Yesterday, Thursday March 7, was Ivan Aguilar’s memorial bike ride at Cal Poly Pomona. As my readers know, Ivan was riding his bike on Kellogg Drive when he was struck and killed by a car on February 28.
I’m going to keep this post short, share some of my images from the event, and let you contemplate the human cost of unsafe streets.
The memorial began at around noon with tributes from students and classmates. A procession of over 300 students, friends, family, faculty, and staff then slowly made their way to the spot where Ivan was struck down. There, his hermanos shared memories of him as a friend. All those who knew him talked about his cheerful personality and how he always made those around him feel happy. A ghost bike was then placed near the spot where he was struck and will remain as a reminder to all those who pass that spot. At that point, Campus police blocked traffic on Kellogg, and approximately 100 bicyclists took part in a memorial ride on the route he rode every day to school.
The ride itself was a fitting tribute. The road, usually noisy with traffic, was silent and peaceful with nothing but the wind in the sycamore trees and the soft whir of bicycles. I will never forget the sense of peace that came over me at that moment. I hope Ivan’s soul has found that peace, and that his family might also.
Finally, the ride returned to the ghost bike, where Ivan’s family shared their feelings and expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support from all who attended. The entire event was very moving, and I managed to keep my composure until the very end, when Ivan’s sister spoke. Then I lost it and the tears flowed.
We will not forget you, Ivan. We will work as long as it takes to make the streets safer for bicyclists.
If you wish to donate to Ivan’s family to help them defray the cost of his burial, you can make a donation here.