Join Damian Kevitt to Finish the Ride on April 27

– There is no way following that crash that I wan’t going to get back on my bike –

Damian Kevitt has become something of a folk hero to Los Angeles cyclists. Just last February, a driver struck him with his vehicle while Kevitt was bicycling to meet his wife for lunch. The driver drug Kevitt several hundred feet before vanishing onto the I-5.

Following the crash Kevitt lost the lower portion of his right leg and suffered a host of internal and external injuries. It was 11 weeks until he could sit up. But he’s come back in a big way. On April 27, he’s going to lead a bicycle ride, one of the three rides that are part of the Finish the Ride Event.

You can download copies of Finish the ride flyers in ## or ## at dropbox.
You can download copies of Finish the ride flyers in ##×11## or ##×17## and Dropbox.

Despite having written about Kevitt’s crash and reform of “hit and run” laws being powered to wade through the political swamp by his personal story; I hadn’t talked to Kevitt until last week when he called me last week.

During the conversation, the relentlessly positive Kevitt was the first person to tell me that Asm. Mike Gatto was introducing new legislation to require a six month forfeiture for any hit and runner.

But we weren’t schedule to talk Gatto or policy, but about Finish the Ride.

Finish the Ride is Kevitt’s way of using his tragedy to help grow the movement for safer streets. Kevitt was on his way to the Autry when the crash occurred, and riders are literally going to start near where he was hit and “finish the ride.”

Proceeds from the event will go to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Can’t make the ride and want to help? One of Kevitt’s friends has setup a Go Fund Me page for direct donation.

There are three ride day options ranging from 6.5 to 23 miles. Bicycles will be available for rent. Because the ride ends at the Autrey Museum, there’s even a box to check to have your bike valeted for the day so you can hangout in Griffith Park, go to the zoo or the museum.

You can read all about these options on the registration page. Go there now. While you’re at it, you might want to give Finish the Ride a Like on Facebook or a Follow on Twitter.

The ride is also going to generate a lot of publicity and good feelings. After all, even the most embittered car culture warrior is going to have their heart melt at Kevitt’s story…a story that’s already received major interest. Coverage of the crash, the aftermath, the Gatto legislation passed in Damian’s name last year, and the recovery has been heard or read by an estimated 30-40 million people. With nearly every major local outlet lining up to interview Kevitt before April 27, the ride could be even bigger media draw than the crash.

Kevitt is already working with Gatto and the Office of City Councilmember Tom LaBonge to make the ride something memorable. Last week, he also met directly with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.

Everyone wants to be seen with Kevitt. Why not? He’s a folk hero. And who wouldn’t want a chance to go for a ride with one of those?

  • OTVIIIisGrrr8!

    What this press release doesn’t tell you is that Damien Kevitt was a member of the Church of Scientology’s notorious Sea Org when he was almost killed on his bicycle.

    What this press release doesn’t tell you is that Los Angeles taxpayers footed the entire bill for Damien’s medical treatment because the Church of Scientology is a deadbeat cult that sticks taxpayers with the medical bills of its members whenever possible by using county-funded medical care.

    Proceeds from the ride should be used to repay Los Angeles County for the free medical care Damien Kevitt was provided to save his life.

  • Jeroen Beukers

    Damian has been a good friend of mine for years, I totally vouch for him; he is a role model to look up to, he dedicates his life to helping others, and he his definitely highly commendable to turn such a personal tragic experience into a positive and beneficial event to help Los Angeles cyclists as well as all challenged athletes, by helping the Challenged Athletes Foundation! Keep it up Damian, we will all back you up! :)

  • Alejandro

    This is so inspiring!

    There are so many people in LA who are hit by reckless and irresponsible drivers… it’s quite sad. These people should definitely learn their lesson. I mean c’mon do you really want the fact that you handicapped someone permanently on your conscience? At least if they are not in the drivers seat for 6 months it can give them some time to think back and think twice about driving so recklessly.

    I am sure that many people that would’ve been in the same situation of getting hit by a car and losing their leg would’ve gone into sadness or anger and maybe filled their hearts with hatred… But not Damian. He is turning his tragedy into something beautiful.

