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Remembering Adrian Garcia (1986-2014)

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In this post, learn about Adrian “Kilu” Garcia and the circumstances of the tragic collision that ended the life of this Salinas native.

Also archived below are details about the first memorial ride, July 12, 2014; the second, July 5, 2015; third, July 2, 2016; fourth, July 1, 2017; and other observances in honor of Adrian.

Saturday, July 1, 2017 was the date for the 4th annual memorial ride honoring the life of Adrian “Kilu” Garcia. Ride was again followed by a potluck at El Dorado Park, Salinas.
Facebook event page for 2017:

For 2017, the organizers also provided a route link, especially helpful for anyone preferring to meet up with them somewhere along the route, rather than at the initial meet-up spot (Northridge Mall, Salinas, in the parking lot near Macy’s). Whether you start with them at Northridge or catch up with them along the route, participants are minded to respect their advisories for participants (e.g., “If under 18, please have a parent or guardian accompany you. All minors must wear helmets at all times during the ride,” as required by law).  Route:

2017 poster below provided courtesy of Andres Nickatina

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Third Annual

Memorial Bike Ride for Adrian Garcia

People will begin gathering at noon, with the ride scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Where? Meet up at the Northridge Mall, Salinas, in the parking lot near Macy’s. Ride route will end at El Dorado Park, 1655 El Dorado Drive, Salinas, where a potluck (bring food to share) BBQ will be held. Minors (people under 18) are to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. All minors must wear a bicycle helmet, as required by CA law, and adults are encouraged to wear helmets for this ride too.
For additional details, any changes, or to contact ride organizers, visit the Facebook event page:

Note from Eliana Coronel: This is an annual bike ride in memory of Adrian Garcia, a resident of Salinas who was fatally struck on July 5, 2014. The memorial ride is to honor Adrian, his family, his friends, and the bicycle community in Salinas. It is to remind people how important it is for drivers of motor vehicles to respect that bicyclists are riding around our city all hours of the day. Please join us, and bring your children. This event is for all ages. If under 18, please have a parent or guardian accompany you. All minors must wear helmets at all times during the ride.

Need to meet-up en route? Ride departs Northridge Mall parking lot at 1 p.m., first traveling on North Main. Among streets traveled will be Alvin, Natividad, Los Coches, Arcadia. Destination is El Dorado Park. This is a relaxed-pace ride. The majority of riders will arrive at El Dorado Park by about 2 p.m.

Update: See a gallery of images from the Third Annual Memorial Bike Ride, 7/2/16, by photographer Jay Dunn in the Salinas Californian; click here. Special thanks to the Salinas Police Department for the police escort in support of this ride.
See Jay Dunn’s photos of the Adrian Garcia Memorial Bike Safety Awareness Mural, in “Remembering Adrian Garcia,” the Salinas Californian,  6/29/16; Claudia Melendez Salinas and David Royal’s coverage, “Mural created as tribute to Salinas hit-and-run victim,” the Monterey County Herald,  6/16/16; and Bianca Beltran’s story “Mural honors Salinas bicyclist killed in hit-and-run” for KSBW, 6/11/16.
Special thanks to Adrian’s family, the Tunas de Nopal (Prickly Pear) Art Collective, and others who worked to make the mural possible.
The driver has not yet been identified. See Salinas Police Department report, and please contact SPD investigators if you have any information that may help bring the driver to justice.

Below, some history…

7-12-14 Salinas Adrian Garcia mem ride (2)

* * *

On July 5, 2015, an Adrian Garcia memorial bike ride and BBQ was held, followed by bike polo. The preceding evening Adrian was especially remembered in a mass at Sacred Heart. Details below.

The July 5th activities celebrated Adrian’s life, reminded the public of the need for help to identify the hit-and-run driver, and accepted donations for the Adrian Garcia Memorial Mural project.

Hear Eliana Coronel, Adrian’s girlfriend, on KION, 7/5/15; click here.

Thank you to the organizers, volunteers, and all who participated in making the ride a safe, fun event. Special thanks to Sgt. Gerard Ross of bike-friendly Salinas Police Department for SPD’s support of 7/5/15 ride.

