Melba and Aubrey Provost have been happily married for over 60 years.
“We have matching bicycles,” Aubrey, 83, said. “We have a business together, we have property together and do everything together. That’s the only way it works. Well, it’s worked for us.”
When asked if she had any secrets for their long relationship, Melba, 81, merely responded “I married the right man.”
“A lot of it has to do with percentages,” Aubrey said, adding that there are very few times when tackling life’s circumstances balance out equally for a couple. “You give 60 percent and I’ll give 40 percent here—or there, I’ll give 60 and you’ll give 40.”
The Provosts were both raised in Watts and attracted to biking because it’s an activity they enjoy together outdoors, exploring Los Angeles and keeping fit.
“There was a lot we hadn’t seen until we went to CicLAvia,” Aubrey said. “LA is always growing and if we ride another 10 years, hopefully we’ll see something new again. You don’t have lasting neighborhoods, they change.”
Aubrey prides himself as an early supporter of CicLAvia and worked on the committee to launch the nonprofit in 2010. Although the pandemic has prohibited the gathering of thousands of bicyclists on closed event streets, the couple still ride with local bike groups.
Aubrey also serves as the Eighth Council District representative on the City of Los Angeles’ Bicycle Advisory Committee.
“They’re making it safer for the riders,” Melba said. “Like on the Expo right of way and downtown, because they have designated lanes to ride in.”
Happily married since 1959, the Provosts are graduates of Los Angeles City College. They are also art lovers and own the IVAN Gallery, which offers gallery, studio, special event and meeting space.