Thousands of cyclists and pedestrians on Sunday took over Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena for the first CicLAvia bike festival to be held outside Los Angeles, officials said.
The popular festival, which is held in different locations throughout the year, is intended to encourage people to abandon their cars for the day to explore their environment on bikes, skateboards or on foot, organizers said. The idea is to promote a clean environment and good health.
The event, which began at 9 a.m., runs until 4 p.m. The 3.5-mile route runs along Colorado Boulevard, between Fair Oaks and Bonnie avenues, with links on Raymond Avenue and Lake Avenue that will take participants to local parks.
"It's amazing already," CicLAvia spokesman Robert Gard said early Sunday. "There are also a lot of people who are walking today, which is very cool to see."
A number of activities have been set up along the route – including yoga sessions, a farmers market, a mixed-media art project at the Armory Center for the Arts and music in the bandshell at Levitt Pavilion. John Muir High School's Mighty Mustang Drum Corps is scheduled to perform along Raymond Avenue.
Ciclovias, as they are known in Spanish, started in Bogota, Colombia, more than 30 years ago as a response to increasing congestion and pollution. They have since spread through Latin America and the United States.
The tradition came to Los Angeles in 2010.
The next CicLAvia will be on Aug. 9, with a route meandering from Culver City to Venice Beach. It will be the first time the event goes through a significant portion of Culver City, Gard said.