Standard's 'Pedaling Knight' isn't afraid to get his hands dirty

Aug 10 2012 - 7:20pm

Images

(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Jesus Lopez Jr. tries his hand at bike jousting during the Tour of Utah on Tuesday in Ogden.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Jesus Lopez Jr. tries his hand at bike jousting during the Tour of Utah on Tuesday in Ogden.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Jesus Lopez Jr. tries his hand at bike jousting during the Tour of Utah on Tuesday in Ogden.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Jesus Lopez Jr. tries his hand at bike jousting during the Tour of Utah on Tuesday in Ogden.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Jesus Lopez Jr. tries his hand at bike jousting during the Tour of Utah on Tuesday in Ogden.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Jesus Lopez Jr. tries his hand at bike jousting during the Tour of Utah on Tuesday in Ogden.

Jesus Lopez Jr. is a jack of all trades.

By day he is a mild-mannered reporter covering Weber County three days a week.

At night, on weekends, he becomes a presentation editor, designing and laying out pages of the Standard-Examiner print edition and posting stories to our digital platforms.

He is also fluent in Spanish and oftentimes serves as an interpreter for other staff members.

He is a super journalist who isn't afraid "to get dirty" to get a story.

That's what happened this week when Jesus was assigned to cover the festivities on Ogden's 25th Street surrounding the Tour of Utah bicycle race.

One event that caught Jesus' eye was the bicycle jousting put on by the Ogden Bicycle Collective. Armed with padded PVC pipe lances, on top of mighty steeds (OK, tall bikes), jousters rode at each other, attempting to knock their rival off their mount. The matches were held, in part, to entertain audiences while the race went on in other locales. Like any good reporter, Jesus took a hands-on approach to his story.

In an exhibition match, Jesus took on a rep from the bicycle collective. Despite having a body frame that could be interpreted as an easy target, Jesus bested his opponent.

"He probably threw the match, but a win is a win," Jesus said.

Photographer Nick Short, though, said Jesus took a clear body shot in his match and "it didn't even move him."

This isn't the first time Jesus has jumped into a story. He once got in the ring to spar with a boxer, and took lessons from a professional wrestling trainer. He said such involvement gives reporters a better perspective covering a story because they experience the same thing as the participants.

"Not everyone can get on a bicycle and wield a lance," he said.

Jesus limits such first-person experiences to feature stories, in which his involvement doesn't interfere with his objectivity.

The most famous hands-on journalist was probably George Plimpton, who went through training and participated in a number of professional sports while reporting for magazines and writing books. His most famous experience was in training camp with the Detroit Lions while writing his book "The Paper Lion." I guess you could say Jesus is our "Pedaling Knight."

EDITORIAL MISHAP: "I knew something was wrong when one of your editorials made more sense than usual," one online reader quipped about our editorial "Targeted higher education" posted on our website Tuesday.

Due to a computer glitch after the editorial was updated online, the first paragraph somehow was cut and pasted and moved to the bottom of the text. This resulted in the editorial being garbled for many readers. Print readers had the proper paragraph sequence.

The editorial was fixed, but not until a number of readers had a field day commenting about the error.

Andy Howell is executive editor. He can be reached at 801-625-4210 or ahowell@standard.net.

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