The Power of Two Wheels: Cyclovia and Bicycle Culture

This post was guest written by LFA Intern, Annie Munroe. Photo by Matt Harmon

Sunday November 2nd, 2014 marked the 7th Cyclovia event in Tucson Arizona. Organized by Living Streets Alliance, Cyclovia, a free public and family friendly bicycling event began when a small group of community members sought to improve quality of life, encourage participants to participate in physical activities, and to increase awareness of cycling as a safe mode of transportation. An estimated 30,000 people participated at this event with a wide range of ages.

The roads were blocked off to insure safety for all participants along thi15576679610_52f7d2e62a_zs 2.6-mile route that explored various neighborhoods around downtown Tucson. There were four hubs along the route and at each hundreds of volunteers helped to hand out water or sell t-shirts.  Many local business participated as Activity Partners providing interactive activities along the route with everything from orchestras and dancing to foam archery and food trucks.  Local First AZ partnered with Bookman’s Sports Exchange to hand out safety lights for bicycles and backpacks that kids could color while they took a break from a day full of activities.

BikeSeminarAd2Tucson, named one of the top 10 cycling cities in the country, brings in an estimated 72 million in tourism dollars, second only to the gem show. Not only do people travel here for short winter vacations but they train here, live here and may have winter homes here as well. If you are a business owner and daily riders can’t find a place to safely store their bike they might just ride on by. This doesn’t just apply to restaurants, bars or markets, but banks and corporate offices as well. Cyclists who don’t own cars have more discretionary income as costs associated with car ownership are decreased. To learn how to make your business more bicycle-friendly attend our Lunch and Learn Seminar November 19th.

This doesn’t just apply to Tucson either. With Phoenix’s burgeoning downtown districts we’ve been seeing an increase in apartments and condos. Mayor Greg Stanton is even demanding that Phoenix become a bikeable city. With increased awareness and encouragement for the cycling community there’s likely to be continued growth of an already large economic engine.