There are many selfish people in the world, out to do nobody good but themselves, who climb over others and step on them to get what they want. Especially as we read about so much violence in our current news feeds, it’s hard to imagine that there ever could be another person (like a Gandhi or a MLK) in this present day that could make an impact with peace, poise, a smile and a wave of the hand. Somebody like John Breaux, the late “Angel of Boulder County.”
Though Breaux’s untimely death was mourned seven years ago, his influence and positive impact still reverberates throughout Boulder County, but especially in Louisville, where he lived and brightened others’ lives while doing so. His memory is immortalized in the name of a park in Lafayette, and a life size bronze statue, depicting him straddling his bicycle and waving, the image of him that all carry in their hearts who knew him. The Spring cleanup in town is named after him, as is a fund which supports several environmental causes aligned with what he did and what he stood for.
Who is this “Bike Jesus” that so many people in Louisville and Lafayette remember with such love, and what did he do to earn such holy nicknames? Breaux is most widely remembered for riding his bicycle through town every day: rain, sleet, blizzard, or shine, and cleaning up trash wherever he went. The area saw a big difference in environmental health when he was “working” in full swing, but he didn’t only remove the unsightly. He also left flowers on porches, sodas for workers on breaks, notes and treats on cars and in people’s hands, and was always ready to greet one and all with a smile and a wave. His generosity knew no bounds, as he helped gas stations clear out snow, washed windows, and opened doors. People called him “Jesus” because he gave fully of his time and his help, like the Jesus he went to multiple churches each Sunday to hear about.
Breaux is beloved and still missed, but his legacy lives on in the commemorative honors still in the county, and even more in the hearts of the locals he touched.
- Breaux was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in his 20s, put on medication, etc. But when he moved to Colorado with his brother’s family, he went off the meds, and this is when his blanket of kindness in Boulder County began to be woven.
- The city of Louisville gifted him a bike helmet to thank him for his service.
- A mayoral proclamation was declared in 2006, honoring him for his exemplary help in keeping Louisville clean and beautiful.
- The sculptor who created the life size bronze statue commemorating him donated her time. She recalled he had big feet, big hands, and a bigger heart.