Showing posts with label ghost bikes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ghost bikes. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MEC Ghost Bikes

Call me crazy, but don't you think the makers of "Ghost" bicycles and their Canadian reseller, MEC, might want to do a little re-branding? I mean, would you buy a Ghost brand bike? I'm not normally superstitious, but I suspect that there is a certain amount of "punitive irony" in the cosmos with my name on it.
Buying a Ghost bike seems like a surefire way to test that belief. Not gonna do it. Uh uh. Just sayin'.
Of course, most consumers of bicycles don't feed on a steady diet of bike stuff off the Internet and elsewhere and thus would not know that the white-painted memorials to fallen cyclists are also called "ghost bikes".
I did a little googlifying and it would seem MEC is fully aware of the unfortunate name but has to live with it or drop this supplier of what they consider good stuff from Germany, which they aren't planning on.
Article with MECs "response" here.
They say the brand has not been affected in Europe, but still, who's to know? The company's web site didn't say when they were founded, but I wikipediafied that the company was founded in 1993, which I am pretty sure pre-dates the "ghost bike" memorial movement. It would seem they are the victims of chance on this one. I'll bet they're none too happy, but don't want to abandon the brand recognition they have achieved.
Damn it, I started this post wanting to poke fun at the unfortunate name, but instead what has happened is that now I'm feeling sorry for the company and jonesing for a nice modern mountain bike. I haven't owned one in a long time and the bikes I just saw have me all worked up. Damn Ghosts! Get out of my mind!
Yer Pal,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ghost Bikes come to London

As many Londoners are aware, Caleb Losier was killed at the age of 21 while commuting on his bike on the morning of November 12, 2008. I work near the tracks at Egerton and Brydges, and rode through the scene of that accident on my usual morning commute. The officers blocking the road gestured from inside their car that I could ride through by going around the scene on the sidewalk, which I did. At that time there were police cars blocking off the street, some police tape, a parked fuel truck, an ambulance and some police officers, and I didn't think much about it or stop to find out any more.

When I got into work my co-workers told me a cyclist had been killed, and some people repeated their admonition that I be careful as I ride this winter. I reassured them that I am always careful, and told them not to worry, and that the cyclist had probably done something risky that I would never do. I learned later that I was totally wrong. Caleb was a regular bicycle commuter who did nothing out of the ordinary. From

"Video surveillance reveals that the fuel truck came to a stop on Egerton Street for the railway crossing arms, and a light colored car and then a dark colored vehicle came to a stop behind the fuel truck just as the crossing arms lifted. The cyclist rode passed these vehicles on the right and was beside the truck when it turned," said London police Sgt. Tom O'Brien, Traffic Management Unit...

The coroner advised that Caleb was doing everything right and that there was nothing he could have done to change the course of the collision.

London's first Ghost Bike memorial is now found near that intersection:

I am very familiar with that particular spot; I ride through it twice a day in the winter time. It is very rare to see any sort of vehicle other than a clearly marked CN pickup truck turn into the rail yard there. I can easily visualize how this tragic set of circumstances unfolded in such an awful way, and I find that I have no particularly useful observations to make about them; instead there's just a sadness that it happened.

There are some who point to an incident like this and say that it is obvious that cyclists have no place on our busy streets. There are others who might use this tragedy as proof that the streets must be made safer for cyclists. What I know is that cyclists will keep riding and that drivers will keep driving, and that neither are overjoyed to be sharing the road. My hope is that the ghost bike dedicated to the memory of Caleb Losier will remind us all to put ourselves in the other's shoes as we travel together each day. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the Losier family. Take care, everybody.

Related Links:

Free Press Article Entry
Caleb's Memorial Web Site