All of us have seen the painted white bicycles, known as ghost bikes, that have been put up around Brooklyn to memorialize riders who died in accidents.
Now a bunch of jerks are desecrating these memorials and stealing parts of the ghost bikes.
The Brooklyn Paper reports that the "thefts have stretched across Brooklyn in recent months, with crooks stripping the sidewalk monuments down to their frames."
While it is tempting to think that these thieves are ignorant of the meaning behind the ghost bikes, it is hard to fully believe this because, "no matter how far removed from the cycling world a person is, it’s hard to mistake a ghost bike for a regular bicycle. Not only are they drenched in thick, white paint, making most of the parts useless, but many feature a prominently placed placard describing what the bike is and why it’s there."
The Brooklyn Paper even reports of one thief trying to sell parts of a ghost bike that still had the explanatory placard attached.
So, maybe besides being jerks, the thieves are also illiterate?
Brooklyn Brewery owner Steve Hindy, whose son Sam was struck and killed while biking across the Manhattan Bridge views the ghost bikes as something more than just a memorial. He sees them as an important safety reminder to motorists, so that they can be conscious of cyclists on the road.
Hindy says, "They are a constant reminder to everyone of the importance of respecting bicycles and their place on the streets of New York City.”
Hindy is right.
Stop being such jerks, thieves!
Get a new hobby. Learn how to read. Then maybe when you see a ghost bike with a placard commemorating a person's life, your first impulse won't be to steal the bike and sell it for a few bucks.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen