I have a few photos from various countries of bikes being used for things other than riding. Everything about a bikes design is built with the belief that a person will be on top of it, so seeing a bike upright without feet on the pedals and hands on the grips can be a little eerie, like finding a glove without a hand in it or a clothing lying in a field. Where is the person?
Take this photo of a bike, taken by the beach in Rio.
Okay, this one isn’t as strange as it has been used as a stand for souvenirs. It is probably very difficult to ride like that anyway, but it looks cool and I decided to take a photograph. Looking at the background it does seem like bikes were pretty common here, I can’t remember seeing so many whilst I was there. This is another great example of the power of photography. Our memories change over time, our photographs don’t. Photographs are a way to look back in time for what it was, we might see things we couldn’t remember being there, or didn’t realise at all.
I also took this picture of this bike in Austin, TX.
This one has a different story. I cannot remember what was on the sign other than the name of person that died and the words ‘Ghost Bikes’… I decided to google Ghost Bikes today and it is a pretty fascinating read. They first appeared in St Louis, Missouri in 2003 and since then 630 ghost bikes have appeared in 210 locations around the world.
From the website GhostBikes.org it has the following to say about the phenomenon:
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.
The bike was found on a bridge, I am pretty sure the same bridge as this one, although I may be wrong. It was definitely taken shortly afterwards.
I thought this may have been a one off at the time. Clearly it isn’t and it shows how the internet can bring people together, people that have a shared story of loss with a mutual passion or profession. The following countries have Ghost Bikes, some in multiple locations: