You should probably take your foot off the gas if you see a white bicycle sitting alone, without a rider outside your window.

The white bicycles are known as "ghost bikes," and they represent a tragedy that happed along the road.

How Did Ghost Bikes Start?

According to, the first somber memorials involving white bikes popped up in St. Louis in 2003.

The Ghost Bike is placed near the crash site where a bicyclist was killed or hit on the street. The bike is typically locked to a street sign and accompanied with a sign that explains the significance of the memorial.

Getty Images
Getty Images

"For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home," the website states. "We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us." has kept a comprehensive list of the white bicycle memorials from throughout the years.

While the website might be the unofficial record-keeper of Ghost Bikes, anyone can put one up in their community.

How Can To Get Involved Making Ghost Bikes

In New York City, groups have organized Ghost Bike Work Days.

The Street Memorial Project was started in NYC in 2007 to bring together all people creating Ghost Bikes in the city with those who also install pedestrian memorials.

Volunteers from the group organize rides and work together on Ghost Bike memorials.

For those wanting to take on a solo Ghost Bike project, Wiki How has a tutorial on how to properly disassemble and paint a bicycle recommends using bikes that are no longer operable if you are thinking of adding a memorial in your city.

To date, Ghost Bikes have appeared in more than 220 cities around the world.

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