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  • Alternative to Customers at Amigos Bike Shop in South Gate learn about the upcoming CicLAvia event in the Southeast cities.
    Customers at Amigos Bike Shop in South Gate learn about the upcoming CicLAvia event in the Southeast cities.
  • Alternative to Shop manager Wilson Gutierrez, 29, fist-bumps Freddie Vasquez, who owns a local barber shop and commutes by bike to his South Gate business.
    Shop manager Wilson Gutierrez, 29, fist-bumps Freddie Vasquez, who owns a local barber shop and commutes by bike to his South Gate business.
  • Alternative to “Even if I had car, I would ride my bike to work anyway,” says steel worker Juan Becerra, 50, as he waits his turn to have his bike serviced.
    “Even if I had car, I would ride my bike to work anyway,” says steel worker Juan Becerra, 50, as he waits his turn to have his bike serviced.
  • Alternative to The shop’s mechanic, Oscar Antillon, adjusts the breaks on a customer’s bike.
    The shop’s mechanic, Oscar Antillon, adjusts the breaks on a customer’s bike.
  • Alternative to Alberto Lopez, 49, who doesn’t own a vehicle and has been bike commuting for 5 years, was hit by a car while riding to his job in Vernon.
    Alberto Lopez, 49, who doesn’t own a vehicle and has been bike commuting for 5 years, was hit by a car while riding to his job in Vernon.
  • Alternative to Angie Herrera, 5, and her new pet rabbit, visit Amigos, where her family’s bikes are repaired. The Herrera family enjoys riding for recreation.
    Angie Herrera, 5, and her new pet rabbit, visit Amigos, where her family’s bikes are repaired. The Herrera family enjoys riding for recreation.
  • Alternative to Manager Gutierrez tests a repair while Bachata music blares from the Amigos Bike Shop. He plans on starting an official cycling club in the area.
    Manager Gutierrez tests a repair while Bachata music blares from the Amigos Bike Shop. He plans on starting an official cycling club in the area.
  • Alternative to “I enjoy riding my bike, even though I depend on it” says Miguel Diaz, 62, who doesn’t own a car.
    “I enjoy riding my bike, even though I depend on it” says Miguel Diaz, 62, who doesn’t own a car.
  • Alternative to Raul Ramirez joins Diaz on his commute to work from South Gate to Lynwood. “I have lived in places where it’s cold,” Diaz says, “and here it’s very comfortable riding on a breezy day.”
    Raul Ramirez joins Diaz on his commute to work from South Gate to Lynwood. “I have lived in places where it’s cold,” Diaz says, “and here it’s very comfortable riding on a breezy day.”
  • Alternative to Diaz has been riding his bike to his job at an aluminum plant for more than 20 years.
    Diaz has been riding his bike to his job at an aluminum plant for more than 20 years.
  • Alternative to “I do many things here,” Diaz, a maintenance worker, says as he rinses tanks at the plant.
    “I do many things here,” Diaz, a maintenance worker, says as he rinses tanks at the plant.
  • Alternative to Diaz rides everywhere, including the market to buy produce. Wherever he goes, he makes sure to chain his bike, since he’s had three stolen. Two men once tried to choke him and steal his bike but he says he escaped with “a few scratches and my bike.”
    Diaz rides everywhere, including the market to buy produce. Wherever he goes, he makes sure to chain his bike, since he’s had three stolen. Two men once tried to choke him and steal his bike but he says he escaped with “a few scratches and my bike.”
  • Alternative to “I love drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice in the mornings,” Diaz says. “This is a great bargain, 6 lbs. for $1.00.”
    “I love drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice in the mornings,” Diaz says. “This is a great bargain, 6 lbs. for $1.00.”
  • Alternative to Peddling along the busy streets of South Gate, Mr. Diaz balances his oranges and a bottle of cooking oil. Before leaving the store, he told the clerk: “Double-bag it, please. I am on a bicycle.”
    Peddling along the busy streets of South Gate, Mr. Diaz balances his oranges and a bottle of cooking oil. Before leaving the store, he told the clerk: “Double-bag it, please. I am on a bicycle.”
  • Alternative to “I wouldn’t mind having a car, but it’s either I buy a car or send money to my family in Mexico,” Diaz says. “I’d rather send money to family.”
    “I wouldn’t mind having a car, but it’s either I buy a car or send money to my family in Mexico,” Diaz says. “I’d rather send money to family.”

CicLAvia arrives in the Southeast cities: It’s the wheel deal

Come Sunday, tens of thousands of cyclists will roll into the Southeast cities of Los Angeles County for the area's first-ever CicLAvia. No doubt, some know these six communities of Commerce, Cudahy, Vernon, Maywood, Bell and Bell Gardens only from signs along the 710 Freeway.

In fact, these are among the nation's most crowded neighborhoods, filled with many people on the lower rungs of the economy. In higher numbers than anywhere else in the county, they rely on public transportation, bikes and foot power to navigate their lives.

This weekend, as CicLAvia winds its way through the Southeast cities, advocates hope the event will not only draw cyclists from throughout the region but focus attention on the street-level realities of bike commuting in neighborhoods where the infrastructure does not meet the need.

Take a spin through these photos of one local shop along the route and the daily routine of one of its occasional patrons: a 62-year-old factory worker whose bike has long been his only ride.