Ghost Bike for Ilia

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As you’ve heard by now a 23 year old cyclist named Ilia Parkin was killed by a hit and run driver on Monday which has made those of us who regualrly ride bikes around LA stop and consider a few things. If the vigil on Wednesday night was small and somber, last nights events were anything but. As Markland mentioned there was a memorial ride in Ilia’s honor last night, tracing the route he rode to and from work, but there were also several other previously scheduled rides around LA that all modified their routes to end at the fountain at Wilshire & Santa Monica at midnight. We arrived a little before then and the scene was intense. Hundreds of cyclists, hundreds of candles, and the installation of ghost bike. The photos I snapped on my phone turned out terrible but this one by IAAL/MAF member Stephen Roullier is pretty amazing. This bike is painted all white, has a plaque engraved with Ilia’s name and info, and is permanently locked in place on the corner. I say permanently because there are several chains and locks and this is ment to be a memorial, but it is a major intersection in Beverly Hills so it’ll be interesting to see how long it’s tollerated. Regardless, last night was an emensely touching event, and something anyone who was a part of will remember for quite some time.

3 Replies to “Ghost Bike for Ilia”

  1. I would just like to thank everyone who has made such a dedication to honoring Iliah Pankin. He was my closest friend, and it is a great loss. My name is Robert Cox and I live in iowa and have know Iliah since he was 18. He will be truly missed and knowing that so many people had paid respects to such a wonderful person is more than words could say. Thank you to all the bikers who have made the trip and i know he is riding along side each one of you. Bikes were his life and passion. From my heart I thank everyone.
    His dear friend….robert cox

  2. Ilia was indeed a good soul, I remember when he first came to work at SUPERGO BIKESHOPS (now Performance)in Santa Monica, this tall kid with long hair listen to speed metal music stared as a part time in the shipping dept. he told me that his full time job was a messenger in down town LA but he love bycicles and he wasn’t kidding on his lunch brakes or after hours he always came to hangout with us at the service dept. to clean and fix his bike and we help him to get his bike back on the road, Ilia was a sencere guy and had a dry smile on his face all the time. As the time went by Ilia change his style this time he cut his hair really short and was listen to techno,industrial music but he never gave up his Led Zeppelin cd’s I even let him borrow some of my collection too, we got along very well, he was a good friend and co-worker I left the bikeshop soon after it became Performance and I live in Camarillo now but I always visited the shop to see my friends and last time I saw Ilia was a week before his last ride home a ride he never finished, a journey that we carry-on on Friday night and took him home so he can rest in peace I was amazed by the support of all the riders that came and pay respect to a member of our family “the bicycle riders” one brother down but not forgotten. I’m gonna miss him and so are the guys at the shop because who’s going to play techno music in the back now. I would like to thank Dave Green and Elon Rubin from the bicycle shop (Performance of Santa Monica)for helping putting together this memorial ride and for bringing together a bunch of us that don’t work at the shop anymore but still care for each other. And to all the messengers from down town LA, The midnite riders and everybody who one way or another was involve in this memorial ride for our loving friend Ilia.
    Silverio Martinez.

  3. What a wonderful spirit you have in your LA cycling community! Despite the tragedy, I cannot help being uplifted by the vigil, the rides, the ghost bike, the posts and the comments. I salute you all. cyquick.wordpress.com

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