Hundreds pay tribute to Danny Martin at group bicycle ride
WHITTIER — Even in death, Danny Martin is bringing joy to Whittier.
Hundreds of people attended a memorial bicycle ride in East Whittier on Sunday afternoon, paying tribute to a man whose colorful tricycle and friendly waves were a fixture on Whittier Boulevard.
Martin was killed last week when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his tricycle on Whittier Boulevard near Jordan Road. He was 61.
Sunday’s bicycle ride originated at the collision site, where a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers honors Martin’s memory.
The bicycle ride was organized by Vince McLeod IV, a friend of Martin’s for more than two decades.
“It was really cool to see 250 people there,” McLeod said. “It’s unfortunate that it took him passing for us to honor him like this. This guy did so much and he never got anything in return when he was alive. But he was so humble I’m not sure he would have accepted any kind of award anyway.”
The bicycle ride will become an annual tradition, McLeod said, with the first official ride tentatively scheduled for April. McLeod said he will soon begin the process of obtaining permits, and proceeds from the ride will go towards a public memorial for Martin.
Martin was involved in a motorcycle crash in 1981 that left him partially paralyzed and unable to drive. He dedicated his life to Jesus Christ after the crash, thankful for his life and intent on bringing happiness to the world.
He became a fixture in Whittier, riding his tricycle and waving to passing motorists.
“For someone who could have gone the opposite way, Danny celebrated that he lived,” McLeod said. “He chose to take the positive road. That’s something you don’t always see today.”