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2UrbanGirls speaks to the East Side Riders BC

It appears that nearly twice a week 2UrbanGirls is reading about death.  Those who ride their bikes are being slaughtered at the hands of motorists at an increasingly alarming rate.  This is of concern because the message of bike advocates/groups don’t preach to cyclists about being safe, instead they preach to car drivers about “sharing the road“.

Metro has recently started a campaign announcing that every lane is a bike lane.  2UrbanGirls disagrees, in fact, Metro should focus their efforts on ensuring cyclists are safe.  Bikes need more lights on them, they need a horn to alert a driver that they are coming up on their blind side and most importantly, cyclists MUST get off their bike and WALK through an intersection.  How many times have you nearly missed hitting someone who came flying off the corner riding their bike?

Ghost Bike in Gardena, CA

Ghost Bike in Gardena, CA

The Eastside Riders Bicycle Club goes around the city and places “Ghost Bikes” at the scene of most accidents around South LA involving the loss of life of a cyclist.  2UrbanGirls spoke with Executive Director of Eastside Riders BC, John Jones, and asked how did the idea of the “Ghost Bikes” come about.

Ghostbike.org tells it best. But we learned about Ghost Bikes about 3 years ago when we seen a tragic accident on the news and thought some should do something about it. I called up my buddy from Eastside Bike Club in El Sereno Carlos Morales and he said do a ghost bike. A ghost bike is a bike painted all white and left at scenes all across the world in memorial for cyclist killed while riding their bike. We left our first bike in Compton for Ovidio Morales. We learned of another cyclist about 7 months ago in Gardena named Benjamin Torres. A bike was already left for him so we met the family and I felt the need to do something. So I promised them a bike ride every month in his name. #benjamintorres ride. As we were doing these rides for Benji we met a guy named Danny Gamboa and he is the founder of ghostbikes la. He asked us of an incident in Watts. We did research and went and left a bike for Sylvester Henderson. Shortly after we learned about another cyclist in la on 43rd street named Sergio Rodriguez and we left a bike for him. That bike was stolen and isn’t there anymore.

We then heard about this ride called Ride of Silence. We had planned to ride to all 4 sites but since there isn’t a bike on 43rd anymore we are just going to the 3. We have pics on our Facebook. Feel free to check them out.”

The Eastside Riders Bike Club is seeking donations to provide more community outreach efforts to promote the safe way to ride your bike.  Please consider contributing.  To read more about Eastside Riders BC visit their website.

**update**

22-year-old Vanessa Marie Yanez was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, perjury, filing a false police report and felony hit-and-run for the death of Jesse Dotson on June 26th.

Related articles

Gardena hit-and-run leaves bicyclist, 60, in critical condition (June 2013)

Bike Ride For Safety And Justice For Benjamin Torres (April 2013)


5 Responses so far.

  1. DW says:

    As someone who has ridden through the streets of LA on a bike and am very cautious- adhere traffic rules, look out for drivers in parked cars, don’t ride and listen to music/talk on the phone, etc. I would have been in an accident every time I rode from car divers that were simply not paying attention- pulling out into traffic looking past me (coming their direction), merging into my lane, doing sudden turns, flinging doors open out into traffic, driving by so close as to almost knock me down, etc. Not saying there aren’t wreckless bicyclists, but I can attest to drivers needing to pay more attention. Pedestrians and cyclists often do not have enough time to react to a 35+ mph moving vehicle.

    • UrbanGirl says:

      Have you participated in a Critical Mass Ride?

      UrbanGirl

      • DW says:

        I have heard of Critical Mass but I haven’t ridden with them. I plan on doing a future ride with BKOB (Black Kids on Bikes) but need to up my bike speed/stamina. They seem to have a lot of fun getting together.

  2. PDQ says:

    “A ghost bike is a bike painted all white and left at scenes all across the world in memorial for cyclist killed while riding their bike.”

    So of course you would also be in favor of a “ghost car” with a car painted all white and left at scenes all across the world in memorial for people driving or riding in cars who were killed while riding in a car?

    Let’s put this in perspective. Shall we? It’s not as if drivers are indiscriminately slaughtering people on bicycles. If you ride a motorcycle, you need to pay attention. If you’re a pedestrian, you need to pay attention. If you ride a bicycle, you need to pay attention. If you drive a motor vehicle, you need to pay attention.

    If you don’t pay attention, you may wind up dead.

    • UrbanGirl says:

      I am not in favor of a “ghost car” anymore than I am in favor of the popular “bait cars” the police leave around the city to entice criminal activity. The “ghost bike” is unique in that it reminds us to be more careful.

      Images are powerful tools. Isn’t that why our government doesn’t show images of soldiers coffins returning from combat?

About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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