‘Ghost bike’ memorial created for bicyclist killed in Valencia

Bryan Powers, Kori’s dad, and Nathen Powers, Kori's older brother, (left to right) embrace as they look at the "ghost bike" memorial dedicated to Kori Powers on Tuesday in Valencia. Courtesy of Nicole Pearson

A memorial was set up in Valencia on Tuesday following the death of Kori Powers, a bicyclist killed after being hit by a vehicle.

Powers was riding her bike on Rye Canyon Road in Valencia just after midnight Sunday, May 19, when a vehicle struck her from behind. The 22-year-old was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Earlier this week, the Powers family was contacted by Ghost Bikes, a worldwide organization dedicated to creating memorials for bicyclists hit or killed on the street, according to Powers’ aunt, Laura Pearson.

The group wanted to place a “ghost bike” in her memory at the site where she was killed, Pearson said.

On Tuesday evening, family and friends were joined by other local residents to paint a bicycle white as a memory of the tragedy and reminder for people driving by to slow down, according to Pearson.

“It was incredibly touching,” Pearson said. “We were joined by a super supportive group of 50 to 60 people, and everyone participated in painting the bike white. Some of the people didn’t know Kori, but they’re bike riders, and they showed up in support for our family.”

Bryan Powers, Kori’s dad, and Nathen Powers, Kori’s older brother, (left to right) spray painting the “ghost bike” memorial white on Tuesday in Valencia. Courtesy of Nicole Pearson

After it was painted, the bicycle was then locked to a tree near the crash site with an accompanying plaque where the bicycle will serve as a quiet statement in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.

Attendees of the event pointed out some of the issues that come with riding a bicycle in that area, including limited street lights and lack of speed limit signs, according to Pearson.

“We’re sitting on the grass right by the street where it happened and were watching cars go by too fast,” Pearson said. “Given the nature of people who have to work night shifts, a lot of them don’t have cars, and motorists need to be aware that they’re out on the roads.”

Pearson even contacted state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, to ask that the memorial be left in place as most are typically taken down after a week, she said.

“Her birthday is in June, and in that area, there are no crossways, no lights and fast drivers so we’re hoping that it kind of brings light to the things that need to be fixed,” Pearson said.

Pearson advises bicyclists to show themselves on the road and wear reflectors.

A “ghost bike” memorial was set up in Valencia on Tuesday following the death of Kori Powers, a bicyclist killed after being hit by a vehicle. Courtesy of Nicole Pearson

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Emily Alvarenga

Emily Alvarenga

Emily Alvarenga covers features and community for The Signal. She's new to the paper and Santa Clarita, but hasn't moved far from her hometown of Temecula, California. Emily graduated from San Diego State University in 2017 and has been writing and reporting since high school.