Atip Ouypron

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Atip Ouypron
Friday, July 18, 2008
Age: 22

Location:
San Diego 92103
United States
picture from the San Diego Tribunepicture from the San Diego Tribunepicture from the San Diego Tribune

Atip Ouypron was riding home after midnight from his job at Trader Joes down University and was crashed into by a pickup truck as he turned left onto Park. He died Saturday morning July 19, 2008.

Atip was well known in the San Diego bike community hundreds of whom gathered on July 21st to dedicate his ghost bike and remember him on that corner. "ATIP FOREVER" stencils were sprayed all around the memorial.

Several activists and friends of Atip worked to keep his ghostbike installed on this corner, starting a blog to chronicle their efforts to save it. However, on November 20, 2008, the City's Street Division removed it.

Photos of the installation can be seen here.

From the San Diego Tribune:

GHOST BIKE: A memorial to cyclist Atip Ouypron

A tatted and hiply tressed foursome approaches the northeast corner of Park and University, dressed all in black. There's no salon around -- your first thought as they approach -- then you remember why you're lingering at this stuttering intersection, fed with car lanes spiking off impossibly in 10 directions. The four are here to light candles around Atip Ouypron's ghost bike.

The ghost bike memorial is known worldwide and especially in bike messenger towns like New York and San Francisco. The tradition of painting a donated bike white and chaining it to a spot near where a cyclist was injured or killed by a car started in St. Louis, Mo., in 2003.

And if it's possible to look past Atip's tragic death for some larger meaning, perhaps this way of memorializing a fallen rider means San Diego is finally part of the larger cycling movement -- you think this to yourself when you hear Atip's ghost bike, installed on Monday, July 21, was San Diego's first.

Atip had finished his shift at the Trader Joe's in Hillcrest, and sometime after midnight on Friday, July 18, was making a left turn onto Park Boulevard. The turn arrow was red, San Diego police Sgt. Jeff Fellows told the Union-Tribune. He was hit by a pickup truck that didn't seem to be going very fast, says an area resident, walking past the ghost bike.

"He was so young! Only 22," says Bertha, who'd left her post at the bus stop, and handles the handwritten notes to Atip. A motorcycle drives up onto the sidewalk, and its passenger pops off to take a close-up look.

Up the street at Trader Joe's, you ask one of the Jeffs (there are four) how the employees are holding up. The mood is somber, he says, then retrieves a flier with directions to the Buddhist ceremonies* for Atip this week. You didn't know him, you tell Jeff. You're just a fellow cycler.

"Well, if there's something to take away from this, it's wear a helmet," says Jeff in a strained voice.

Yes, there's that to remember. Indeed the ghost bike is a reminder of the risks of road cycling, and above all, it's a way to remember a rider. For now, there's a white bicycle on Park and University surrounded by flowers -- some orchids from Trader Joe's, an Old English 40 ounce, and a note, "See you at thug mansion, Boo."

*Ceremonies for Atip Ouypron will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, July 23 and 24, 2008, at the Wat Lao Buddharam of San Diego, 726 44th St. 92102. There will be a fundraiser for his funeral services and family on Wednesday, July 30, at San Diego Sports Club.

Atip is the person being carried in the photo below: