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Thread Box:
Ghost Bike Feature Story
Thread started by photo-on-wheels at 05.9.11 - 11:21 am

hello, my name is Alex Hernandez and im a journalism student at CSULB. im currently working on a feature story on the ghost bike movement. i understand it is a very sensitive subject and it would be difficult to converse of those who have fallen. however, i strongly believe that the gratitude of this situation is being overlooked by those in control. the Ghos Bikes are the communitie's way of raising awareness, and it has struck alot of attention. if anyone is interested in answering a few questions about the ghost ride movement and your invlovment with it, it would greatly be appreciated. being a bicyclist myself i am very much aware of the dangers along the road but i wish to do my part in raising awareness to this issue. thank you, as again, it will be greatly appreciated.

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no matter the news, the articles, regardless the coverage, ghost bikes wont be really noticed until people see one in every street and they tell themselves, "gee, that could of been my kid, or me" RIP to all those fallen riders.



PUDRidah
05.9.11 - 11:27 am

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Yeah, people are just plain dumb out there when it comes to noticing objects. Making a documentary would be good, getting the word out in public events and stuff would make them better aware, maybe just maybe.



^olsko*jr7
05.10.11 - 9:12 am

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Like this? http://ghostbikesfilm.com/





trickmilla
responding to a comment by ^olsko*jr7
05.10.11 - 6:04 pm

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Creative Thing is one person here who has worked on a lot of ghost bikes.
But most all of them are collaborative projects.
At least here in LA most are erected by people who never knew the rider personally, only moved by a needless death.

Do your research.
There is a plethora of information here that will lead you to the people who have made or helped with ghost bikes. Just use the search function:http://midnightridazz.com/forumSearch.php?body=Search&searchType=body&keyword=ghost+bike



trickmilla
05.10.11 - 6:09 pm

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Perhaps you could focus on all the proactive and positive things that come out of the LA bike scene instead of the death you marrow-sucking ghoul. All you journalists are the same, you broker in misery and suffering. Go die.





rev106
responding to a comment by trickmilla
05.11.11 - 7:19 am

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I love when journalist appear and state they care and sympathize, but have no interest in spending time getting to know the culture... or in this case the "ghost bike movement". It's all about expedience.



markd
05.11.11 - 9:13 am

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well thanks to all who had some input in helping me out with this. not only am i a journalist, but i also am a rider myself (for those with selective understanding), so not only am i well informed of the situation but i too am part of the culture and have a lot of knowledge on it. so yea, you can say i chose a topic that recognizes the bad in the bike culture -- not necessarily the riders' faults -- but i also chose this topic because it strikes me on a personal note. i've had my share of close encounters with death and i also know people who've died. so instead of being stuck on that cloud of oblivion, acting like it's all fun and games, consider the fact that there are always misfortunes in any situations before finally getting attention. and instead of perceiving my effort as negative, try going back to school and learn something, like how to spell, or maybe even ethics...or psychology. you might actually learn something other than arrogance.

"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
____________________________________________________________- Mark Twain




photo-on-wheels
05.11.11 - 10:07 am

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"the Ghos Bikes are the communitie's way of raising awareness"

-photo-on-wheels, first post


"try going back to school and learn something, like how to spell"

-photo-on-wheels, last post



markd
responding to a comment by photo-on-wheels
05.11.11 - 11:09 am

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meanie



gado_gado
responding to a comment by rev106
05.11.11 - 11:16 am

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what the fuck Paul....?



Roadblock
responding to a comment by rev106
05.11.11 - 11:17 am

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Certainly photo-on-wheels' writing on this forum isn't up to the journalist standard, but give the kid a break.

Protip: photo on wheels if you want to be a journalist get used to dealing with dickwads and douchebags, and if you can't handle the heat you might as well go back to posting cat pictures and crocheting stories on your livejournal blog.



sack or crack you choose
responding to a comment by markd
05.11.11 - 11:21 am

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I for one think Paul has a point.

Think about it. How often do you hear folks complaining about mass media, etc., from who controls it, their willingness to cover anything bloody (basic tragedy / poverty porn), and the new lazy: email me your responses.

So if you're going to email in your thoughts, then why not is be something like: tall bike fever, crusty punk bike culture in LA, dumpster diving, etc, etc,... that's what I take Paul to be saying.

instead email your thoughts on death and the "ghost bike movement". Ok, let me sum that one up for you, buddy.



markd
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.11.11 - 12:41 pm

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I get emails all the time asking about midnight ridazz and ride culture and tall bikes and blah blah. I have 3 students in the last week with questions. Memory doesnt serve but I'd say this was the first I've seen that asked about ghost bikes. It's a serious topic, and there are people who put a lot of heart into placing ghost bikes.... why shit on someone who wants to write about it. ghost bikes happen and not many people out there know about them and I just don't get the harsh words towards someone who wants to cover it. I never seen mass media covering ghost bikes they usually put up all the excuses for why someone got hit in the first place. ghost bikes dont care WHY you got hit they care THAT you got hit and died.

