Good Samaritan’s 2011 Blessing of the Bicycles
Good Samaritan’s Blessing of the Bicycles is great event that takes place each year during Los Angeles’ Bike Week. Good Samaritan Hospital welcomes cyclists, community leaders, elected officials, healthcare workers and religious leaders to gather and to acknowledge fallen cyclists and to wish cyclists a healthy and safe year ahead. This morning’s event was undeterred by excellent spring rains.
Each year cyclists receive free breakfast, schwag including commemorative pins and water bottles, and free tune-ups (today courtesy of Pasadena’s Incycle.)
The 2011 Golden Spoke Award went to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his leadership on bike issues, especially since last year’s incident where he broke his elbow while cycling. Villaraigosa’s leadership has been key to CicLAvia’s success. In his brief speech (see vid above), he discussed expanding CicLAvia in the coming months.
Another honoree was Chris Bolivar, a cyclist who recently saved another cyclist’s prized bike from theft. Rather than recap, CicLAvia recommends you read the excellent story told well at BikinginLA.
On hand were religious leaders of many denominations from all over the globe, giving prayers, readings, chants and orations to keep cyclists safe. These included a reading of the bible passage from Ezekiel where he describes angels with “a wheel within a wheel.” It concluded with a procession where a priest sprinkles holy water on cyclists and their bikes before a short bike ride on the streets surrounding the hospital.
The real star of the show was Dennis España, with his friends from John Leighty Middle School. Dennis was bicycling with friends, crossing Olympic Boulevard and was hit by an unsafe driver. He spoke about the incident, and his friends read a short piece about it. CicLAvia wishes Dennis and his classmates a future of safe streets and safe cycling.