Mike Rankin
Toronto, d. 7.November.2012, killed on the job.

Mike Rankin

Veteran Toronto bike messenger Mike Rankin, 56 was killed after being struck by a taxi on Wednesday November 7, 2012. Rankin, who was wearing a helmet, suffered sever head injuries when he was hit at the intersection of Richmond Street and University Avenue by a taxi driver who said he was clearing the light. Rankin worked for Zap/Cys Courier house (#862)

“Clearing the light” is a term often used to describe a driver who upon seeing his light turn to yellow he puts his foot on the gas to speed through the intersection as the light turns to red. It’s also sometimes referred to as running a red light.

Most bike messengers are killed by large vehicles in the downtown core. It’s quite rare for a bike messenger to be killed by a car as speeds in the core are often slower. In this case Rankin’s helmet was destroyed by the car upon impact.

Mike Rankin -
        picture by Justin Morris
Mike Rankin's memorial ride - picture by Justin Morris

Cyclists snarl traffic with bike courier vigil

CTV Toronto, November 10, 2012

The death of a bicycle courier prompted a rolling protest on University Avenue Friday evening.

The 50 cyclists blocked southbound University at Richmond around 5 p.m., to make sure people knew about Mike Rankin. The 56-year-old veteran courier was struck by a taxi at the intersection Wednesday and died a few hours later from his injuries.

The Toronto Bike Messenger Association organized the vigil through their Facebook page.

"All friends and messengers (current and past) and cyclists will have a chance to remember this quiet, gentle soul that was taken away from us far too early," read a Thursday night post.
"Let's show our love for Mike and show Toronto that we all need to watch out for each other, regardless if you are a cyclist or driver or pedestrian."

If their message wasn't heard by drivers it was certainly felt. Traffic was clogged along University Avenue for about 60 minutes during rush hour.

During the vigil, cyclists laid candles and flowers at the corner and posted a flyer with Rankin's photograph to a tree along the avenue.

The cyclists’ anger grew after they learned that Rankin's backpack, broken and blood-stained helmet, and other belongings had been found in a garbage can next to where he had been struck.
Police retrieved the items and said they were looking into how the items ended up in the trash can.

"We’re just curious to know who put it there, why it’s there and why you guys didn't take it,” one cyclist asked a police officer at Friday’s vigil.

“We have no idea,” the officer replied.

“Well, how could you not know about it? There was blood all over it,” the cyclist shot back.

While Rankin was being mourned downtown, another cyclist was recovering in hospital after begin struck in Vaughan.

The 33-year old man was hit by a car near Weston road Friday afternoon. He was taken to St. Mike’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The accident closed Rutherford road west of Weston for several hours.

Mike rankin bike