Celebrating Gustavo Rameriz

The South Bay bicycle community lost one of our finest members last week when Gustavo Rameriz was killed in a collision with a big rig while riding home to Belmont Shore in Long Beach from the job he loved at REI in Manhattan Beach.

Gustavo, only 30 years old, was known as “an avid, avid road cycliclist and mountain biker who rode his bike to work at least 50% of the time,” according to Nicholas “Niko” George who worked with Gustavo for the two years he was employed at REI.

Gustavo worked in the Action Sports department at REI, helping customers with skis, snowboards and especially his great love – bikes.  A long term fan of Lance Armstrong’s, he was a big supporter of the Livestrong Foundation and happily completed the Tahoe Century ride in 2009 on their behalf.  Gustavo hoped to ride and contribute to Livestrong for many years to come.

But his impact on his fellow workers went well beyond cycling, Niko shared.  They are celebrating what a great human being Gustavo was and remembering him both for his “lust for life and the way he treated everyone with such kindness and courtesy.”

It went beyond just good manners, Gustavo was a true “salt of the earth,” who was always even-keeled and exceptionally polite.  He was appreciated as “a real role model for the rest of us,” said Niko.  Good looking and charismatic, Gustavo was easily the best dressed, most stylish employee at REI who delighted in looking sharp on the days he didn’t ride his bike to work.

Gustavo was single and grew up around Long Beach where he still has family in addition to family in Manhattan Beach.  Funeral and memorial details are still being planned.

Although known as a safe and experienced rider, this was Gustavo’s third time getting hit by a vehicle in the last 12 months as he traveled from Long Beach to Manhattan beach – a route that no one considers safe or easy for cyclists.  The driver, said to have been lost, was not cited and no blame has been assigned in what is being described as an accident.

This was an accident that did not have to happen and a life we never should have lost.  The lack of a safe and secure bicycle route and the lack of motorist awareness of bicycle traffic are what contribute to fatal accidents like this tragic example.  The work we as the South Bay Bicycle Coalition are doing is about changing that sad situation.

As South Bay bicyclists begin this new year with such great promise and local progress, let’s celebrate the life and legacy of Gustavo Rameriz by being even more careful when we ride and even more committed to making bicycling safer and accessible in the streets where we live, work and play.

More details on Gustavo and the accident can be found in Long Beach Press Telegram coverage:

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