“Been going on for a little more than 10 years,” Gonzalez said. “There’s all this frustration, being sleep deprived . . . a lot of energy expended. But once we get there- it will be like the (DREAM) ride- once we get there it’s going to be amazing.”
Going on its second year, the 2012 DREAM Ride on March 4 is a full day bike ride from Orange County to Los Angeles. While the ride this year aims to continue building bridges with activists and non-activists, it will also celebrate the passage of the California DREAM Act.
“Student immigrant movement, immigrant rights movement, bicycle culture, all three have overlapping shadow areas,” said Erick Huerta, Eastside blogger and DREAM Ride organizer.
The ride will start at El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana, and end at Solidarity Ink in Lincoln Heights where there will be a end of ride party. Though the ride takes a full day to complete, its leisure pace makes it manageable for even the most novice cyclist, Huerta said.
Bicycle mechanics from Bici Libre, a bicycle cooperative in Westlake/Pico Union, will be riding with equipment to fix people’s bikes, and group leaders will make sure no cyclists are left behind. Registration costs $20, up $5 from the year before.
DREAM activists have used bicycle cultural for the past few years for big events like Tour de DREAMS, the group bike ride from Northern to Southern California, to DIY rides through CicLAvia. Yet the Orange County/Los Angeles group bicycle ride was an idea born and nurtured in Boyle Heights.
The co-founders Huerta, Laura Torres, and Jose Beltran were already consistent riders blending DREAM activism with riding. Torres rode the Tour de DREAMS in 2010, and Beltran and Huerta often donned capes, lucha libre masks, and banner waving bikes for small rides through the city or for CicLAvia.
Being undocumented gave them a different perspective on bicycle riding. For example, instead of walking him to elementary school, Huerta’s mother would take him to school on top of the handle bars of her bicycle.
“I’m under the umbrella of accidental environmentalist,” Huerta said. Read more…