Type 2 Diabetic. Bike tour guide. #NextBurgh Flâneur.   Coffeeneur.    Errandoneur
A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ghost Bike Ride

11.16.2014 1m
I was able to participate in a Ghost Bike Ride today. Kind of unexpectedly, at the last minute 20 motorcycles showed up, friends of the family. They were great.

The Monaca Police came out with two cars, and the Monaca VFD came out with a fire truck, and escorted the ride down to the West Aliquippa Bridge - where the Aliquippa Police picked up the escort. That was so awesome of all those folks.

This is the initial departure from Monaca. Monaca usually doesn't see this many cyclists in a month.

We had planned to use road marshalls at three key intersections, but with a police escort in front and a police car and a fire truck in the rear, we didn't have any problems at all.

We deviated from the established Ghost Bike practice a bit with the ribbons. Before the ride, the bicyclists and motorcyclists each wrote a wish or a sentiment or a prayer on a bit of orange ribbon then they tied the ribbon around their arm, and wore it as an armband.

When the ride got to the dedication ceremony, the riders took off their armbands and tied their messages to the Ghost Bike, to let the winds spread the good will, compassion and sentiment into the Four Corners. (Kind of like Tibetan prayer-flags.)

Marlin Erin spoke and he just absolutely rocked. Stu Strickland spoke about laws and road equity very effectively.

One of the motorcyclists, Pastor Bill, spoke with grounded humor and tremendous focus and he was very impressive.

It's just so very damned sad and wasteful, and all the worse because the hit-and-run is an unresolved crime.

Like the very best funerals, this was emotional, poignant, sad and yet in some way, a good time; an expression of community, cohesiveness, and bonds. Because that's the way we roll, as the motorcyclists commented.

After everybody departed, RC and Yale and I stopped at The Fountainhead Cafe for a cup of coffee and so R could complete his 2014 coffeeneuring, and so I logged a mile of riding. It was good to get on the bike.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very well done and respectful event. We cyclists know that each and every one of us is just one driver's inattentive moment away from something like this. I thank my lucky stars that although my wife and I have had a few close calls, we have stayed safe cycling over the years. You stay safe too, Vannevar, and thanks again for the great posts.