John Mello, Lived To Ride

 

MEMORIAL FOR A BROTHER

From Team Bigfoot:

This memorial cross now stands up on the bank above the Highway 101 site of the death of local cyclist John Mello.

This memorial cross now stands up on the bank above the Highway 101 site of the death of local cyclist John Mello.

In observance of the tragic death of his brother John Mello, the cyclist killed by an errant driver last Sunday on Highway 101 North of Trinidad, Arcata auto mechanic Joe Mello built a metal cross and erected it at the site of his sibling’s death. “Whenever something like this happens the cycling community will put out one of those ghost bike (a bicycle painted white) at the scene,” Mello said, “But I wanted to make a stronger statement.”

Arcata auto mechanic Joe Mello in his shop constructing a steel cross memorial to his brother John.

Arcata auto mechanic Joe Mello in his shop constructing a steel cross memorial to his brother John.

To make that statement Mello constructed a ten foot tall steel cross, painted it white and decorated with bicycle sprockets. “That ought to get people’s attention!” he said. A metal bracket was also fashioned onto the cross where a plaque will be mounted, reading, John Mello, Lived To Ride. “And that’s the truth about John,” Joe said, “John was a quiet and sort of serious kind of guy who was happiest when he was on his bike.” Evidence of that assessment is on the cross in the form of a laminated photograph of a smiling John Mello aboard his beloved Calfee bicycle. That very bicycle is also part of the memorial; Joe attached the broken and bent remains of John’s bike permanently to the cross. “There’s been a lot of back and forth since Sunday; people saying a lot of things about cyclists and safety. But the truth is, John was riding legally and in a way that should have been safe. Is it too much to ask that drivers have enough skill and concern to not steer over the fog line? I want people to see exactly what happens when someone doesn’t pay attention to the very serious job of driving.”

On the left is John Mello’s daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. On the right is his nephew Ron (standing) and brother Joe (kneeling).

On the left is John Mello’s daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren. On the right is his nephew Ron (standing) and brother Joe (kneeling).

 

 

4 thoughts on “John Mello, Lived To Ride

  1. This is beautiful. I love the bicycle parts, my Dad Dale is his best friend, they rode together all the time. He will be missed until we all meet again. I believe if he is in Heaven he is riding. I just want to leave a note saying how much I have been thinking about him and I want to send my condolences and prayers. God Bless.

  2. Thank you for the kind words and I know you are in heaven Dad with Mom doing everything you love to do. Miss you so much Dad xoxo -Angie and the kids

  3. we saw this memorial on our family bicycle ride from Canada to Mexico which ended 8/1/13. My husband and I brought 3 children along this route and when we saw this beautiful memorial it really hit home. It reminded us not to take anything for granted. Thanks.

  4. That made me smile. Any kind of awareness and safety that can come from this means the world to me. Yes..life is so very precious and even being the safest rider out there and doing all the right things doesn’t always help if drivers have no regard for staying in their lane. Thank you for taking a moment for my Dad.

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