A good friend of L.A. cycling to be honored at this year’s River Ride

I’d planned to talk about bike safety today.

And how important it is to ride within your own abilities, especially on holiday weekends when the roads are more crowded, drivers more distracted and/or drunk, and riders more relaxed.

It’s easy to push the limits just little too hard, and find yourself in a situation you can’t get out of.

But then I received the following email from Alan Krepack, brother of GEKlaw bike attorney Howard Krepack, and decided to set that aside for another day.

As you may know — and as I’m sorry to tell those who don’t — Howard was diagnosed over a year ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, an incurable disease that progressively robs the victim of control over his or her own body. While his mind is as sharp as ever, and he continues to practice law with the help of his associates and partners, this illness has taken a terrible toll on him.

I’ll let Alan pick up the story from there.

Hi Everyone,

I’m sure most, if not all of you, know that Howard has been battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – Lou Gehrig’s disease) for 1 1/2 years now.  He continues to be the kind-hearted, smart, loving man he has always been.  And continues to be surrounded by his immediate and extended family, and his many friends.  His mobility is limited, but his spirit remains strong.

I am writing to let you know about an event in Howard’s honor and about his web site:

1) The upcoming Los Angeles River Ride on Sunday, June 10. The ride is being dedicated to Howard and ALS awareness.  As you know, Howard has been a longstanding bicyclist and advocate for bicycle safety and policy in Los Angeles. Howard’s law firm, GEK Law, have also been sponsors of the River Ride for the past three years.

Everyone is invited to join our “team” for the River Ride.   You can ride any one of the distances (15, 36, 50, 70 or 100 miles), or simply hang out at this great event.  Details and registration are available by linking to the River Ride from the Howard’s web site or: http://la-bike.org/events

At the ride on June 10 we will be giving out t-shirts from the Howard D. Krepack Fund booth, next to the GEK law booth for anyone who wants to be part of our team.  At 7:45am we will meet at the booth for a picture. For those riding the century or 70 mile course the t-shirts will be available at 7am.

Also at the River Ride on June 10 Howard will be receiving the first annual Service to Cycling award given to citizens who have made significant contributions to bicycle advocacy, safety and use in Los Angeles.

2) The Howard D. Krepack web site and fund was launched last month.  If you haven’t visited, please take a moment to check it out, pass the link on to anyone who may be interested and connected to Howard, and hopefully motivated to make a contribution to ALS research in Howard’s name from his web site:  http://community.als.net/krepack

Please make a donation of any amount to help us reach our donation goal for ALS research in Howard’s name.

Howard, Vivian and our entire family thank you for your support.

Over the years, Howard has been a big supporter of Los Angeles bicycling and a good friend to cyclists.

Or just a good friend, period.

He is someone I’ve been happy to know, and I’ve referred riders to him for legal help more than once, knowing they’d be in good hands.

I last had a long talk with Howard at last year’s River Ride, discussing what the LACBC, and we as individuals, could do to improve safety for cyclists in the L.A. area. I didn’t know at the time that he has already been diagnosed; yet typically, instead of worrying about himself, he was focused on what we could do for others.

If you’ve been on the fence about this year’s River Ride, I urge you to come out and participate — whether you choose to ride or just hang out and visit the booths. And honor Howard Krepack along with the LACBC, his family and friends.

I don’t know if he’ll be up to attending this year.

But either way, it will mean a lot to him. And to all of us.


Please take just a moment this Memorial Day weekend to remember what this holiday is all about, and honor those who have given so much — and so often, too much — for our country. And those who continue to give.

And be careful out there.

I want to see you all back here next week.

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