Lately on facebook people have been
mourning for other bicyclists who were killed by cars. One time Moya
posted a link to a news article about a kid that was killed on the way
to school one morning. Another time it was a young woman that a lot of
people downtown knew who was done in by a truck that fell over while
turning. The most recent one had in the article that "San Jose has
already set a new record for the number of bicyclists and pedestrians
killed in car related accidents this year." Justin feels that we need
to do something about it. The first thing they came up with was a ghost
bike ride for the fallen. It started at Oak & Vine, where a young
kid had been killed by a car.
That pink poster must have been made
by his mother. Isaul talked about being a couple of blocks away when it
happened. He said the neighborhood is always a bit rough, but nobody
wants to take out a little kid. He'd heard the fire department and
ambulance but had stayed clear. It wasn't long before there were a
number of people there with the ghost bike ready to ride south in
memory of Anthony Garcia.
Many of the riders were relatives and
friends of the deceased.
It wasn't long before we were ready to
roll south. It was only five or six miles, but some of the family
weren't used to riding that kind of distance. Took a bit of regrouping
along the way to get us all through all the lights, but it worked out.
In addition to the candles there was
some graffiti on the traffic light pole, the gist of which was that
Anthony had died here. There was considerable discussion about where to
put the ghost bike. We didn't want to impede traffic with it, and we
wanted people to see it. In the end they decided to mount it on the
I'm told it was attached to the
stoplight with a U lock. Hopefully that will keep it up there for a
while. The family feels a real need to spread the message "be careful
Anthony's sister gave a blow by blow
account of how she heard about it in a phone call not long after the
accident. They got him to the hospital alive, but a couple of days
later they figured out that it was hopeless and he died.
The poet gave me a sense that Anthony
is one with the earth and sky now.
Anthony's brother was kind enough to
let me take a picture of his shirt.
Justin said that we are planning to do
a big die in to dramatize the issue. He invited everybody to follow the
developments on facebook as we put it together.
It was cold by the time we headed out.
I joined the group that took the VTA light rail. We talked as it rolled
north. The experienced cyclists would have been warmer riding faster,
but that wasn't an option for Anthony's family. The trailer that had
carried the ghost bike was an awesome design, light and strong!
Most got off in
downtown, but I kept riding north. I was on the days last train to
Mountain View. That was much warmer than being outside in fingerless
gloves would have been!