Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ghost Bikes To Make Their Memorial Appearances In Las Vegas Starting Saturday

Bicycling is a joyful, life-affirming activity and it comes in every form, from pedaling tourist and bike commuter to weekend racer and beach-cruising, single-speed recreationist.

Which is exactly why it hurts so much to hear about a bicyclist getting killed by a motorist when only moments before the car struck the bicycle the person on the bike likely was enjoying life for simply pedaling a two-wheeler.

For those left behind, there's the harsh emotional reality of knowing that the fallen bicyclist could have been one of us.

And we memorialize those who lost their lives on bicycles though white-painted Ghost Bikes, two-wheel memorial markers installed at the location where a bicyclist was killed.


On Saturday, the Las Vegas area will see our first ghost bike -- a memorial to remember the life of bicyclist Dr. Kayvan Khiabani, a 51-year-old surgeon at University Medical Center. who was killed near Red Rock Resort and Pavilion Center Drive about two months ago.

More than 400 bicyclists are expected to slowly pedal around Downtown Summerlin starting at 7 a.m., with speeches and a ceremony capping the ghost bike event at 8:30 a.m. when the ghost bike is installed.

Regrettably, there are more ghost bikes to install in the Las Vegas area. Pat Treichel, a Las Vegas bicyclist, has organized a Vegas ghost bike contingent committed to installing ghost bikes at locations around the valley wherever a cyclist was mortally wounded by someone driving a motorized vehicle.

The ghost bikes are a stark reminder that bicyclists lead a vulnerable life on our roadways. In Tampa, I was involved in helping install three ghost bikes to remember the lives of LeRoy Collins, Diane Vega and Robert Niedbalec -- bicyclists killed on the streets of Tampa. Their ghost bikes are below.




Here's my challenge: I know a lot of bicyclists will be attending Saturday morning's ghost bike event in Downtown Summerlin -- but we need non-bicyclists to attend, join and show their support that even though they may not ride a bicycle they stand for bicyclists riding our roads without being killed.

I type these words only because I survived a violent crash caused by a distracted motorist who smashed into me from behind while I cycled on a two-lane road in Florida on March 7.

I am lucky and grateful.

I lived and I will ride Saturday morning in Downtown Summerlin to remember Dr. Khiabani.

And I hope you join us.

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