More than 15,000 people participated in Sunday’s Cyclovia Tucson (more photos) making it the highest attended Cyclovia ever.
The total marks a 50 percent increase from the 10,000 people who attended the first event earlier this month.
Kylie Walzak, the event’s organizer, said the new route likely played a part in the increase.
“It seemed like a very different crowd,” she said.
According to a preliminary analysis of a survey conducted by Pima Association of Governments 74 percent of the attendees of the April 28 event did not participate in the April 7 event.
Walzak said she learned a lot by organizing a ride with a new route.
“We received a lot of positive feedback about the route,” Walzak said. “A liner route is awesome. We’ll also continue to move the route around to different neighborhoods to get people who may not come out to where the other ones were held.
Moving the route around to new neighborhoods can be a challenge however.
“Every time the route is new or changed it takes time to educate people,” Walzak said. “There were a lot of people who didn’t know or weren’t prepared. Ninety percent of the work of letting people know about the event happens in the first year and then people remember in the following years.”
There were more incidents with residents along the route being frustrated about trying to get in and out of their neighborhood, but Walzak said Karin Uhlich the council woman who represents the area the ride went through, received mostly positive feedback.
Cyclovia organizers will host a community meeting with the neighborhoods to discuss what worked and didn’t work for the residents in the area.
Walzak said she wants to investigate changing the time for the events from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. since the peak times for both Cyclovias were between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Finally, Walzak said she wants to work on organizing a fall event. She said she sees a need for doing events like this more frequently.
“We’ve seen increased momentum for these kinds of events,” she said. “Every city that is doing open streets events are seeing increases in people engaging and participating. The more often you can do these events, the better it is.”
Walzak said it takes about $100,000 in money and donations from business to make an event like Cyclovia happen. A recent Cyclovia update has ways to help put together the next one.