macabre ride idea ?
I just saw a reference to Dia de los Muertos in a Spout Fund newsletter.
It would be a cool ride idea. The idea is that on the day after Halloween you go visit the spirits of your dead family members and loved ones at the cemetery. Sort of a picnic among the tombstones, in a reverential way.
Then I thought it was sort of macabre….cyclists working hard to NOT be dead visiting the dead. But what if we included a tour of some of the ghost bikes as part of the ride? Are there enough still ot there to make that a reasonable part of the plan? Or even if the bikes are now gone, to at least swing by the location of the accident for a quick little memorial?
Or is this entirely in appropriate/crazy?
I kind of think Americans, having an entirely different cultural view of the Halloween holiday, and the death thing in general, might associate it more with the whole party/dress-up/candy/whoohoo of Halloween and completely misinterpret it.
But I am very poorly positioned to identify what is appropriate and/or crazy. No perspective on that.
I don’t think it’s crazy… I was thinking a while ago that it would be cool to have a living cyclist stationed at each of the ghost-bikes on all-souls day. I think it is important to honor the dead.
I see a few problems. First the places riders have died this year are pretty far separated, and not too easy to visit in one ride. It’s a 23 mile hilly ride from the place where Emily Jancart died to the place where Jeffrey Zietak died. (The third cyclist, John Pearson, also died in the South Hills. A Google route between the sites is at here.)
Also it’s going to be dark, and these roads aren’t the safest, obviously.
Also how would the ride be perceived — and would riders behave appropriately?
Also, Jesus God, how depressing. I got depressed just looking up the names and locations.
Do we have a map, similar to Tag-o-Rama’s, that would allow us to locate the various fatalities, ghost bike or not, and plan our own route? It would make for a great reference tool, if nothing else, especially if each location had a link to a page with more info.
There’s this: http://ghostbikes.org/ghostbikemap
It might behoove someone with a little free time to check and see if we are up to date on that map.
Also jonawebb, if it’s any solace, or perhaps worse, a similar map of motor vehicle fatalities would be a solid field of markers with no map visible at all.
“Dia de los Muertos” in Mexico is celebrated on November 1st, and normally IS NOT at all like the commercial Halloween here in the States. Day of the Death is seen as a way to celebrate death, and embracing it as a way of rebirth. People usually go to their “departed” gravesites where they bring flowers, candles, and food/drinks/toys or whatever the deceased liked in life. I remember how at night on those dates, cemeteries in Mexico, especially in rural areas, looked like parks, lit by the candles, with families having “picnics” and visiting their loved ones.
Also, people make “Dia de los Muertos” altar at their homes, where they celebrate them there instead.
Personally, I think this could be a neat idea, however I’m hesitant for similar reasons as Edmonds shared. I would hate for people to just take away a “misunderstood” meaning of it.
Looks like other cities have “Day of the Death” bike rides, however is on Cities/communities with a strong Hispanic background, hence understanding the real meaning of it.
I guess I could be game… it all depends, but I’m highly hesistant.
I don’t know about relating to the Ghost bikes, but I would be way in favor of any ride of this nature; (Meligrosa of “Bikes and the City”)
Although I’ve recently been told that I have room to develop further empathy and compassion, I love the concept but have great trepidation over the Unintended Consequences and potential for hurting the families of the deceased/victims by involving the Ghost Bikes.
Also, although everybody here has good judgement, if the ride includes one asshole who acts out of line then we could really hurt some feelings.
Having said that (iow, don’t go near the Ghost Bikes) I love the idea of a Nov1 “Dia de los Muertos” ride, if we can get it right. It embraces a minority holiday and aligns bicycling with a group we haven’t developed a relationship with.
It’s a lot like the Hannukah ride (about which, btw, expect news in a few days). We made some inrounds with that community by adding a bike component to their celebration, we all had fun, and they really appreciated it.
I never heard of this before, thank you. I think every single one of these Days needs a bike ride, sort of “evangelism by ride”
Thanks for all the feedback. I was hesitant to post this concept originally due to all the concerns that you have all raised……one bad apple and all that.
But, it is a neat holiday. We have a ton of cemeteries and things in town that offer great riding. The celebration of lives that have passed is a neat ritual, for me.
The ghost bikes was a last minute attempt to define WHOSE lives we might be celebrating. That was what made the concept macabre….
But yes, it is a celebratory but respectful day. It is not to be confused with halloween and does not entail tricks, costumes, gore of other displays of “fake death.” It is a respectful celebration of life.
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