In fact think about it. A ghost bike is calling attention to the tragedy in the same way that a journalist may call attention to same. So... are ghost bikes themselves "covering something bloody" that should be stopped? That's the logic you are coming with.





Roadblock
responding to a comment by markd
05.11.11 - 12:52 pm

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Those valley fluffers are just a bunch of grumps, that's all.



gado_gado
05.11.11 - 1:01 pm

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fluffkins



Roadblock
responding to a comment by gado_gado
05.11.11 - 2:27 pm

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no, all Im saying is that there is a tendency in interviews, write-ups, etc, in such a way that is detached. If you saw the original thread, Paul actually gave a short answer and the best one yet: Its a reaction, not a movement, because no one appears to give a shit about us, so we come together and show support via ghost bikes.

I don't think Paul is being a dick, I think he's talking about a commonly understood point: blood, death, violence is so captivating and news worthy, so it's easy to pick and say: "yeah, I'll cover "that". But of course, whenever it's about bikes, we drop all our feelings that we otherwise trumpet in other spheres.

Dude, imagine if someone asked you to email your thoughts on your buddies death, you would probably be offended. I was just trying to say, Ghost bikes are more complex (or should be), then basing your article on emails and forum posts. The fact someone shortcuts to such measures, "seems" all to similar to the speedy process in which we churn out bloody story after story.

but, whatever, send him your thoughts. No one can stop the journalistic machine.... I want to know everything, NOW!



markd
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.11.11 - 2:36 pm

reply


The point of putting up a ghost bike is to tell a story. Bummer that some people don't want the story to be told to a journalist who seems to care. I dont even have the energy to argue. I'm gonna go eat at Pure Luck.





Roadblock
responding to a comment by markd
05.11.11 - 3:14 pm

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ill drop it...

tip your 40oz to Pure Luck.



markd
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.11.11 - 3:45 pm

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ghostbike movement ?

If you were to have rephrased this, to say, something that sounds more like it's part of all bike riders way of life instead of it coming off as some sort of passing fad your post might have been received with more favorable responses. Just saying.

Good luck on your project. The moar awareness the better.



Bikekowski
05.11.11 - 7:17 pm

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I'm not really "involved" as anything more than an observer, but I did happen to be living in St. Louis when Patrick van der Tuin put up the very first ghost bikes there. His project focused on any cyclist who had been struck by a car, not just those who were killed. If I remember correctly, the ghost bikes were also nameless; the plaque just said "Cyclist Struck Here." Because he put them all up at once, they managed to draw a lot more attention than you'd get from just a single memorial for a fallen cyclist. And I think what made them "work" was this sort of cumulative effect of seeing them all over the city (though in my everyday riding I only saw 2 or 3, that was enough). It was, fittingly, a bit haunting.

One thing that I think is interesting as the idea has been adopted elsewhere is the shift away from a more general and impersonal political statement - that the streets (and the drivers on them) were not bike friendly - toward more personal memorials for individual tragedies. I doubt that the change in focus was carefully thought out; people just took a simple, powerful idea that resonated with them and re-used it.

As memorials, the ghost bikes are more individually powerful because you're talking about a name and a date - a life and a death - whereas the original project mostly had the effect of drawing attention to the dangers facing all cyclists on the streets. Because of the community that has sprung up around memorializing fallen cyclists this way, I think there's also a greater sense of solidarity. It now emphasizes support in addition to outrage.

On the other hand, it's probably a little easier for a casual observer to dismiss an individual memorial as a regrettable accident and not a symptom of some larger problem with the transportation infrastructure (which is something I think the original project was designed to do, since in theory, you'd see the bikes everywhere there was a problem).

I don't know if there's a lot to be gained by drawing lots of comparisons between the current use of ghost bikes and the project that spawned them, but I do wonder what would happen if someone (or more likely some group) were to merge the two ideas and spend a weekend putting up ghost bikes for every cyclist killed in the last ten years.



nathansnider
05.11.11 - 8:09 pm

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Um, because the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement were passing fads? Or is your real complaint that the term "movement" has been co-opted by the shallowest of marketing hacks?



nathansnider
responding to a comment by Bikekowski
05.11.11 - 8:10 pm

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Good point, Nathan. While ghost bikes started in St. Louis, I first saw several in Tuscon, which were dedicated to individuals, and I took my cue from that. Also, several ghost bikes had already been made and installed in L.A. by other Ridazz before I made my first one, and they too were signed with names.
I suppose my thinking was that here, I didn't expect the bikes to be up for an indefinite period of time. Some city authority or other would eventually be tasked with removing them. So, for the time they are up, I wanted to humanize the memorial with a name.
We would have to work with several agencies to gain more permanence for the bikes, and I for one don't have the time or interest to take that on.
One of the first bikes I worked on was for Gustavo Ramirez in Long Beach. He lived with the family of a former city councilman, and strings were pulled to leave Gustavo's bike up, but even so, it was unceremoniously removed after 3 or 4 months.
I also like the gorilla aspect of just installing the bike anonymously without permission or approval. As that is the way I install them, as I said, I don't expect them to be up more than a few months.



