It’s a sad fact that most Brooklyn residents are used to seeing Ghost Bikes, those painted-white memorials to bicyclists who have lost their lives in traffic accidents, all over the borough’s sidewalks. It’s an even sadder fact that some bike thieves see these tributes to fallen cyclists as feeding grounds for their nefarious greed. Dozens of Ghost Bikes are now missing various easy-to-snatch parts like rear wheels and saddles due to some sticky-fingered assholes. “It’s very disrespectful and it makes me furious,” Dan Gingold told reporters. “People wouldn’t be disrespectful in a cemetery or a national monument.”
The New York Street Memorial Project, the group behind many Ghost Bike monuments, has no policy in place to check back on installed tributes—probably because it seems absurd that someone would steal someone’s memorial—so it’s unclear when exactly these thefts have occurred. A Clinton Hill Ghost Bike commemorating the death of Jasmine Herron in 2010 seemed to be wholly in tact as of late 2011, but it’s now missing its seat and rear wheel.
As if that weren’t enough, Ellen Belcher, a volunteer with the NYSMP, says she received a report from a bike store when someone attempted to sell an entire Ghost Bike, complete with placard indicating its purpose, and the name and age of the victim it represented. That’s analogous to trying to sell a headstone for the stone. Jeez. Some people. (Photo: Stuff and Things/Flickr)