Ghost bikes appear with spring in London

March 9, 2009

Spring is making a cautious appearance in London now and with it a growing number of cyclists are venturing out onto the streets of the capital.

I also noticed, as I rode south towards the Smithfield meat market last week, another less welcome sign of the season — a ghost bike. This one had only been there for a few days.

The ghosts are white-painted bikes chained to a railing or a lamp post near where a cyclist has died in a traffic accident. I’ve spotted a few of these rather grim memorials in London, and they can also be seen in other cities in Britain and around the world.

Cycling has become more popular in London, perhaps because people want to do something for the environment, and also perhaps to escape the bombers after the city’s public transport system was struck in 2005. But as the ghost bikes show, there can still be a price to pay.

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