Last weekend Princeton held an event I bet most people did not even know happened: Cyclovia.
"Ooohhh.... what is cyclovia," you ask? Ciclovia or cyclovia is a Spanish word for "cycleway," or a path free of cars to ride a bike. It is also known as Open Streets. This started in Bogata, Cali, Medellin, Columbia. As of 1974, in these cities they have certain main streets blocked off to cars on Sunday mornings from 7 AM to 2 PM.
In Princeton's case, they closed a stretch of Quaker Road from 1 - 4 PM on Sunday, June 28. Next year's date has not been announced. Locals recognize this as a road that is closed so often due to flooding it has its own gate blocking access from Nassau Park Pavilion to Princeton Pike/Mercer Street.
Here are some pictures from that day. The three of us rode out together. When we got to the halfway point at the Friends School there was a table from a couple of local bike safety groups. Don stopped by the Updike House where there was another table with another group. Unfortunately Ashley's rear tire popped (we suspect an over-inflation issue) and could not be patched on the spot. Don rode his bike home taking the short cut (along Princeton Pike) and got the car. Once he came back, he and Ashley drove home where he was able to fix the tire with a spare tube. Meanwhile I rode the 7 miles back home again.
As a new cyclist I am learning to appreciate wide bike lanes and riding without cars. I've always tried to give cyclists a wide berth in case the unexpected happens, but not everyone does. While waiting for Don I studied a map someone created trying to show which roads are safe, and which ones (like Route 1) to avoid. Even some of the "safe" ones seemed scary to me as a new rider and a mom. Hopefully events like this will show, just like in the movie "Field of Dreams," if we build it, they will come.