Bike ride honors Aguilar

By Guillermina Rodriguez

Cal Poly Pomona students and members of Ivan Aguilar’s family came together to remember Aguilar in a silent memorial bike ride on Thursday.

Last week, Aguilar was killed on Kellogg Drive after being hit by a car while riding his bike to campus.

The event started near the Cesar Chavez Center where students were given the opportunity to share their stories about Aguilar.

After the stories, students walked with their bikes to the bus stop on Kellogg Drive, across from the parking and information booth, where a white ghost bike was chained by Aguilar’s family in remembrance of Aguilar.

The ghost bike symbolizes a cyclist has been hit or killed. It is a practice done in different parts of the world to remember those who have been hurt.

“I just wanted to thank everyone here, because I know wherever Ivan is he would appreciate it, and he wouldn’t want us to be sad because he was such a happy person,” said Alex Aguilar, Ivan’s sister. “There’s nothing we can do to ever repay what you guys have done. I just want to thank you guys on behalf of my family and on behalf of Ivan because I know he would be smiling right now.”

After chaining the ghost bike, students rode their bikes in silence along Kellogg Drive between Red Gum Lane and the traffic circle in Innovation Village, which was closed to traffic by CPP police officials.

Those who did not have bikes had a moment of silence at Aguilar’s memorial.

Fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student Jordan Jarnagin, who helped plan the event with different student organizations, contributed and placed a commemorative wood plaque that had Aguilar’s image and a brief description.

The plaque read: “Ivan was dedicated to his family, communidad and hermanos. Ivan will always be remembered for his smile and happy disposition. He created positivity wherever he went. His passion for life is our guidance for a brighter tomorrow. Ivan will live forever in our hearts.”

Many of the students who attended the memorial bike ride were members of Hermanos Unidos, an on-campus organization Aguilar was involved in.

Rigo Estrada, a CPP alumnus and Hermanos Unidos member, said Aguilar was a caring person and he always loved to help.

Estrada said Aguilar used to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club in Pomona two days a week and when Aguilar missed one day, he was devastated.

“He was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m sorry, I was stuck in school,'” said Estrada. “He actually made a soccer tournament. He took his time after volunteering, setting up the teams, practiced [with] them, and a week when he came back he did his soccer tournament. That was his way of making up something that he shouldn’t have made up.”

Students also spoke about Aguilar’s kindness and his good nature.

“Ivan was the first guy I met and he was just such a good person,” said Bonnie Paresa, a third-year communication student. “He was such a giving person. Even joking around, he wouldn’t be mean. He was just funny. He was just a good person, always.”

Attendees were also concerned about what the impact of this incident would have on others who rode their bicycles to school.

Second-year Apparel Merchandising and Management student Alejandra Martinez said Aguilar would always try to overcome his fears. She attended the memorial bike ride in hopes that students would not stop doing what they love, but are more conscious of what can happen.

“I’m here because I have brothers myself that are just as lovable, that love doing what they do, bike riding and running just like [Aguilar] did,” said Martinez. “I didn’t want fear for my little brother from this incident to overcome him, because I know that nothing ever stopped Ivan from doing anything, even his fear.”

There was a sentiment among those that were in attendance that something needs to be done to make Kellogg Drive a safe route for cyclists.

“I really hope that the university does something proactive,” said Estrada. “We’ll keep the pressure on them.”

Ivan Aguilar memorial bike ride

Jonathan Cruz/The Poly Post

Ivan Aguilar memorial bike ride

Ivan Aguilar memorial bike ride

Jonathan Cruz/The Poly Post

Ivan Aguilar memorial bike ride

Ivan Aguilar memorial bike ride

Jonathan Cruz/The Poly Post

Ivan Aguilar memorial bike ride

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