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Ghostbikes

chromehoofchromehoof Posts: 79
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
has anyone here heard of Ghostbikes? This appeared at the scene of a cycling fatality close enough to where I live in the past week or so (the accident happened a couple of months back).

P1000212.jpg


I had never heard of it before I saw this picture (a friend sent it). As someone who has lost a family member in a cycling-fatality I have to say I think this is a fantastic idea. Its pretty hard-hitting and will certainly capture the attention.

Posts

  • chromehoof...so sorry to hear of your loss. There's something similar to this on the road leading to Devils censored in Brighton. A bike sprayed white and regularly adorned with fresh flowers....a sad, tragic but effective memorial.
  • thanks. Yeah, its quite appropriate seeing as how we're typically the 'invisible' road users.

    They tried a kind of 'shock and awe' campaign here with cars a couple of years ago. They took actual wreckage from road fatalities and set it where the accident took place, and placed a sign by it warning people of the dangers of speeding, etc.

    It seems they hit the nail on the head with this ghostbikes thing though. I must look into a bit more. In my case its a number of years since the fatality in my family. Still though, a retrospective memorial such as this wouldn't be a half-bad idea I reckon.
  • _Brun_ wrote:


    did you try searching 'ghostbike' turned up no results for me :?
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    I think the other thread may have been "Ghost Bikes" (two words) but it's hardly the end of the world if there are two similar threads.

    On the subject of Ghost Bikes, I always thought the idea was that you took the person's actual bike and sprayed it white but reading up it seems they just get any old bike and use that.

    I don't know where I got the idea that it was always the victim's bike that got painted white but I must say I'm disappointed to learn that it's not the case, and they just find another bike. There's something nice about the idea of it being the actual bike that they rode.
  • I found this...

    http://www.ghostbikes.org/

    And this is the bike I mentioned in my previous response...

    http://www.ghostbikes.org/brighton-and-hove
  • Jamey wrote:
    On the subject of Ghost Bikes, I always thought the idea was that you took the person's actual bike and sprayed it white but reading up it seems they just get any old bike and use that.

    I don't know where I got the idea that it was always the victim's bike that got painted white but I must say I'm disappointed to learn that it's not the case, and they just find another bike. There's something nice about the idea of it being the actual bike that they rode.

    I think its enough that most people will automatically assume its the victims bike. In my case we never got the bike returned to us by the police. Not that we wanted it or anything. I guess doing something like this would also need to be sensitive to the loved ones of the person that died in the accident. I think having the actual bike there would freak me out personally.
  • Would be quite odd and would probably be a matter of time before some 'orrible little scrote nicked the bike if it werer any good, sad but probably true
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    Painted white, the only thing they'll be getting from it is the frame.
  • terongiterongi Posts: 318
    Jamey wrote:
    ... but I must say I'm disappointed to learn that it's not the case, and they just find another bike. There's something nice about the idea of it being the actual bike that they rode.

    You have a strange idea of what "nice" is

    In many cases, the bike that a fatal accident victim actually rode is not a pretty sight. And if the bike came out of the fatal accident unscathed, then it could be used by someone else as a tribute to the deceased.

    I think the people who set up these mouments have to tread a fine line between bad taste and respect for the deceased and their family.

    A monument is supposed to be a representation. So commemorating someone's tragic death with "a" bike is no different from erecting a statute of a famous person and his horse, for instance.
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    I just think it's more personal... And if the bike's in a state then it's more of a warning and more likely to make people stop and think.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I appreciate the sentiment - but only cyclists will spot them. Motorists just wont notice them at all or even realise whats behind them ?
  • cougie wrote:
    I appreciate the sentiment - but only cyclists will spot them. Motorists just wont notice them at all or even realise whats behind them ?

    I disagree. I mean its not uncommon to see flowers at locations where accidents occurred. Its certainly common here in Dublin. But in those cases its never easy to tell what kind of accident occurred, whether it was a pedestrian, cyclist, whatever.

    Sure, a large proportion of people may pass the monument without noticing, but even if it has the effect of capturing the attention of a small number, then it will have been worthwhile.

    Remember, while we're cycling our bikes many perceive us as nothing more than a nuisance. Seeing something like a ghostbike may make people change their opinions, and thus their attitude.
  • terongiterongi Posts: 318
    cougie wrote:
    I appreciate the sentiment - but only cyclists will spot them. Motorists just wont notice them at all or even realise whats behind them ?

    That is completely unfounded.

    Why shouldn't motorists notice them? Because they drive past too fast? What if the ghostbike is at a set of traffic lights?

    If they do notice them, why wouldn't motorists realise what's behind them? We cyclists did. Motorists are people as well. They know that cyclists are vulnerable and sometimes get hurt and killed. Most of the non-cyclists I know say to me, "how can you cycle in town - it's so dangerous?"
  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    _Brun_ wrote:
    did you try searching 'ghostbike' turned up no results for me :?
    No, I thought that it would probably make more sense to just search for just 'ghost', and the very recent thread on the subject isn't far from the top of the results.

    Certainly wasn't having a go at Chromehoof, and I agree with Jamey about two threads not being the end of the world. Just might've been useful for the OP to read the other thread and add their two-pennth.

    I clearly spend too much time on the internet. :)
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    terongi wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    I appreciate the sentiment - but only cyclists will spot them. Motorists just wont notice them at all or even realise whats behind them ?

    That is completely unfounded.

    Why shouldn't motorists notice them? Because they drive past too fast? What if the ghostbike is at a set of traffic lights?

    If they do notice them, why wouldn't motorists realise what's behind them? We cyclists did. Motorists are people as well. They know that cyclists are vulnerable and sometimes get hurt and killed. Most of the non-cyclists I know say to me, "how can you cycle in town - it's so dangerous?"

    Motorists by and large - are not interested in bikes. We see a bike and instantly check out the gruppo and the frame. Motorists arent bothered. You do see so much more on a bike ride than you see in a car - if motorists are looking at padlocked bikes - then why arent they looking where they are going ? And ok - posters on here may know of ghost bikes - but the average person in the street wont have a clue.

    Even if its at a set of lights - most motorists arent taking in the views from their box - they're waiting for green or fiddling with the aircon/radio/taking a call.
  • i can see and understand why people leave flowers/ghost bikes but in terms of doing anything other than expressing grief, is very unlikely to change peoples driving etc, be nice if road safety was so easy...
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