Apr 6, 2008


I put gas in my pick-up today. The pump stopped at $50, the maximum authorized, and I got up 3/4 of a tank of gas. With spring just around the corner, I am toying with the idea of going car-light. I don't think car-free is very realistic for me, but certainly car-light is a good possibility. I can commute to work with no problem, and this weekend I have begun experimenting with more utility cycling. I ran errands yesterday to Freewheel (not open yet) and the Hub, and today I ran over in the drizzle to Highland Park to re-supply the cat with her favorite chow. All-in-all, not a big deal, so I don't think it will be a big stretch, but it's going to take some motivation. I put 26 miles on this weekend on errands.

On another note, the Ed G. ghost bike has disappeared. People are wondering if it was stolen or if the city removed it. My bet is that the city removed it. It was pretty securely chained to a street sign post, (which I believe is technically not permitted), and the bike was disabled before it was installed. There are probably hundreds of bikes that get chained to signs for a long time, sometimes so long that the seat, wheels and other components get scavenged and only a rusting frame remains. I expect the city opened what is typically a blind eye because it commemorated a death. I expect they got a complaint, determined that it could interfere with snow removal and was a violation of some city ordinance and had a crew cut it off and toss it in a truck for removal. I don't know how I feel about that. Certainly it was a moving event for everyone that participated, and at some level I understand that these cannot stay out there forever, but still, it seems a little callous to 1.) steal it, or 2.) get a work crew to cut it loose and toss it out.


  1. Much of what the city does is complaint based. If one of my neighbors locked his bike to a sign post on my block, I probably wouldn't complain (unless I had to mow around it). But I would be tempted to object if it was a ghost bike. It clearly isn't somebody's transportation, and I don't want my wife and kids to be forced to look at morbid symbols every time they step out the door. I wouldn't object if the ghost bike advocate installed the thing on his own private property.

    Good luck on going car-light.

  2. Jim makes a really good point here that I did not fully consider. Specifically, what is the impact of a ghost bike on the people that live there? It is very understandable to feel outrage at something like a fatal bike accident, and to want other people to know what happened and take a minute to think. But, that said, if there was a fatal accident in front of my house, or in the alley behind my house, I would not want to see that and be reminded of it every time I went outside. Same goes for crosses on the side of the road. I see them and it makes me think (desired outcome) but I would not want one in front of my house.

    For Ghostbike.Org to be successful I think they are going to have to get homeowners on board before an installation or try and get a park-type setting to put these in or the ghost bike removal and frustration from both sides is probably going to continue.

    We need to have as much empathy for the neighbors as for the cyclists.