“Oh, We close our eyes, The perfect life is all we need.” – Moby
I set out on my beater bike and cycle around town shooting pictures of things that grab my interest. The photos pile up in my library and when I sit to view them, maybe a week or month later, themes I never imagined appear that I will use for Cityscapes in the Schuylkill Valley Journal,
One such theme is a collection of bikes I’ve accumulated, many chained to poles, trees, and, believe it or not, artistically designed bicycle racks. I even have a shot of a unicycle chained to a traffic sign.
But the bike that pushed me over the edge was a Ghost Bike chained to a traffic signal pole at Girard and Ridge Avenues.
I steered to the curb, dismounted, and read the note attached to the bike:
Vijay Krishna Mohan
Generous Community Member
Greatest rapper of all time
Born September 2, 1988
Died May 10th, 2015 after being hit by a car.
Jay Mohan had gone to the movies that night to see While We Were Young with his girlfriend. She took a cab home and he pedaled down Ridge Avenue toward Brewerytown where he lived when he was struck by a 1993 Buick shortly after midnight. He was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital a short time later.
The intersection at Ridge and Girard Avenues is along one of the morning routes I used to run with my friends at Back on My Feet. I stood on the path where the vibrant young filmmaker’s life ended, closed my eyes, and offered a prayer; then I thought about the beautiful testimonial on the paper attached to the Ghost Bike, saddled back up and continued on my way, humming Moby’s The Perfect Life, and keeping the beat with each successive stroke of the pedals.