Ghost Bikes

Many of us have seen roadside flowers and crosses memorializing the site of an auto accident.  In my travels I’ve seen far too many of them.  Each time I wonder about who and how.  Was it a family? A carload of teens?  Was alcohol involved?  Drugs?  Speed? I imagine a terrible hole in the lives of a family.

Walking along a cycling/walking path in Albuquerque, I came upon a different sort of memorial at an intersection where a bike path crosses a 40 mph 4-lane street.

A ghost bike.


Two things I knew: Roy Sekreta was dead by auto in the prime of his life.  And some people cared about him.  Cared enough to get a bike frame and paint it white:  spokes, chain, everything.  Artificial flowers were attached.  The cyclist’s name was painted on the top tube and the years spanning his life on the down tube.

I googled Roy Sekreta and learned that this was one of three ghost bikes in Albuquerque, and the notion of memorializing cyclists at dangerous intersections was not a new idea.

In fact, it began in San Francisco in 2002 and has spread to St Louis, New York, Seattle, London, Berlin, and dozens more cities.

Roy Sekreta and other dead cyclists continue to make a difference by reminding motorists and cyclists alike to pay attention, be cautious, and be aware.

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5 Responses to Ghost Bikes

  1. Helen says:

    al,
    we see too many ghost bikes throughout the boroughs of NY!
    In fact, as you go through central park , from the east side of manhattan to the west,, several can be seen! i have also seen a few in new jersey!.
    helen

  2. tennjournal says:

    Haven’t visited in a while. I like the new intro. Thanks for the New Yorker piece. I loved it. Makes me glad all over again that I signed with the ‘new (mighty BIG) kid on the block’. My favorite part of that piece: the ending–a book on Moorish architecture 1200-1492. That’s the EXACT book I’m looking for in my research on my current novel! Who knew?
    Francine

  3. karen wittgraf says:

    Nice memorial- I like it. Jerry wants to know if the fluid started boiling in the brake system or if they are air brakes? Hopefully, they are not burned out and not cost you an arm and a leg. Careful on those mountains! So- tell me about Santa Fe!

  4. Ellen says:

    There’s a ghost bike at the Emeryville/Oakland border near where I live… I’ve driven past it for years, but didn’t know it was called a ghost bike until recently. I looked it up online and it’s there to remember Mathew Sperry, a 34-year-old musician killed there in 2003…..

  5. Colleen Rae says:

    Drivers are so often rude to bycyclists. It’s a shame! Often it ends in an accident. I remember one on the road from Mill Valley to Corte Madera, a road that a lot of cycylists loved to ride. I saw a car go around a man on a bycyle and just clip him, knocking him off his bike. I stopped, but he hit him and ran! I didn’t get his license #, but the cyclists wasn’t seriously hurt. It was a reminder to be polite to them on the road.

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