Henry Mejia was killed by a drunk driver on Saturday, April 13, 2013. The driver came off the 401 at the Kennedy southbound ramp, blew through a red light, hitting Henry, who was thrown 40 m, and then crashed into several motor vehicles until he came to a stop.
Today, about fifteen of us rode from Bloor and Spadina to the crash site and back.
The only reason Geoffrey is smiling is that he doesn’t have to haul a ghost bike 20 km to the crash site. A friend of the deceased already put one up within a few days after the crash.
Hamish talks to the media.
One of the things that made this memorial ride extraordinary was that a brother and nephew of the deceased showed up to ride with us. They were riding department store bikes and were determined to go the distance. The nephew had a duffle bag of water bottles slung over his shoulder. I suggested that he put it on my front rack so that he would have an easier time with the ride. At Bloor and Sherbourne, a cousin also joined us.
Just as we get started, the wind picked up, and snow started to fly.
Tino has some really good pictures of this stage of this ride.
Crossing the Bloor St. viaduct.
Once past the viaduct, we turned left on Broadview, and then cut east along the Cosburn Ave. bike lane. I was reminded of another memorial ride in this area a few years ago. Then we turned left on Woodbine and up the hill on O’Connor. The brother’s bike was sounding particularly poorly, so we bought a can of oil at a gas station, oiled the chains on the three supercycles, and Derek spent a moment being bicycle repairman, as befits his role as a cycling hero.
Then north on Victoria Park, which put us in heavy traffic.
After a few blocks of unpleasant cycling, we reached the west end of the multiple use trail on the Gatineau hydro corridor, which was new territory for me.
Here is a signalized crossing. Pharmacy Rd, if I recall correctly.
Note that the pedestrian and bike crossings are clearly distinct. There are also fancy bike racks across the street.
I was particularly pleased to see separate push buttons positioned appropriately for both pedestrians and cyclists. This is the deceased’s brother and nephew, waiting for the light.
Here is a yield crossing at a smaller street.
It being rather cold and windy, there were not any pedestrians on the trail, and only the occasional runner.
The bike trail carried us all the way to Kennedy, and then it was due north again in heavy traffic.
There was a crowd of family and friends at the ghost bike site when we arrived.
The cousin ties a MADD ribbon to the bike.
The young nephew who rode with us.
Mr. Mejia’s father made a short statement. Here, he is standing with the brother who rode to the right.
Tino is decorating the ghost bike.
This sign shows how far this intersection is from being a “complete street”.
On the ride back into a stiff headwind, here we are once again taking our lives into our own hands by the simple act of crossing the street where we are unceremoniously dumped into heavy traffic at the west end of the bike corridor.
Rest in peace, Henry Mejia. Deepest condolences to friends and family, and thanks for allowing us to be a small part of a remembrance to him today. Special thanks to the relatives who rode with us.
More follow up links on the facebook event page.
My photos on Flickr.