Those who participated in the first 2013 Cyclovia Tucson event earlier this month will find some distinct differences with this year's second Cyclovia taking place this Sunday.
While the mission is the same - to create an event free of motorized transportation to inspire the community and promote physical fitness - the route is brand new.
It will stretch through four miles of midtown from Keeling Desert Park, 245 E. Glenn St., to just beyond Brandi Fenton Park, at 3482 E. River Road, where it will connect with the 110-mile multiuse path dubbed "The Loop" at the Rillito River.
Rather than run in a circuit, which is how it has traditionally been done in Tucson, this time the path will be linear.
"We were toying with the idea of a linear route," said Kylie Walzak, coordinator for all of the Cyclovia Tucson events. "We've seen it done successfully in other cities, places like Atlanta and L.A. Los Angeles has 15 miles of streets set up in a linear fashion for its Cyclovia."
Walzak said the route was chosen through a public input process setup on the Cyclovia website that asked where the next event should be held.
The two neighborhoods that came up the most were the North Dodge neighborhood and the Keeling neighborhood.
"Anecdotally, when we did our outreach here, people have been very excited because they say these are commuter-friendly neighborhoods," Walzak said.
The event will feature similar types of activities along the way; an array of interactive exhibitions to entertain visitors such as a bike decorating station and solar demonstrations.
Walzak said the idea for Cyclovia in Tucson was to create an opportunity for people to explore their surroundings, whether they do it on a bike, skates or by foot.
"We wanted to highlight roads that on non-Cyclovia days, people can feel comfortable biking on or riding on," Walzak said. "They have relatively low traffic. Streets like Mountain Avenue have nice wide sidewalks that are offset from the street so they are pleasant to walk on."
About 10,000 people attended the last Cyclovia event on April 7.
Walzak said that because this is a new route, organizers aren't positive they will get that many, but they are hopeful.
"We would be thrilled if that many people showed up," she said.
In the future, the Cyclovia steering committee hopes to have four to five routes that would run at different times throughout the year.
"This is not a competitive race that requires people to register ahead of time," she said. "It is an opportunity for people to check out the streets and explore."
if you go
• What: Cyclovia.
• When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
• Where: The new linear route runs from Keeling Desert Park, 245 E. Glenn St., to just beyond Brandi Fenton Park, 3482 E. River Road.
• Cost: Free.
• Details: cycloviatucson.org
Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at email@example.com or 807-8430.