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Thread: Ghost bikes

  1. #1
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    Ghost bikes

    Hi everyone, I'm new here... to the site and the forum. My name is Meaghan, I live in New York City, and consequently almost all of my biking is done on NYC streets, avenues, and greenways. I've been a biker since i was ten years old, commuting to my elementary school in the suburbs of Boston, and have continued to bike during the past 7 years in NYC.

    I came to this forum for help with my short film about ghost bikes. (if you don't know what a ghost bike is, see ghostbikes.org)

    i'm looking for people interested in sharing their thoughts about ghost bikes on camera. interviews are currently being conducted in the NYC area, so please let your friends in the NYC area know about it.

    anyone and everyone with something to say about ghost bikes is invited to participate in this project, including but not limited to: bikers, drivers, friends and family of ghost bike cyclists, EMTs who have responded to bicycle related accidents, street space activists, and people who have never heard of a ghost bike.

    questions to consider:
    how did you become introduced to the concept of ghost bikes? (did you see one on the street, hear from a friend, find on the internet?)
    do you remember the first ghost bike you saw? where was it? did it look like people visited it often? (were there flowers? did it appear to you more as a memorial or as a crappy old abandoned bike?)
    how do you feel about people using ghost bikes as a memorial for a friend or family member? (sometimes in the past, communities have been sensitive to the erection of white crosses or other memorial markers for violent traffic accidents, because of the effect on EMT and other people who may not want to relive the memory of that accident scene)
    how do you feel about the intention of a ghost bike? is it art, a memorial, a statement? how effective are they as art, memorials or statements?
    do you have a personal experience with ghost bikes? (have you erected one for a friend?)

    It would be great if you are willing to discuss anything ghost bike related on camera... Responses to the questions above, or any tangents that those questions inspire, or any anecdotes you have to share... Maybe your anecdote starts with "Every day on my way to work i ride my bike past 2 ghost bikes... and when I see them I feel... I think..."

    your involvement will consist of trading a few emails, then making an appointment to be interviewed on camera (depending on how much you would like to say, this will require at least two hours of your time).

    thanks for taking the time to read this, and hope to hear from you.
    please send inquiries to nycfilmcasting [at] gmail dotcom

  2. #2
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    If you're going to introduce a new word just explain it. Otherwise

  3. #3
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    New word maybe, but not a new idea. I think she`s talking about "ninja bikers".

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilonpill
    If you're going to introduce a new word just explain it. Otherwise
    When I saw the words, "ghost bike", I was reminded of a destructive trick I used to do as a kid with my Murray BMX. Very similar to this!

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/8KNZjAlTvPE&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/8KNZjAlTvPE&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    To the OP, regarding your concept of a "ghost bike" (i.e. a roadside memorial for those who didn't check out her website), I'm not too keen on roadside memorials at all. IMHO, memorials placed at spots where cyclists and drivers have died just create a distraction in an already unsafe place. Sorry for being morbid, but how would you feel if a cyclist and/or a driver got distracted while looking at one of these memorials and as a result got in an accident where another person died?

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    ghost bikes are memorials for dead cyclists

    hi again... I was actually referring to the street memorial project that is active in many cities worldwide where white bicycles are installed at the site of a cyclist's death on the street. the goals are varied: remind drivers to watch for bikers, remind bikers to ride defensively, give families and friends a place to grieve... ghostbikes.org has more info and photos and maps...

    part of my interest in exploring the effects of these memorials and peoples' opinions of them is that they are largely unknown outside of certain circles.

    i am looking for people in hte NYC area willing to share their first impressions about these white bicycle memorials on camera... so now that you know what they are, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts via this forum or via email.

    any and all thoughts welcome; i am interested in discovering peoples' honest thoughts and opinions, not in crafting any sort of "message".

    thanks for the responses!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by theriotisover
    hi again...

    i am looking for people in hte NYC area willing to share their first impressions about these white bicycle memorials on camera... so now that you know what they are, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts via this forum or via email.


    thanks for the responses!
    I think this is a very good topic for research, but since you are looking for 'locals' you may have more luck posting in the New York forum here:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/new-york-new-jersey/

    I have seen a few ghost bikes and dead bikers memorials here in NorCal and although I think they are creepy, they are a good reminder for us bikers and for the car drivers.

    good luck
    ZT
    "There is no A-line"
    Savvy Bike

  7. #7
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    thanks ZT!

  8. #8
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    Not trying to be a wise a**, but in New York, aren't the bikes likely to be stolen, vandalized or graffitied?

  9. #9
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    Had to dig this thread up....I just spent a few days in NY and came across a ghost bike for the first time. It was pretty sobering. I explained to my wife what it was and she was very moved by the whole concept. To be honest I thought the concept was sort of lame before I actually came across one. It was a much more effective memorial/reminder than I thought it would be.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    New word maybe, but not a new idea. I think she`s talking about "ninja bikers".
    Out here its a "Ghost ride" .

  11. #11
    AZ
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    I find the idea of ghost bikes to be valid , but in practice I believe that in alot of cases it becomes a distraction that contributes to inattention to drivers .

  12. #12
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    I saw one of these in downtown Columbia SC a month or two ago on the Blossom st bridge. At the time I didnt know what it was and just thought it was some homeless guy's attempt to be able recognize his bike if someone stole it. But now I know. It is a nice gesture to commemorate someones memory and make more people aware but I do see it as being distraction. Especially on a heavily bike commuted street/bridge that needs to keep drivers attention on the road.

  13. #13
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    I figure I'd chime in, since I'm familiar with Ghost Bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by theriotisover
    questions to consider:
    how did you become introduced to the concept of ghost bikes? (did you see one on the street, hear from a friend, find on the internet?)
    I knew of a couple of bike accidents involving deaths earlier this year, and learned about Ghost Bikes being something erected at or near the site of the person who lost their life. I learned there was a local bike blogger who is active in supporting anything and everything involving the commuting community, even to funding Ghost Bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by theriotisover
    do you remember the first ghost bike you saw? where was it? did it look like people visited it often? (were there flowers? did it appear to you more as a memorial or as a crappy old abandoned bike?)
    Even though Ghost Bikes exist, the very first one I ever saw was when we were in Philadelphia, PA earlier this year. It didn't seem like many or really anyone visited it at all, even though it was a significant color and stood out like a beacon of light.

    Quote Originally Posted by theriotisover
    how do you feel about people using ghost bikes as a memorial for a friend or family member? how do you feel about the intention of a ghost bike? is it art, a memorial, a statement? how effective are they as art, memorials or statements?
    I feel that it is an honorable symbol for a memorial to be erected to someone who died doing something they most likely chose and had fun doing. A few months ago, a young woman left to go ride on her lunch break with her friend to train for an upcoming triathlon. Travelling underneath an overpass and riding on a bike lane, someone came off
    the offramp and hit her close to 40mph from what I understand. Her friend was distraught after seeing what had happened and a Ghost Bike was erected. I commute to work, just an exit away from that street at an even busier onramp/offramp transition and not a ride goes by where I don't think about her.

    After a month or so that happened, a Ghost Bike from another area of the city, was reported to be stolen a "second" time. That to me felt like an insult and not only disrespectful, but totally unnecessary.



    Quote Originally Posted by theriotisover
    do you have a personal experience with ghost bikes? (have you erected one for a friend?)
    I don't have any personal experience with Ghost Bikes for a friend, considering I'm the only one I know out of my friends that actually commute and ride to work.

    Good luck on your short film.

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