A car ran a red light so late and fast that slow and cautious me almost entered its path. The car didn’t slow, accelerate or turn. Maybe an important text message was being composed. I expelled “WHOA” louder than I have ever in my life. I have little control over the words that I use in place of a horn when my life is threatened as I pedal. I picture a big roulette wheel spinning in my head. The ball falls on a word when my adrenalin spikes. Call it fear induced pedaler’s tourettes. I am really loud when I do this. Ears can hear what I exclaim for blocks. My favorite exclamation is “STOP,” but I was pretty happy with “WHOA.” Both are way better than the potty mouth words that can come out.
This is as good a time as any to write about my idea relating to ghost bicycles. I am for them, but I often wonder how the memorialized pedaler would feel if they knew their memorial was a Murray extracted from a dumpster. How would grandma feel if she knew her kids planned to erect a used pallet as her headstone? We try to make headstones out of grand materials. Why not ghost bikes?
I get that it doesn’t make sense to take a fully functioning and valuable bicycle, spray it white and then chain it to a lamppost, but even Murray bicycles are valuable if you previously had only your feet to get around. Maybe we should leave Murray bicycles to serve as bicycles and make proper ghost bikes.
Having surveyed my habits, my doctor once predicted I would die pedaling. Doctors can be smart this way. Work enough years and patterns emerge. My friend always says that warm and sunny weekend days cause a spike in visits to the emergency room as people climb on motorbikes, bicycles and ladders. I don’t doubt that he is right. Maybe I should commission a ghost bike. Lacey points out that it could serve as my headstone even if I don’t die pedaling. I hope to be cremated and won’t need a headstone, but I am happy that I can have this conversation with her and find, yet again, she supports my ideas no matter how fringy they seem.
How would a proper bike builder react? I’d hope they’d be honored and be happy for the business, but it isn’t exactly something a builder would want to highlight on their website. Maybe we need builders of just ghost bikes. I see a steel frame powder coated white with all parts permanently affixed (so that no one will want to borrow it for a ride). No pedals, no chain, no cables. Maybe solid rubber tires. A steel plaque where a race number might have been with my name laser cut out.
That’s my idea. What say you?
I recently threw a 70 for 18 holes at our local disc golf course. My previous best was 74, so I was delighted. Professional par is 57. I can’t see myself taking a stroke off of 13 holes. I am keeping my day job.