Ghost Bike

What does Ghost Bike mean?

Bicycle memorial on the roadside painted white

A Ghost Bike is a bicycle sprayed entirely in white and set up at the location of a tragic bike and vehicle collision. These white bicycles, often adorned with flowers and other decorations, serve as a touching tribute to the bicyclist who lost their lives in the accident.

More than just serving as a monument, ghost bikes also act as a grim reminder to car drivers. They urge motorists to maintain a safe speed and be conscious of cyclists, particularly on narrow, risk-prone streets. However, it’s quite distressing that these ghost bikes, too, are frequently hit by negligent drivers, highlighting the imminent dangers that bikers face on such roads.

The concept of ghost bikes originated in 2003 in St. Louis, Missouri. After witnessing a cyclist getting struck in a bike lane on Holly Hills Boulevard, a local named James Thompson decided to place a ghost bike where the accident occurred. Thompson continued to set up more ghost bikes at other crash sites around the city, sparking a movement that eventually spread to other major cities.

Example for using ‘Ghost Bike’ in a conversation

Hey, have you heard of a ghost bike?

Yeah, I have! It’s a white memorial bicycle placed on the roadside.

That’s right! It’s a tribute to cyclists who were killed in accidents with cars.

It’s also a reminder for drivers to slow down and be more aware of cyclists.