Have you heard of ghost bikes?
I hadn’t heard of ghost bikes until I saw one on my ride to work the other day. It was at the corner of Speer Boulevard, Lincoln Street and Sixth Avenue, where I normally just notice the sprinklers. But the white, spray-painted bike (pictured here), chained to the street sign caught my attention.
That night, I asked my boyfriend if he knew anything about white bicycles chained up around town, and he said, “Yeah, they’re memorials to a cyclist killed on that spot.” I’d suspected this unhappy explanation but was hoping I was mistaken.
I began Googling “cyclist ki …” and didn’t even have to finish typing my search term before “cyclist killed in Denver” came up, and I saw links to news stories about Dan Peterson, 30, who was hit by a car while cycling. This made me sad.
I kept reading and found out that the incident was a hit-and-run. This made me still sadder. I read on and found out that the person who hit Mr. Peterson got out of their car, grabbed his bike, and dragged it away with them. This made me sick to my stomach.
I ride by the ghost bike every work day, and while it makes me feel sad, I feel a certain satisfaction as I pedal past it. The busy intersection is full of cars, and everyone can see the ghost bike.