Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Clemson Ciclovia

Did I get your attention? No, there's not one happening, but if it did, would you participate?

Photo of a Ciclovia Event
Ciclovia is Spanish for "bike path." In Bogota, Columbia, the people started hosting car-free Sundays on major roads, and called it a "Ciclovia." It was a movement to recapture the city at the pedestrian level. People came out to walk, bike, skate and run on the streets. It reconnected people to each other, the city and to a healthier lifestyle. Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, Madison, WI., and other cities in the US have hosted events with tremendous success.

I was able to participate in one of the first Ride the Drive events in Madison. A friend and I biked the typically-car-filled route several times at a relaxed pace. We stopped at a few of the stations sponsors had set up along the way - we outlined our bodies in chalk on John Nolen Dr., stopped for a few snacks, passed bicycle repair stations and admired all the different types of bicycles and bicycle riders that came out. It was really fun! (Photo credit.) What was the point? Well, besides obstructing traffic for a few hours on a Sunday, it got people out on their bikes along routes that people were familiar with in a relaxed atmosphere. There was no race, and a lot of fun.

Ride the Drive. Madison, WI.
What route do you think a ciclovia would be fun and successful to ride along in your community? In Clemson, I could see a route down College Ave and following the perimeter of the University campus - along 93 Hwy to Perimeter Road, Perimeter Road to Cherry, and Cherry back to 93, including the heart of Clemson's Campus. In Greenville, would the route include N. Main Street, S. Academy Street and include parts of the Swamp Rabbit Trail? How about in Anderson, Spartanburg or even Walhalla?

Ciclovia's are can be inspirational. They can be a catalyst for biking in a community - take bike planning and propel it into bike action, energy, momentum. It's hard to stop once you start - pedaling, that is.


  1. I'd participate in a Clemson Ciclovia! That's a great route, too. I would add riding down 123, heading east in front of City Hall, then riding along 76 to meet up with 93. That route usually has a lot of traffic--which means, it would be great fun to bike there. And, it means that there's the potential to encourage people to bike the next time they need to travel along these routes.

  2. Great suggestions! Glad to hear you'd be up for it.