Creative Thing
responding to a comment by nathansnider
05.11.11 - 9:36 pm

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If it bleeds, it leads. That's a journalistic maxim.

Every time I've had the media (student or not) come snooping around all they want to know about is conflict or death. If there's death then that's all they care about. In addition, the attitude that they as a group expect me to just drop everything to help them because they are doing a "piece" or story is bullshit.

The media is comprised of scum, they are all morally bankrupt liars and thieves of confidence and trust.

For every positive human interest story printed there's 100 tales of woe spread out there.

The good stuff far out weighs the bad, but out of the mouth of the media, all you hear about is the bad.

Over time I've learned to be skeptical, then distrust, and finally despise the media as they have done me many a bad turn through the years.

So, this guy is just another marrow-sucking ghoul. He is the enemy of good, he is the enemy of fun and the enemy of truth.

That's what the fuck. I have every reason to be pissed off and I'll fight these morally bankrupt douches tooth and nail.



rev106
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.12.11 - 7:04 am

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i recently put a ghost bike up in silverlake.. and i may go up to ventura to place another one..

any info you need for your story, call me up..

323 574 3970

aktive420@gmail.com





Aktive_420
05.12.11 - 7:13 am

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@paul Fight them how? By being an asshole to them? Yeah... That'll teach em. Not. Thats so short sighted especially when youre an asshole to a kid who is just learning the craft and is obviously sympathetic to bike riding.

@Nathan once again, you rule. Thanks for that thoughtful meaningful response. I hope this kid didnt give up on this forum and sees this response and doesnt dismiss us all as bitter cynical assholes.

And What a powerful idea....!! What if we really did put ghost bikes up for every cyclist killed in the last 10 years!?

Our city is so fucking BROKE the bikes would crush them. They would break the bank!

This project would be MASSIVE but the impact would be legendary.

I will commit to doing this as this years guerilla project if everyone wants to help. Donations for paint....

And Paul. Perhaps you could donate some bikes my friend?







Roadblock
responding to a comment by rev106
05.12.11 - 9:38 am

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I'll hit up Alex Thompson for stats on cyclist deaths. We will probably need a hundred bikes.

Tell me all you Ridazz are down.

Powerful idea Nathan. POWERFUL. LETS DO THIS.



Roadblock
05.12.11 - 9:41 am

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thanks aktiv, i'll be sure to give you a call.


*and just for the record, i prefer in- person interviews if possible. i believe it is as personal as the story itself. so if you guys want to say that i'm heartless and i just want to write a story on blood and death, i think i made myself pretty clear where i stand on this topic. just like Creative Thing said, these bikes don't stay up forever. they are just to give a memorial to a rather unfortunate person and then it's gone. so you're upset because i call it a "movement"? it's in movement as we speak, but it's not going to last forever. that's the point, until we get the problem across and something is done. people die everyday. my grandmother died (81), my cousin died (26), friends have died, so don't tell me i'm heartless. that's the last thing i'd want to write about. sure i can write about the punks of fixie, or the LA scene with all its aspiring cyclists, but the fact is the bike MOVEMENT does hit me on a personal note, therefore i've decided to write about it. this forum was started to help me out in getting information from YOU, the the ones at the core of this bike culture. i know not everyone will agree, but fortunately, enough will understand.



photo-on-wheels
05.12.11 - 9:46 am

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Rev106

Media like other fine business in our fine country are set up under a capitalist model. So when you say sell bikes for a profit, you make sure you give the customer a bike he wants or demands (except fixies).

Do you think they would run sensational stories if they didn't generate ratings? You problem with the media is really a problem with our society in general. We crave conflict and the media companies deliver it.

Like with all good things American you can choose not to give these media companies your money or attention.



sack or crack you choose
responding to a comment by rev106
05.12.11 - 10:03 am

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Why don't you do a story on these ghost bikes ? Looks like there's a story there, yea?

(hoping I did the link right)



DArK ENERgY
05.12.11 - 10:11 am

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So much arguing!

Shut the fuck up and smoke hash.

That's all.



Aktive_420
05.12.11 - 10:38 am

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If i can help let me know.... i can probably help with a couple of old frames i have and help buy spray paint too



dayone
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.12.11 - 10:56 am

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Why do we have so many uptight dope smoking narcs around here?

That's all.

I got to get back to making a living.



DArK ENERgY
05.12.11 - 10:58 am

reply

Reply


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