OLD TOWN — Friends, former colleagues and bicyclists who barely knew 26-year-old Bobby Cann gathered in tribute Thursday at a spot on Clybourn Avenue where the cyclist had been killed 24 hours earlier.
Many of those gathered rode their bikes to pay their respects at the spot marked with orange spray paint where Cann's body had lain.
His friends covered up those grisly squares of orange with their own spray painted message of "We'll miss you Bobby."
On a chain link fence nearby, they strung the message "RIDE ON."
"It's unreal," said Simon Bogode, who worked with Cann at REI down the block from the accident site. "You always say it couldn't have happened to a more amazing person, but really this couldn't have happened to a nicer person."
A large group of cyclists are expected to ride Friday's Critical Mass in honor of Cann, and although Bogode is 8 months pregnant, she said she will be there.
Another cyclist has offered to wheel her in a pedi-cab because her doctor said she can't ride.
Experienced riders who gathered at the crash site said Cann was an excellent cyclist. He followed the rules, and wore his helmet.
"If it's a red light, he stopped," said Greg Coleman, another fellow REI employee.
Coleman also went on multiple cycling trips with Cann including a five-day midwest tour.
"He was a great rider. He was one of the aware riders," Coleman said. "You hope that some people learn something from this."
Cann was struck and killed by a car heading south on Clybourn about 6:35 p.m. Wednesday as he headed home from his job at Groupon.
The 28-year-old driver of the Mercedes Benz that struck him was frantic at the scene, according to witnesses, and was taken away in handcuffs.
As of Thursday night, police said no charges had been filed.
After the Mercedes struck Cann, sending him across three lanes of traffic near the curb on the opposite end of the street, the vehicle struck another car, according to witnesses.
There are no marked bike lanes on the four-lane street.
Multiple bystanders rushed to help the unconscious cyclist, but there was nothing they could do.
Some people tried performing CPR on Cann, while others tried to tie a tourniquet around his leg. He never regained consciousness.
Friends of Cann took comfort in knowing that he died doing what he loved and that everyone at the scene did their best to try to save his life.
"It wasn't as if he was laying in a ditch," Coleman said. "I'm happy for that. He deserved more than that."