Originally published in dandyhorse issue one, Summer 2008
Photo by Martin Reis
I thought a lot about memorials as I rode to yet another memorial recently. This memorial was in Streetsville. A 60 km round trip. I rode alone and realized I have been doing these treks since 1995 or 1996.
It has just been in the last three years that ARC - Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists - started placing ghosts bikes. Once ARC agrees to do a memorial, we invite the family of the deceased to attend and a time and place for the ride is set. A donated bike is found and painted white. The bike is transported by a bike trailer or cargo bike.
We ride to the scene and the bike is locked to a post. We unroll a banner that reads "A cyclist was killed here last week." We take over the street for some minutes. Hats off, heads lowered, we observe a minute of silence to remember a passing cyclist.
In all of this time I have never known any of the cyclists killed. This time I rode to the crime scene with no banner, no call to the family, no ghost bike - only my sentiments, my anger, and the flowers I picked up at the local florist. As I tie the flowers to the telephone pole already thick with bouquets, I wondered why I do this. I realize my reasons are selfish. I hope that if I am ever run down that there is someone who will take the time to lay flowers for me.
From a member of ARC who asked to remain anonymous
~This article originally appeared in dandyhorse issue one, Summer 2008 ~