Walter Lutz, 41, bopped his head as he weaved in and out of traffic lanes Sunday in Chinatown. His 7-year-old daughter, Scarlette, giggled as she biked behind her father. Bright-colored leis dangled from Lutz's neck, complementing his luminous Hawaiian shirt with sunset and palm trees.
The word "CicLAvia" was painted across Lutz's straw hat.
"Each year, I try to do something different," Lutz said of participating in the bike festival. "I've walked and skateboarded" before.
His cargo bike toted a large music speaker that would be replaced with Scarlette's bike once she tired of riding. For now, the music of reggae artist Jimmy Cliff's "Blessed Love" could be heard by all.
Lutz's wife, Cris, said she tries to ride when she can. On the other hand, Walter commutes to work by bike. He said he's been biking all his life and CicLAvia gives him a chance to cruise with thousands of others.
"It's a fun party," Lutz said about the event. "Just being out on bikes and car free."
Organizers said more than 100,000 people were expected to participate in the eighth edition of CicLAvia, which is intended to get Angelenos to abandon their cars and rediscover their city on bicycles, skateboards, inline skates or on foot.
The event runs until 4 p.m. and covers roughly 7.5 miles of city streets in and around downtown.
Los Angeles held its first CicLAvia in October 2010 and has become increasingly popular. The idea of booting cars off the roads for pedestrians and cyclists was borrowed from Colombia, which began its weekly Ciclovía more than 30 years ago.
The event is intended to promote health and community, while raising awareness about pollution and alternate modes of transportation.