Ghost Bike pays tribute to Mt. Washington cyclist who died in crash

Photo by Mt. Washington resident

Mt. Washington residents have been stopping and staring at an old bike that has been painted white–including its tires, seat, and pedals–and chained to a post near the corner of Avenue 45 and Canon Crest. So-called Ghost Bikes are created to honor cyclists who have been killed while riding but also to raise awareness of bike accidents and safety, according to GhostBikes.org. The Mt. Washington Ghost Bike was installed following the death of 34-year-old Jean Carlos Galavin, who died last Sunday after his bike hit a curb and he was thrown into a hillside, according to police. “It was really startling to come across the signs when I was driving down Avenue 45, then finding this [white bike] at the stop sign,” said a Mt. Washington woman who took the accompanying photos.

While the sign above the Ghost Bike said Galavin was a victim of a hit-and-run police last week told Patch that there was no evidence any other vehicle was involved.


  1. I bet he didn’t have a bike light, that’s a dark street (especially at 4am). Why is the family asking for help, there was no hit and run, Just and unfortunate accident.

  2. 4am on a bike?

    I’m hesitant at 4am in a car.

    Not to say one shouldn’t be able to ride at 4am but parachuting has more risk than staying on the ground. Just sayin….

  3. So sad.. RIP!

  4. Jeez people. . . at least be decent human beings. I feel sympathy for their loss.

  5. police say no one hit him. unless someone has evidence to the contrary, this is a fraudulent claim. it’s certainly plausible that he crashed trying to avoid a car. that doesn’t really matter. for example: a few weeks ago, a kid got hit by a metro(!) because he was walking and texting. that’s horrible. but it wasn’t a hit and run.
    i biked every day of my gradeschool and junior high school life and competed in BMX competitions. and i cannot feel sorry for anyone who gets hit by a car when they were cycling recklessly. about 1 out of 5 cyclists i see in the area has appropriate nightime lighting (headlight + rear reflector + pedals with reflectors). it’s illegal to cycle without that. http://la-bike.org/resources/california-bicycle-laws

  6. my point was: people have been cycling safely in sub/urban areas for years. the secret is to be aware of cars and follow traffic laws. if a 34-yo can’t figure out how to avoid an accident on a road with practically no traffic . . .

  7. Poor guy didn’t make the turn and died doing what he loved. RIP and condolences to all who will miss him. As for the sign claiming hit and run, perhaps it’s a sign of the times in which someone else always has to shoulder the blaim and litigation always has to follow tragedy. Then again, maybe someone knows something we don’t.

  8. A 34-year-old man, hits a curb and is ‘thrown into a hillside’ (not much of a hillside on the corner of Canon Crest and W. Avenue 45) with enough force to cause his death. Police say there is no evidence that a motor vehicle was involved.

    The police need to investigate a bit more carefully. The ‘solo death’ scenario just doesn’t make sense.

    Get to work, Gentlemen (and ladies).

    • If you’ve ever biked the hills of Mount Washington, the solo death scenario makes a lot of sense. That’s a very steep and winding road, and it’s not particularly well lit at 4 in the morning. On top of that, fixies aren’t really known for their braking ability.

    • This sounds weird, but it can happen. A few years ago, an expert mountain biker was killed at my workplace while riding on a regular road in the evening. It is believed that he went out of control while avoiding one or more deer. He was wearing a helmet. And he was a very good rider.

  9. Condolencesto the family.

    However, all of us witness daily the trend of Fixies. No breaks, no lights, no reflectors.
    It makes people rightfully skeptical of any claim of car caused accidents.

    I’ve yet to see a single Ghost Bike that claims the death was the rider’s fault. But I have seen many Facebook posts of hospitalized or dead riders proudly riding their no breaks, no reflectors bikes.

    If we are to become a city where bikes, cars, and pedestrians share the road – we all need to take responsibility for our own actions.

  10. This bike truly is a ghost or something other worldly in that the sign is predicting an accident that hasn’t happened yet. Hit and Run on 9-19-12!

  11. Was he on a fixed gear bike?

    My condolences to his family.

  12. The whole thing is so sad. Yes, he was on a fixed gear bike according to his parents. As to the sign, his parents received a call from someone at 4am saying he ‘ran into’ or ‘hit’ their son. They said this person phrased it a few different ways. The police are saying however that there is no evidence of a hit and run. His parents obviously feel differently. My heart goes out to them and to his friends. RIP JC

    • If the person phrased it in a “few different ways” that might indicate that he was not very adept at using the language in which he was trying to communicate to the family. If that is so, he may not have communicated the intended information. If he called the parents, the police should be able to get a trace on the phone calls they received and identify the caller, no?
      In any case, condolences to the family.

  13. What a terrible loss for the family. May Jean Carlos Galvan rest in peace.

    For anyone who is wondering about the topography in question and how it could have been deadly: Canon Crest is extremely steep. The accident appears to have taken place at the bottom of the hill, so Jean was at top speed when he made impact. The “hillside” he apparently rode into is more a rocky, approximately six foot wall-like face of a cliff than a hillside. The street bends/turns about 90 degrees along the “hillside.” In other words, unless a rider/driver makes that 90 degree turn at the very bottom of the hill, they will slam directly into the rocky wall that is being referred to as a “hillside.”

  14. That just tells u even adult cyclist need helmets n other padding equipment..wow..causing a stir even Craigslist is selling ghost bikes..wow may the rider rest in peace ..ride till we die..ride till the wheels fall off…

  15. The majority of people on this forum should be embarrassed. I’m a family friend and witnessed the suffering of J.C.’s family after he died. Have some damn compassion.


    Yes, he was hit by a vehicle. Yes, I heard the voicemail. The man who did this was VERY CLEAR in what he did. No, police haven’t done a thing to investigate this. Despite his mother calling the department and sharing the voicemail with them, action has never been done. Someone got away with this and just left him there.

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