Danny’s Funky Friday Ride

By Mihai Peteu

On Friday October 15, people of all ages showed up to pay their respects to Daniel Marin and take part in his memorial ride. Danny and his friends used to ride out to LACM and far away rides all over the city and they wanted to start a local ride called Funky Fridays. This story struck a chord for me, and I’m glad other local cyclists are are disseminating this story.

Danny’s friends were lining up to get plain tees or fresh-off-the-presses “I Bike 818″ shirts silkscreened with a “in memory of” inscription. Proceeds went to Danny’s family.

While the youngsters were lining up out in front of United Threads, Daniel’s extended family was keeping busy preparing hot dogs in the rear parking lot. The owner of Cupid’s brought in some delicious chili. The helpful folks at Pedaler’s West dished out some last minute bike checkups and made sure young and old alike had enough air in their tires to keep them afloat.

As the sun set, there was a BMX trick show-off,

… followed by a bunny hop contest.

Fifty or so riders, along with 3-4 cars as escort headed out west on Mission Bl, up to Riverside, continued west to Reseda, then south to Devonshire and back east towards the intersection where Danny was killed. It was nice to see parents riding along with their children, bringing some life to these otherwise empty, wide streets. Some motorists honked in support as they drove past. Passerbys inquired about the ride’s purpose.

I cut out about one third of the way through to head back to the NoHo Red Line station, while the rest of the group made their way to the improptu memorial at Laurel Canyon and Chamberlain St.

Altar near Chamberlain and Laurel Canyon (Photo courtesty of San Fernando Sun)

Some of Danny’s friends recognized that the intersection is a dangerous one, with the northbound lane on Laurel Canyon leaving a cyclist with very little room to maneuver, between the car traffic and the curb. This is also clearly visible in the above photo. In this case, Danny would have to have taken full control of the lane, and the intoxicated Shawn Fields plowed straight into him, sending him flying across Chamberlain St.

But I’m sure all those gory details will be discussed during the court case. First hearing will be on Oct 27th at San Fernando Courthouse, 900 Third St at 8:30am.

In the meantime, why not use common sense and change what’s obviously wrong here. Why do we have such lax laws against drunk driving? Why was there absolutely no on-street cycling infrastructure at that intersection? Could Danny be alive today if the speed limits in the Valley were lower? What can we do to make streets safe for people again and make southern California more livable?

It’s nice that his legacy is carried forward by those he shared a common interest and friendship with. I just wish I didn’t have to use words like “legacy” and “carried forward”.

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4 Responses to “Danny’s Funky Friday Ride”

  1. Thanks for writing about this, Mihai. I’m glad to know the memorial ride went well, and that you were there to take part.

    As for drunk driving, I think the standard should be one and done. One conviction for DUI, and your license is gone.

    Of course, the problem is that too many lawyers are too good at their jobs; people pay a lot of money to make DUI charges go away, and prosecutors are too willing to bargain it away to get a case resolved.

  2. Thanks for going Mihai. I wanted to go, but there was just no way. It’s really heartening to see you and Rach taking control and getting out there and blogging and being there.

  3. Thank you for the information… I was not able to make it out there due to the time of the ride itself… however, I have been looking for any update on how the memorial ride went… I hope this story is not forgotten and hope that Daniel’s departure in this world is not in vain. Hopefully in the near future, all these tragic departures lead to politicians and drivers being aware and considerate of cyclists… It will be awful if the prosecutor bargains this case awas as stated above…

  4. Personaly knowing Daniel Funky Friday was a success. And even though he couldnt be there to see what he had wanted, he was there with us in our hearts.

    Ride In Paradise Danny.
    We miss you</3

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