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Ghost Bike Mystery In Washington Heights, NY

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A child sized BMX bike, painted white, appeared Washington Heights, NY a few months ago. Nothing too ghostly about it. No apparitions or haunting sounds. It doesn’t fly around or shout “Boo”. The mystery is that it may not actually be a “Ghost Bike” at all. Full story in the NY Times.

So what is a “Ghost Bike”? Ghost bikes are bicycles that are painted all white and are chained to signs or poles to designate the scenes of cyclist deaths around the city. The New York City Street Memorial Project has been placing these bikes since 2005 and does not take credit for the little white BMX. One volunteer researched that particular corner and couldn’t find any information on a cyclist fatality at that intersection. Plaques are generally attached to the bikes giving the victims name, age, date of the crash, and something like “Rest In Peace”.

More information on Ghost Bikes and PICTURES below…

ghost-bike-blk-white memorial for cyclist death

The first memorial was officially installed in St. Louis in 2003 (not pictured). Since then the idea has spread to other cities around the US and around world. Ghost bikes have been spotted across the UK, Austria, Lithuania, Brazil and more.

ghost-bike-fred askew

Photo by Fred Askew

Since June 2005, 56 ghost bikes have been installed in New York City to commemorate 80 known fatalities, including 26 individuals for whom there is no information.The bikes are generally disabled completely, all the components are painted white, and locked it to a street sign rather than take up space on a bike rack. (A guide to installing can be found on the project’s Web site.)


Manchester, Lancashire, UK


Ghost bike for Matthew Powell

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