Another somber memorial for a cyclist was installed on a Kelowna street Sunday morning.
Ernie Gabbs, 69, died after colliding with a semi-truck while riding a handbike — a bike powered by the hands rather than the legs — on Monday.
Sunday, Gabbs family and friends, along with members of Kelowna’s cycling community, gathered near the site of that collision, near Dilworth Drive and Harvey Avenue, to install a memorial ghost bike.
“The ghost bikes started a few decades ago as a memorial for any cyclist who dies on the road. It serves as a reminder to what has happened,” explained Landon Bradshaw, a member of the Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition.
“I think people need to remember, to be reminded that we have to look out for everybody on the road.”
Bradshaw was joined by a procession of riders as he towed the white bicycle to the memorial site Sunday morning.
“It was a tough ride because I knew where I was going to be when I got here and I know directly what it represents,” Bradshaw said.
The ghost bike memorial consists of a bicycle painted white with one of the wheels of Gabbs’ damaged hand-cycle attached.
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Gabbs’ granddaughter Jordyn McKinley, 7, was there to see the memorial installed.
She remembers her grandfather as fun and funny and said his death came too soon.
“I really miss when he took me on adventures,” McKinley said.
Gabbs, who was a paraplegic because of a workplace accident nearly 30 years ago, was hand-cycling north on Dilworth Drive on Monday when a semi attempted to make a right turn from Dilworth onto the highway. The two collided.
The latest data from ICBC shows that the intersection of Dilworth Dr. and Harvey Ave. was among the worst in the Southern Interior in 2017 when it came to collisions.
Ninety crashes occurred in that intersection that year, making Dilworth and Harvey the third most common intersection for crashes in the region.
— with files from Klaudia Van Emmerik and Jules Knox
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