Wend your way through the maze on 3rd St to Wilmot and you’re just stuck.  Julian Wash rocks but how do I get there?  Ajo bikes is a tough ride if you’re at all adverse to being near cars.  If you think about it Fairwheel is also tough to get to, Pima Bikes same thing.  Ordinary is the only bike store I can conjure up in my head that’s off of a main st.  I think what you might be saying Gabrielle is that that we live in a city built for cars not bikes and peds.  
    I ride to market on Sunday mornings.  This past week I went out on Saturday. There was a lot more traffic at the same time Saturday than there is on a Sunday and I’m guessing that’s one reason Cyclovia is on Sunday not Saturday. It’s just a guess but having worked this past Sunday’s Cyclovia I’m here to tell you that there were more than a couple of fairly irate drivers miffed at their inability to cross Blacklidge.  It would only have been worse on a Saturday.

  5. @Orvis. That makes sense. There IS a lot more traffic on Saturdays. And yeah… I had to work on the 28th and had to drive (too far to ride, at east at my skill level) and let me tell you that while I had a big ear-to-ear grin (though with more than a bit of wistfulness), I saw some people literally pounding on their steering wheels,  with veins ‘a poppin’ on their foreheads, obviously cussing loudly inside their cages. I guess hell hath no fury like  that of some Christians who are late for church!  =) =)

  6. @Randy Garmon  Travis’s reaction is not unreasonable given the context of our society and the expectations that folks have regarding their ability to get places in an automobile.  I live smack dab in the middle of Street Fair and for decades I had a similar reaction.  You live in your house and you’re used to the routine of the week, the ebb and flow of the traffic and noise and one day it’s just all turned upside down.  It doesn’t help that our society sees roadways as an entitlement for automobiles.  Travis does have it somewhat wrong though. He does have a right to move freely but it isn’t by car it’s on foot.  I like his use of hipster as a pejorative.  Ad hominem fallacy is such a compelling argument.  A drum circle in front of your house would be kind of annoying.  I’m no fan of the steel drums every other St Fair.

  7. @Orvis RE: Mr. Reid’s reaction:  understandable … yes; unreasonable … no.  I agree with the remainder of your comments.

  8. @Randy Garmon That should have been “not unreasonable … no”.

  9. The undertone of cyclovias is to get folks to operate outside their routine a little.
    And, unlike the street fair, they are not centered around commerce.
    Two rather ‘un-American’ aspects.  Greater political support would go a long way toward general acceptance and ease of planning. Our local planners for these events did a superb job.

  10. I just read the link to the Az Daily Star’s Letter to the Editor that Randy Garmon posted. Wow. That fella sure presents a mixture of righteous indignation and self-entitlement. Especially with that “dire” warning at the end of his rant. Does he own that entire neighborhood? Because I would actually like to hear what the rest of folks living thereabouts had to say, both good and bad.  As far as I know, and have heard, there were no piles of trash left behind by the cyclists and/or vendors. If there was such disregard, I’m sure the folks that organize Cyclovia would like to know, since they seem to be a rather conscientious bunch.
    In my opinion, it is EXACTLY that kind of road rage/ road entitlement that calls for us to have fully separated transport infratructure. As in: Sidewalk (for exclusive use by pedestrians), then bike path,  then SOLID barriers and/or automobile parking and then, car lanes. Or, fully working paths/boulevards geared towards bikes and pedestrian use that either exclude cars altogether, or slow then way down (ie: residential street speed limits/calming).

  11. @zz We all act in our self interest.  You, me, Travis.  Greater political support would be fantastic!  In no way do I mean to suggest that the planners of this event were falling down on their job in any way.  It was a great event, I wish I could have seen more of but I spent my morning at Blacklidge and Cherry helping Travis and friends find a way around the bicycles.  Sure the St Fair is centered around commerce but my previous experience of St Fair was likely fairly analogous to Travis’s reaction to Cyclovia.  Ok maybe not, I’m mad about all the cars and he’s mad about all the bikes.  Every time I see the Tuesday Night ride head down a local street, cars at bay I smile and think there’s hope for the world.  If Cyclovia went down my street I’d be thrilled.  
    I’ll be curious as to what emerges from the event post mortem next week.

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