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More than just art: the ‘Ghost Bikes’ of New York City

One of the great things about living in Brooklyn or any major city is the street art: graffiti, vertical gardens, street performers, everywhere you look there is some sort of creativity being aspired (I even saw flame throwers the other night in Bushwick because BUSHWICK!). But one of the more subtle and beautiful works are those of the Ghost Bikes.

Now, I had no idea these bikes really had any meaning; I was just like, “oh look at these spray painted bikes with flowers, they look really fuckin’ neat,” until it was brought to my attention via my biker friends on Instagram that these specially decorated bikes are “Ghost Bikes”, placed in memory of riders who were struck at a certain intersection.


Seen in Bushwick. Photo by Kaitlin Duffy.

“Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.”


In Queens. Photo by Kaitlin Duffy.

There are over 600+ bike memorials installed over 210 locations in Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, Cyprus, Singapore, Turkey, and more. So next time you’re out on the road driving remember to DRIVE SAFE, respecting those riding and sharing the road.

(main photo via Ghost Bikes)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.