Scattered across roads, streets and highways are the eerie reminders of death. The Ghost Bikes of Boulder County sit quietly out in the open, the wind, dust, and exhaust wafting over the bicycle frames evoking stories and welling up tears where a cyclist tragically died. As time passes, the bikes weather and deteriorate like the bones of a skeleton exposed to the elements. Pedal to pedal, headset to down tube, the wheels are frozen in time to commemorate those lost on a bicycle. We cannot forget who they are, how and where they died. It is our honor and duty to represent their families and loved ones as lawyers who love cycling and the Boulder cycling community.
Where did Ghost Bikes Originate?
Ghost bikes started in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003 and now there are hundreds of Ghost Bikes in over 200 locations in many countries across the world. For the creators and installers of the memorials, each death of a fellow bicyclist is a reminder that we are all at risk. Cyclists travel the same roads, face the same conditions and the same potential for disaster.
We hope to inspire more people to install ghost bikes in their communities and to initiate changes that will make us all safer on the roads.
Who Can Install Ghost Bikes?
Anyone can install a white ghost bike. You do not need a permit or permission. Usually, an old bike can be obtained from a community group, family, friends, or an individual who knew the rider. You should use a bike of little monetary value because it could be removed or stolen. The best practice is to lock or chain the bicycle to a post or sign pole to discourage displacement. Detailed instructions for painting Ghost Bikes are available online.
The Ghost Bikes
Charles Crenshaw - May 2017, 63rd and Nelson Road (sideswiped off the shoulder).
Jesse Green - March 2018, Jay Road and 75th (hit head-on without a touch of the car’s brakes).
Ralph Cook - May 2021, South Boulder Road and Manhattan Drive (hit in the intersection).
Alejandro Acosta – July 2021, Lee Hill and Wagon Wheel Road (killed when a car turned left in front of him).
Philip Frost – September 2021, Sugarloaf Road.
William Thurmes - October 2021, Airport Road and Highway 119 (hit in traffic).
What Can We Do?
Vote for city council members, and state and federal legislators that support bicycle-friendly laws.
By Stuart Mann, Esq.
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