Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

01 September 2013

An Inverted Ghost Bike

If you live in New York, or another city with a lot of cyclists, you've probably seen a Ghostbike:  a bicycle, painted white and locked to a signpost or other structure, to memorialize a cyclist (usually named on a plaque next to the bike) who was killed or severely injured.

They are stark and somber reminders of the fact that safe travel is still not seen as a right we, as cyclists, have in the same measure as motorists.  I also see it as a way to honor the memory of someone who, as likely as not, died needlessly.  On the other hand, such shrines probably convince others that cycling in urban areas--or cycling generally--is "too dangerous". 

Of course, succumbing to such a fear is not the way to make conditions safer, not only for cyclists, but also for pedestrians (who are probably killed as often as cyclists are), particularly those who are young children, elderly or disabled.

Likewise, one doesn't prevent war or any other kind of violence by acquiescing to one's fears about it.  As Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the Civil Rights movement showed us, the way to end or prevent war is to work for peace, and the way to combat injustice is to work for justice.

All right, I'll get off my soapbox now.  I got on it when I saw this:

I think of it as a kind of inverse--a photograph negative, if you will--to the Ghostbike.  The flower-festooned bike, parked at the corner of Hudson and Barrow Streets in Greenwich Village, is publicizing the "Peace Ride" led by Time's Up.  It leaves from the Ghandhi statue in Union Square Park at 2pm on the third Sunday of every month, and takes cyclists on a tour of the city's "peace sites".

1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness I've never seen a ghost bike, though I've seen many memorials to former motorists along various roads.