Grand Rapids Ghost Bike by Patrick Goff
Summer in Michigan is a time when you’ll see a lot more bikes on the road, and I offer today’s post with the sincere hope that everyone who reads it remembers that 75% of all bicycle fatalities are caused by driver error. It’s your duty as a driver to PAY ATTENTION as you pilot a several thousand pound machine that can become a deadly weapon in an instant. GhostBikes.org shares:
Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.
The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. Currently there are over 500 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 180 locations throughout the world. (current number is well over 600) For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again — but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed.
Patrick took this photo back in 2010. See more in his Hipstamatic gallery on Flickr.
PS: There’s a Michigan Ghostbikes group on Facebook in case you’d like to join.
One thought on “Ghost Bikes”
It gives you cause to pause. I pass a ghost bike on Jefferson Avenue near Lake Erie Metropark. Just a cursory glance had me thinking someone parked it and took off, but I took a closer look next trip out to the Park then did some research on “white bikes”. Very sad. My boss, age 75, is a bicyclist and was hit a few years ago riding to work by an auto worker exiting the Jefferson Assembly Plant after shift change. He was not hospitalized but got some serious road rash and a subsequent infection.