Toronto bike messenger killed. Messengers to hold vigil.

Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Toronto bike messenger Mike Rankin, 56 was killed after being struck by a taxi on Wednesday November 7. 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 (#62)

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“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.

Toronto messengers are holding a memorial ride today (Friday November 9) at 5pm at the corner of Richmond St and University Avenue.

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Big City Bike Messengers

This is a great documentary about New York City bike messengers from 1988. It was shown at the 1998 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Washington,DC during the messenger film festival at the Kennedy Center.

FIFTH, PARK AND MADISON is also included here.It starts at 19:35 of the video. It includes some good coverage of the proposed New York City bike ban that targeted messengers in 1988.

It will be shown again on September 28, 2012 at the Great Hall in New York.