One of the biggest problems that bicycle riders have on New York roads is being seen. Even when traffic isn’t heavy, many motorists aren’t necessarily thinking about coming across a bicycle rider — meaning getting into a bicycle accident is always within the realm of possibility. And when this does happen, the bicyclist usually gets the worst of it. Even a helmet and other protective gear might not be enough to prevent serious injury or even death in a bad motor vehicle accident.

One bicycle shop in New York is hoping to turn a tragedy into a learning experience for New York drivers. A 43-year-old man was killed last month on his bicycle when he was riding in the Town of Southport. He was hit head-on by a motorist who was turning left. The bicyclist died the following day at a hospital in Sayre. The driver of the vehicle that hit him was cited for failing to yield.

The man’s family and friends already have a silent memorial to their friend and loved one: a bicycle painted white, known as a ghost bike, sits near the site of the accident to remind drivers that a fatal accident took place on the stretch of road they are on when they see it.

The bike shop organized a 6-mile memorial ride not just to honor the memory of the bicyclist, but to raise awareness among drivers to be vigilant and not practice distracted driving. The money raised at the event will go to the man’s 7-year-old son.

Source: Elmira Star-Gazette, “Elmira bike ride will honor accident victim,” May 7, 2014