Ghost bike marks memorial in Redondo Beach
by Taylor Brightwell
Members of the South Bay cycling community, friends and family gathered on bike and foot last Friday morning on South Catalina Avenue to remember fallen bicyclist Larry Schellhase, in a ceremony often performed for fallen bicyclists.
Schellhase, 68, died on April 15 from injuries sustained in a crash after hitting debris on the bike lane along Catalina Avenue.
Friends and Family chose to remember Schellhase with a “ghost bike,” a bike painted white and attached to a street light near the crash site. The bicycle was placed just before the intersection of Emerald and Catalina and was decorated with flowers and photos of Schellhase.
Cyclists from the Los Angeles Wheelmen and Beach Cities Cycling Club also attended the ceremony to remember their friend and fellow biking enthusiast.
“For years now our two clubs have been building a relationship,” said Beach Cities Cycling Club President Jim Hannon. “When this happened in our area I asked about having a ghost bike memorial to remember Larry.”
According to Hannon, ghost bikes have been around for 10 years and they not only serve as a remembrance but also a reminder for cars to be respectful and more conscious of bicyclists.
“It is up to all of us whether we are walkers or drivers to pick up debris if we see it,” said executive director of the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, Mike Don. “If it hadn’t been there, Larry would still be here riding today. It would be a good tribute to him if we all did more to create safe routes.”
Close friend and Los Angeles Wheelmen President, Pam Leven said, “Everyone I know looked up to Larry, but most of all me, because Larry at 6-foot-6 had a foot and a half over me. In 2011, Larry rode 6,000 miles, 1,000 miles over his original goal; he was so proud of that accomplishment.”
Leven shared a couple of her favorite memories with the crowd. She also said that her favorite memories are just riding with him, because he would always make her laugh.
“The next couple days let’s keep Larry in our thoughts and when you’re riding, know that you’re riding for more than just yourself,” said Don. ER
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