Avid cyclist Gary Sim, 70, being remembered by family and friends
Cycling community honoured Sim with a 'ghost ride' Friday evening
An avid cyclist who died after he was struck by a vehicle is being remembered by his family and friends as a loving husband and father and a Torontonian through and through.
Gary Sim, 70, was honoured with a "ghost ride" by the city's cycling community Friday night.
Sim was in excellent physical shape and often travelled to other countries with his wife to bike on vacation, his daughter Kristen Campbell said.
"If he had to go anywhere he'd use his bike; it was his number one transportation," said Campbell.
Sim was struck by a van while riding his bike and died of his injuries on July 2.
He was a musician who would bring his guitar out at gatherings and play for his family, including his wife, three children and six grandchildren.
"If you would hang out with him he would have you laughing. He had a way of making friends," said Campbell. "He was witty. His comebacks were great. He could laugh at himself."
Sim was born and raised in Toronto and lived in the city's north-west end with his wife, who is also a cyclist.
"If you wanted a tour of Toronto, my dad would be the one to take you around because he knew everything about this city and he used this city to the fullest," said Campbell.
From time to time, Sim would tweet about cycling in Toronto, Campbell says, whenever he would have a dangerous encounter with a vehicle or discover a new bike path or route that he thought other cyclists would enjoy.
"He would often tweet about good things, like how Toronto was moving forward with new bike lanes and moving forward as a city," she said.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeTO?src=hash">#BikeTO</a> this is my last tweet as I pedal my ghost bike with you all I was struck down 06/30 while riding and did not survive <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sharetheroad?src=hash">#sharetheroad</a>—@GarySim
When Sim died, his family sent out one last tweet from his account.
"The cycling community is a really tight knit community. They have this sense of togetherness," Campbell said. "As a family we thought we would put it out so people in this community would know what happened."
'Ghost ride' to honour Sim
The memorial ride to honour Sim took place at Bloor Street West and Spadina Avenue.
Local cyclists and Sim's family and friends were to ride 10 kilometres through the city. At the end, a white "ghost" bike was placed at Jane Street and Alliance Avenue, the site of the accident where Sim lost his life.
"Right away, [after it happened] I thought to myself, 'I'm done with my bike. I'm never touching it again.' And then I thought, 'You know what my dad would say? He'd say you're being ridiculous,'" Kristen Campbell said.
"He'd say, 'You might as well not walk outside. You might as well not get in a car.'"
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeTO?src=hash">#BikeTO</a> path along lake is clear and ice free. Good job <a href="https://twitter.com/311Toronto">@311Toronto</a> <a href="https://t.co/LAZOK2R03S">pic.twitter.com/LAZOK2R03S</a>—@GarySim