* * * * *

July 2015 activities, plus additional ways to honor Adrian’s life.
  1. Attend July 4, 2015, 7 p.m. mass, en español, at Sacred Heart, Corner of West Market and Stone, Salinas.
  2. Come to the July 5, 2015 memorial ride, BBQ, and polo games. (a) People of all ages and abilities on all types of bicycles will honor Adrian’s memory as they cruise in tune with Salinas social cycling ride etiquette, which includes following CA bike laws and local ordinances (see below). In addition, although only people under age 18 are required by CA law to wear helmets, this ride’s organizers ask that adults wear helmets also. Riders will gather at the Macy’s parking lot, Northridge Mall, Salinas beginning at noon, with pedaling to begin at 1 p.m. (b) The ride group is expected to arrive at El Dorado Park, 1655 El Dorado Drive at approximately 2 p.m., where the BBQ will be held. A minimum donation of $5 is suggested for the BBQ. (c) What about the bike polo? Did you miss Clash of the Mallets? This July 5 celebration includes a chance to watch some of Adrian’s buddies, and others, show what the Salinas bike polo scene is about! For details about all the 7/5/15 activities, contact the organizers via Facebook event page “Memorial Bike Ride for Adrian Garcia”:
  3. Make a contribution to the Adrian Garcia Memorial Mural project. The mural honoring Adrian and highlighting bicycles sharing the road is in the process of being created. See KION’s 2/22/15 report. Special thanks to the Urban Arts Collaborative of East Salinas for their support of this community project.
  4. If you have any information that may help Salinas PD identify the hit-and-run driver, please call Officer Lek Livingston at (831) 758-7980 or Sergeant Gerry Ross at (831) 758-7975. Click here for the police report.
  5. Advocate for biking by sharing resources with adults, teens, and children on riding skills, safety tips, CA bike laws, and Monterey County ordinances. Print and share the summaries and etiquette below. (Why print? Pew Research reported in 2013 that one-third of those making less than $20,000 a year do not go online. Another third go online, but do not have Internet access at home. In 2016, the need for paper remained; see Pew Research’s 2016 update: “Digital divide persists even as lower-income Americans make gains in tech adoption.”) For a variety of other posters, mini fliers, and such, click here.

To learn more about Adrian,  read on.

Closter Park 2Nov2014 Adrian Garcia remembrance

Above: Altar honoring Adrian at Muertos observance,  Closter Park, Salinas, 2 Nov 2014 (To learn Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead, go to “The Alisal / East Salinas: Pleasures, Protests, and Promise,” then scroll down.)

The two photos directly above and below are courtesy of a Salinas bike community leader, Rob Garcia.

Closter Park 2Nov2014 photo by Rob Garcia

Update, 9/9/14: Rob Garcia presented to the Salinas City Council the petition referenced at the end of this post. Rob also offered comments on behalf of Adrian’s family, friends, and community supporters. Adrian’s girlfriend, Eliana Coronel, also addressed the Council.

Update from Salinas PD, 7/28/14:

“The investigation by Salinas PD traffic investigators has found that the car involved in this fatal hit and run collision is a 2010 or newer white Ford Mustang.

“Investigators are asking for the public’s help. If anyone knows of a 2010 or newer white Ford Mustang that was damaged on or near July 5th, or if anyone has any other information about this tragic incident, please call Officer Lek Livingston at (831) 758-7980 or Sergeant Gerry Ross at (831) 758-7975.”

Photo below, of Adrian’s first ghost bike, courtesy of Luciano Rodriguez.

Adrian Garcia's 1st ghost bike - pic courtesy Luciano Rodriguez - cropped

Honoring the Life of

Adrian “Kilu” Garcia


Click here for the obituary.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Adrian’s family and friends.

We appreciate the conscious awareness shown by  Salinas Police Department (as stated in SPD’s 7/5/14 report) and by May Chow of KSBW (at 2:30 in her 7/7/14 news story) that this was a collision, not an accident.

Adrian Garcia, a resident and native of Salinas, was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

The Salinas Police Department asks the public’s help with this case. Click here for the police report. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Officer Lek Livingston (831) 758-7980 or Sergeant Gerry Ross at (831) 758-7975.

Adrian Garcia

July 10, 2014 Visitation and Rosary
July 11  Mass and Burial
July 12, Group Ride, BBQ, Mosh

and other commemorations

July 10-12 times and locations:

  • Thursday, July 10, 1-9 p.m. Visitation at Healey Mortuary, 405 North Sanborn Road (corner of Sanborn and Circle Drive), Salinas.
  • Thursday, July 10, 7 p.m. Reciting of the Rosary at Healey Mortuary.
  • Friday, July 11, 1:30 p.m. Mass at Sacred Heart, Corner of West Market and Stone, Salinas.
  • Friday, July 11, following Mass. Burial at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 18200 Damian Way, Salinas. Burial site is near the statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe. (Funeral procession will be departing Sacred Heart at approximately 2:30 p.m., arriving at Queen of Heaven at approximately 3 p.m.)
  • Saturday, July 12, 1 p.m. Group Ride for Adrian, departing from Big 5 parking lot, Northridge Shopping Mall, Salinas, and ending at El Dorado Park. Route map is posted on .
  • Saturday, July 12, following group ride. BBQ at El Dorado Park, 1655 El Dorado Drive, Salinas. Donation $5 (or more), benefiting Adrian’s family.
  • Saturday, July 12, 6 p.m. Mosh for the Gavach! at Epek Print International, 909 Harkins Road, Suite G, Salinas. Donation of $5 (or more), benefiting Adrian’s family.
For more info on activities, see “Group Ride for Adrian” event page on Facebook. There you’ll find the July 12 ride route and any updates, plus other details, including about gatherings at the Ghost Bike spot for Adrian, a benefit car wash, and more.

Be sure to check that FB event page for any updates on the route. As of early afternoon on 7/10, the planned route was as follows:

For a KION story from the Ghost Bike spot, click here. For a follow-up story from KION at that site during the 7/12 memorial ride, click here.

AdrianGarcia group rideKindly note that an error was made on the poster regarding location of visitation/viewing and reciting of the rosary on July 10; correct location is Healey Mortuary. 

How did this tragedy happen?

Adrian was biking in the dark, as so many of us love to do, accompanied by his girlfriend, Eliana, who was traveling by car.

On this night, reportedly, he made the tragic decision to bike through a red light. Although admittedly against the law, the decision isn’t surprising to many experienced cyclists. They know it’s a decision he may have made due to biking at 2:49 a.m., a time of day when there is little traffic on this stretch of road. What Adrian didn’t factor in during this likely split-second decision was that a driver approaching in this 45 mph speed zone was traveling at an estimated 70 mph.

There probably isn’t one person who hasn’t at some time in their life broken a law while driving or while bicycling, even though a small percentage have been caught. The horror of this situation was the deadly combination of two lawbreaking factors–a speeding driver and a bicyclist attempting to slip through a red light. The grief of this tragedy was added to by the driver  breaking yet another law, that of leaving the scene of a collision.

More ways to honor Adrian: Make it safer for people to bike

Please honor the life of Adrian Garcia by increasing the numbers of people who bike! The more people who bike in a community, the safer it is, because of greater awareness.

Here are just a few ideas:

AAA Monterey-Salinas map

  • Thanks to Edwin Nolasco, Nicholas Takashi Santana, and the many, many other people who came forward to show support for Adrian’s loved ones.
  • Muchas gracias to @bikesalinas /Bike Salinas for the early heads-up and providing the first poster above, and to Luciano Rodriguez for providing the top photo, of Adrian’s first ghost bike.
  • Adrian’s first ghost bike was stolen on 7/10/14, and Green Pedal Couriers provided a replacement ghost bike. People who are desperate for transportation in Monterey County need not resort to theft; there are other options! provides bikes for those who cannot afford them.
  • Thank you to Sergeant Bryan Cupak of Salinas Police Department for his helpfulness to people who bike, as shown during the 7/12 ride. The group stopped for a ceremony at the ghost bike spot. Sgt Cupak joined the mourners there and blocked traffic briefly. This allowed the ride’s sag wagons–which also served as transportation for any family members who were not biking–to pause safely in the right-hand traffic lane alongside the ceremonial spot, along with an overflow crowd of people who had biked there. We appreciate the respect shown by Sgt Cupak in extending this courtesy on behalf of Salinas PD to honor a fallen rider.

7-12-14 Salinas Adrian Garcia mem ride (2)

 Petition regarding the ghost bike memorial

You may wish to sign a petition on regarding Adrian Garcia’s ghost bike memorial. Here are my thoughts, and below them, a link to the petition.

I encourage the friends of Adrian Garcia to work patiently with the City of Salinas to see if it’s possible to establish a lasting memorial here. Among matters it is necessary to address are legal requirements, such as disability access, and other engineering standards.

If it turns out that a memorial can remain here,  new design concepts may be appropriate to consider.  An artistic, lasting memorial that is most aesthetically pleasing–be it a ghost bike or possibly an alternate memorial–will show utmost respect for Adrian and his family. It would also likely lead to the memorial becoming a valued neighborhood landmark, honoring him further.

Having volunteers committed to long-term maintenance, so the site will remain something the family and the city can be proud of, could also be helpful.

A well-designed, well-maintained memorial could serve as a visible reminder that in Salinas, residents and city officials alike care about the safety of people who bike.

To sign the petition, go to:

Tip of the helmet to our buddy @bikesalinas /Bike Salinas for initiating this petition, in support of the wishes of Adrian’s family and friends.

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This post was first published in July 2014, with updates in 2015, 2016, 2017.

This post was published on 11 June 2017. One or more changes last made to this post on 16 August 2021.

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