    It’s the picking yourself up and trying again. There is no stronger test for a person than his own ability to make the worst things in life become positive.

    He is bringing truly selfless help to other challenged athletes who will live better lives due to his compassion.

    It takes a really great person to move forward despite everything and always keep in mind love for others and not foster hate. It would’ve been really easy for Damian to just go on a rampage against “Hit and Run” drivers and hate on them everywhere. But that would’ve accomplished nothing.

    I’m sure when people see this ride, and see that so many good people are behind making safer streets, they will change the way they drive. That change could save lives.

    I know where I’ll be on April 27th.

  • Whit

    Damian is such an amazing person, I’ve known him for 7 years. He has so much care and love for everybody that he meets. Even when times are tough he still stays very positive no matter what the circumstances are.

    I think that if anyone else was in his shoes, they would not have made it. I respect him greatly for his courage, dedication and constant drive for never giving up.

  • Tekie15

    I have a great amount of admiration and respect for Damian. Most people who were faced with the tragedy of losing a leg and normal function of their body would have thought their life was over and lost hope to carry on. But not Damian. He chose to take the struggle he was faced with and turn it into something that benefits other people in a positive way. If there is one thing I know for sure about Damian is that he cares about others above himself and he dedicates every effort he has to help other people and improve their lives. As I said before, I have a great amount of love and respect for this man. I fully believe in Finish The Ride and its efforts to raise awareness of bicycle safety and handle the growing epidemic of hit and runs in L.A. I will most definitely be there on April 27th.

  • Tami

    Thank you so much for this blog post and getting the word out about the ride! Damian is hands down one of the most incredible individuals I have ever met. With all he’s been through you could only imagine what kind of struggles he still might be experiencing mentally and physically… But the man has this internal strength. He chooses to get up and be active every single day. He chooses to push himself to do more than he thinks he can. This is so Damian, to put together this amazing ride for the cyclists and pedestrians of our city. I know that for him it’s about bringing awareness that may save others from a similar fate. He doesn’t let himself dwell in a single moment of what happened to him. Period. His mentality is set on the improved condition of life surrounding him. I can’t wait to be a part of this beautiful movement and join in with my fellow riders to celebrate HOPE! Damian you are a true inspiration to me and countless others. Much love and respect.

  • Andrea

    This is a fantastic blog post and so inspiring. This whole story is so inspiring. As a cyclist and as a friend of Damian I am so honored to know him and to be involved in this ride. I love seeing the community come together like this, it is so inspiring to see and be a part of.

  • Dante Crespo

    I too live in L.A. actually in Toulca Lake. Where the accident occurred I frequently bike the same path. I ride up riverside drive to pass ave. and I turn left to take the forest lawn drive route. Cyclists route this path all day so when I saw story, I found it very close to home. Damian is a freak of nature I just discovered that Damian has managed rehab to cycle already. I was hit by a vehicle last year on April 29th 2013. I suffered only a broken arm. This story has inspired more than Damian would’ve ever anticipated.
    I haven’t had the pleasure in meeting Damian although I can’t wait. I teach spun classes and I always tell my students that when we ride we don’t really ride with our bodies. “We ride with our hearts.” Damian showcases all the attributes of a champion who rides with his heart and I want to be a part of “The Ride”

  • Dante Crespo

    Let’s all come together and help Damian with his mission ” Finish the Ride on April 27″

  • Damian Kevitt

    Thank you Dante and the others before. The last year has been a wild adventure and I’m trying to make the best lemonade possible out of a big bag of rotten lemons. I super appreciate the support and look forward to seeing each of you at Finish the Ride! It’s going to be a great event. Reminder, there’s a discount for registering that ends at the end of this month. Please take advantage of it.


Damian Kevitt speaking in 2015. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Damian Kevitt on Hit-and-Run, Backlash, and World Day of Remembrance

Streetsblog L.A. recently caught up with Damien Kevitt of Finish the Ride and Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE). Kevitt spoke about his background, Finish the Ride, L.A.’s hit-and-run epidemic, and this week’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. The interview took place on October 31, 2017. SBLA: Tell Streetsblog readers your story; how […]