Colors Of A Cause: Ghost Bikes

As more people are using bicycles as their main form of transportation, especially within metropolitan areas where most people only travel a few miles everyday, sharing the roads has become more of an issue.

In an attempt to raise public awareness and start a dialog about the rights of cyclists and the problems with our current road sharing systems, people across the country, and across the world, are creating Ghost Bikes as a memorial to those who have been struck or killed while riding on the public streets.

Photo by Howard Kaplan

What Are Ghost Bikes

Ghost Bikes are bikes that have been built from scrap or donated parts that can no longer be reused. They are stripped of all unnecessary parts that could potentially be desicrated or reclaimed for scrapes, painted stark white, then fixed to the site where a cyclist has been hit or killed.

Photo by wiki

The History of Ghost Bikes

The first ghost bike was erected in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003 by Patrick Van Der Tuin. He got the idea after witnessing a cyclist get hit by a car in the bike lane. He painted and placed a bike frame with a hand painted sign using red lettering which read: “Cyclist Struck Here.” Since then, similar projects have started across the US and other cities worldwide.

Photo by zalgon

The Meaning Of Ghost Bikes

Ghost Bikes become a beacon on an otherwise anonymous street corner, with the hope that each passing motorists, cyclist and pedestrians will realize the failures of how we currently share public space, and will in turn be more aware of the potential that it is as easy, and unexpected, to be a victim as it is to be a killer. It is a memorial to the person who was hit or killed, but it is also a bold statement of consciousness and awareness to the problems that we face as a community of people. One that will hopefully enact the necessary changes so we can all feel safe to use the public roads.

Photo by minvervah

More Info

There are a number of sites dedicated to ghost bike related projects, and there has been a push to create a central worldwide database of every ghost bike. Here are few of a number of sites currently involved in the project.
wiki:Ghost bike
Ghost Bike Chicago

Title Photo by cecilanne

Author: evad
David Sommers has been loving color as COLOURlovers' Blog Editor-in-Chief for the past two years. When he's not neck deep in a rainbow he's loving other things with The Post Family (, a Chicago-based art blog, artist collective & gallery.