A white-painted bicycle leans, locked to a post a few feet away from the spot where a car struck and killed a bicyclist. Flowers decorate the abandoned bike, a visible reminder that life is fragile.
This is a Ghost Bike, one of over 500 such memorials chained to fences, streetlights, and signposts across the United States. I discovered Ghost Bikes while shooting in New York in May 2010, and their symbolic power affected me profoundly
Each year, the US sees more than 600 bicyclist fatalities, and more than 50,000 bicyclists report injuries. Ghost Bikes symbolize this suffering and these lost lives and challenge us to be more aware of our surroundings.
I started The Ghost Bike Project because we can pass a memorial hundreds of times and eventually forget that it is there to commemorate a human life. I combine photos of Ghost Bikes with images of live people, shot in my studio and manipulated through Photoshop to look like ghosts. The resulting images remind us to keep each other safe and represent a spirit that is no longer with us.
Over time, many Ghost Bikes have been removed. I hope this project will help the memorials and their sentiment live on. I have shot Ghost Bikes in over 50 cities and I am have published a book. Check out the book here.