On Saturday, September 22, UWSP Adventure Tours is putting on Stevens Point’s inaugural Ciclovia WI. The event is free and open to the public. You can join in the fun anytime between 10AM and 2PM.
Ciclovia WI is inspired by similar events around the world which temporarily close public streets to motor vehicle traffic (in the same way a parade does) in order to create a linear park for all people – including children and the elderly – to safely walk, bicycle, skate…or simply linger and chat with friends, old and new. These temporary linear parks connect with city parks where family-oriented activities are scheduled.
A map of the route for Ciclovia WI can be found here. The 7 mile route traverses the north portion of Stevens Point, connecting Pfiffner Park, Bukolt Park, the Stevens Point Scuplture Park, Schmeeckle Reserve, and the UWSP dormitory area. Free activities at these Active Rest Stops include Zumba and Yoga classes, bicycle maintenance demos, a Skate Jam, and a Kid’s Zone.
It is important to note that the route on Ciclovia WI will NOT be closed to motor vehicle traffic. Although inspired by events which include street closures, Adventure Tours was not able to get permission to close any streets for the first Ciclovia WI. The route does include several car-free stretches on some of the many multi-use paths available in Stevens Point. But participants who follow the Ciclovia WI route on city streets should remain aware of all vehicles on the roads and follow all traffic laws to ensure everyone’s safety.
The origins of ciclovias can be traced to Bogota, Columbia, where the first one took place in 1976. The Bogota ciclovia is now a weekly event with 70 miles of street closures enjoyed by approximately 2 million people.
Over the past few years, these events have started to spread across the United States. Portland, OR now offers 5 Sunday Parkways annually, New York City runs 3 Summer Streets each year, and Madison hosts 2 Ride The Drive events every summer.
Since the concept of a ciclovia is new to most people, it is worth mentioning how it differs from the typical walk/run/bike events staged by local organizations. On Ciclovia WI, there is no start or end location. You can show up any time between the operating hours (10AM – 2PM) and stay for as short or as long a time as you please. You can merely visit one or two of the Active Rest Stops that seem fun, or you can complete the entire loop in either direction – once or as many times as you wish. It should be apparent that Ciclovia WI is non-competitive, no one tracks your time, and the only goal is to have fun.
The best way to learn what Ciclovia WI is all about is to show up and see for yourself.
For more information, check out the Ciclovia WI website here.
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