Hardeep Singh Pahra was killed while riding his bike on Steeles Ave early on Tuesday, October 27. According to news reports, he was an engineer by training, and had recently emigrated to Canada with his family with a dream of a better life. He was on his way to work, and he had a routine of using a bike to bridge two segments of his commute on buses. Today was his memorial ride.
The ghost bike arrives at Bloor and Spadina.
Derek and his magnificent beard are interviewed by CBC.
Joey, iron man that he is, has already scouted today’s route. It’s going to be about 75 km round trip.
We get ready to start.
My bike is decked out with flowers for the ghost bike.
Riding through the Annex.
Meeting up with other riders at the top of St. Marks Hill.
Down into the Humber River valley. Most of the ride was along the Humber River trail system.
Regrouping just past the footbridge at Dundas St. W.
Joey routes us through a parking garage to avoid a nasty intersection in a gap in the Humber River trail at Weston Rd. and Oak St. Eventually this gap will be bridged, but the details of the right of way are still being worked out.
Another stop just short of Finch.
I didn’t know there was an RV park up in the northwest corner of the city.
Welcome to Brampton. Ordinarily we would never ride on the sidewalk, but this stretch of Finch is very bike unfriendly.
We arrive at Steeles Ave. It started to rain, and just as we arrived at the crash site, the rain turned to hail.
The group riding from Brampton arrives. Note the sign asking for witnesses to the crash.
Nadeem rode with us all the way from Bloor and Spadina on a Supercycle that was not in very good shape. He was a very strong rider, as a quick glance at his calves would also indicate.
Derek unloads the ghost bike.
The sun comes out as Dave chains up the ghost bike.
There were a few family members in addition to quite a few members of the community in attendance, including the local councillor, Gurpreet Dhillon, and the newly elected MP Raj Grewal.
Afterwards we start heading home. It is bitterly ironic that we band of experienced cyclists elect to walk our bikes to the start of our off road route because we didn’t feel comfortable riding on the exact shoulder where Mr. Pahra died.
The beginning of the ride home.
I would like to express deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Pahra on behalf of all the riders.
Video of the ride:
Additonal CBC coverage here.
Note also that another cyclist was killed on HWY 27 in the same general area of the city on November 3.
Nick’s photos on FB.
CBC news coverage of the ride, and interviews at the crash site are the lead story in this Saturday November 7 newscast.
Further update: Joey was hit by a car while riding in Caledon the day after leading the memorial ride. He says he is OK, just some scrapes and bruises. (picture from FB)
Ride safe everyone!