Robb Fulcher

Artisan bicycle racks unveiled in Hermosa Beach

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Hermosa Beach Artisan Bike Rack

The 'Crown Jewel' stands ready on the Strand. Photo by Jani Lange

Leadership Hermosa Beach will formally unveil new artisan bicycle racks 11 a.m. Saturday, June 11 at 14th Street and the Strand, celebrating a project to place decorative racks with shapes suggesting waves or surfboards at six locations around town.

The racks are the fruits of the 2011 “class project” by the nonprofit group, which was formed to identify civic leaders in the community and to provide service to Hermosa.

Thanks to the group, it will be possible to lash 33 bikes or more to racks along the Strand at 14th, 22nd and Second streets, and at Hermosa Valley Park, the Community Center, Clark Field, and on one concrete pad on private property, at E.T. Surf on Aviation Boulevard.

The “Crown Jewel” of the racks, in the shape of waves lapping an upturned surfboard, sits at the Strand and 14th. The other bike racks suggest waves without the board, and each bear the city seal. They were all designed and crafted by Hermosa artist Daniel Baranbo.

The selection of bike racks for the class project was inspired by a similar one in Long Beach, which was carried out by the city, instead of by volunteers.

Leadership Hermosa’s counterparts in neighboring Manhattan Beach also chose bike racks as a service project; the Hermosans say they made the selection first, and the Manhattanites followed their lead(ership), said Hayley Larkin, group leader for the rack project, who is also a real estate broker with a property management business.

The class of 2011 worked to select a community service project, then formed subgroups to strategize fund raising, public relations and various logistical aspects.

Jani Lange of Leadership Hermosa Beach, a sales rep in the surfing industry who is also in event management, said the 20-person class, the largest ever for the group, worked as a team to get the project done.

“We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this,” he said.

He said the diversity of the class, which included longtime Hermosans and relative newcomers, helped keep a broad perspective on the project by bringing a wide variety of viewpoints.

The class established a $6,000 budget and spent about $4,600 on creation of the racks, with the rest going to items such as a publicity campaign including fundraising T-shirts that read “I bike Hermosa,” with the word bike represented by a drawing of a bike.

The lion’s share of the money for the project, $3,300, came from an event at the Comedy & Magic Club that was headlined by Ralph Harris and featured a surprise appearance by Garry Shandling. The Beach Cities Health District contributed $1,500, and an event at Watermans raised $500.

The group chose Baranbo to craft the racks, and he began by working up designs based on concepts that the Leadership program wanted to convey.

“They wanted something that would represent Hermosa Beach culture and ties to the surf community and its influence on surf culture,” Baranbo said. “What better to represent surfing than waves and surfboards, right?”

Baranbo hand-fabricated the racks from round and square mild steel tubing, cutting with a high-powered water jet, bending the steel “using lots of leverage and manpower,” and welding everything together. The racks were galvanized and powder coated to prevent rust and add a pleasing finish. Baranbo had to slightly alter the city-seal logos “to keep them structurally sound” within the racks.

“Working with the Hermosa Beach Leadership group was a great experience,” Baranbo said. “Everyone in the group was dedicated to getting great things done within their community. I’m happy I was given the opportunity to work on such a cool project within my own community and so close to home. Hermosa Beach has done a lot for me and it’s great to be able to give a little something back.”

Leadership members said they got help and guidance from City Manager Steve Burrell, Councilman Michael DiVirgilio, Police Chief Greg Savelli, Public Works Commissioner Julian Katz, and the city’s Publics Works Department, which took up the task of installing the racks.

New artisan bicycle racks will be unveiled 11 a.m. Saturday, June 11 at 14th Street and the Strand. Those in attendance can win a bicycle donated by Hermosa Cyclery if they ride a bike to the unveiling.

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