This post is part of the “Weekend Inspiration Wednesday” series, meant to provide some adventure-planning inspiration in the middle of a long week.
Cities around the world are experimenting with taking the cars off the road for “open streets” or ciclovia/cyclovia days. The idea is to give the streets to cyclists and pedestrians for the day, in many cases paired with a festival of sorts including local music, food trucks, and the like. Although this is a newer phenomenon in the U.S, it is a longstanding tradition in many Latin American cities. According to Wikipedia, Ciclovia events originated in Bogota, Columbia in 1976. Bogota apparently closes 70 miles of streets to cars every Sunday now!
In our home city of Los Angeles, CicLAvia is our car-free event series, and we enjoy checking out the routes when we can. They select rotating routes every few months or so, and make their way around the greater LA Metro area. It is always a festive atmosphere, and an amazing place to people watch and check out some of cool bikes.
There are dozens of U.S. cities that are now hosting car-free days. Some of the major cities include Atlanta, Houston, Madison, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Antonio just to name a handful. There is also something called World Car-Free Day on September 22nd each year, encouraging drivers everywhere to give up their cars for a cay.
While these events are excellent motivators, we go car-free on many weekends without these events. Getting out of the car for the weekend encourages fitness, frugality, and environmentalism. We are bike people, though, so we love doing this. We commute by bike and pair travel with biking whenever we can.
So, this weekend, see if you can leave your car parked! If not the whole weekend, maybe just for a day. Maybe your town has a car-free event coming up that you can check out.
Do you have car-free days? If so, what are some of your favorite things about leaving your car at home?