I’m not going to recap yesterday’s festivities because it’s all been amply done over at Tucson Velo. Suffice to say that the Cyclovia, which has been a dream of mine for several years, was a huge success.
When I started this blog almost three years ago it was in part out of revulsion for the idea that Tucson might become a “Platinum” bike-friendly city (an application for that status was being prepared at the time). I did not think we deserved it, and I feared that if we got that award we would have no incentive to continue improving. I still don’t think we deserve the highest award, but I am growing a lot more convinced that we are deserving of our current “gold” status, and the changes I have seen just in the last few years astonish me. Bicycles and bicycling are rapidly becoming more common in this city, and riding is becoming more safe. I am no longer the only person riding a bike around town in a suit and tie. More and more upright bikes are appearing with regular folks using them to get around. Drivers are getting used to us, and more tolerant. There is a greater diversity of age and gender among the people on bikes now, which signals that more people feel comfortable and safe on a bicycle. And the city is pretty much behind us. Mayor Walkup rode the Cyclovia and had intelligent things to say about it.
I want to say that we owe the volunteers who put the Cyclovia together, from scratch, on short notice, with next to no money, a huge thank-you. They include Jennifer Donofrio, Tom Thivener and Ann Chaneka from Tucson and Pima County governments, and many local folks who contributed their time and skills to pulling this thing off. If I try to list them I will leave people out, so I am not going to start, but many hard-working people donated their design skills, their computer skills, and their time. Daniela Diamente was corralled and talked into taking the lead just two months ago and she pretty much got the whole thing off the ground.
A round of applause to all. I’m proud to live in Tucson.