After hearing the second of what I thought were gunshots outside of my apartment tonite I ran up to my roof to survey the neighborhood. Just south of Franklin Avenue on El Cerrito Place I spotted a gathering of around 100 bicyclists. Seeing that they were keeping vehicular traffic from passing through, I decided to go find out which renegade bike group this might be.
Turns out this was a memorial ride in honor of Ilia Pankin, who Will wrote about a couple days ago. A cyclist told me the group included a bunch of bike messengers, employees from Performance Bicycle Shop in Santa Monica, where Ilia had worked, and many others. In fact, what I saw was just a small portion of three other groups that had converged on the Electric Fountain at Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilshire, where Ilia had been struck and killed.
And, indeed, someone who lived near where the bikers were on El Cerrito Pl. was tossing fireworks off his balcony. Nobody knew if they were part of the group, if it was in tribute to Ilian, or to scare off the sudden appearance of scores of bikers.
More on the organization of the memorial ride at C.I.C.L.E.