CHICAGO — Some in the Chicago biking community are up in arms after a man tried to sell an apparently stolen or discarded ghost bike on a local Facebook bike-selling page.
A Facebook user posted in the group Chicago Bike Selling, offering a half-white, half-yellow fixed-gear bike. Members of the group noticed it appeared to be a ghost bike, the all-white bikes left at sites of fatal bike crashes as a memorial.
The post was taken down after members started to comment on it.
Jason Fabeck was notified of the post by a Facebook friend who thought it might be his brother's ghost bike.
Fabeck's brother was killed while on his bike at Logan Boulevard and Western Avenue in 2008, he said. Since then, the family has kept a ghost bike at the intersection, Fabeck said.
It turned out that the bike offered for sale was not his brother's bike, which disappeared from the intersection earlier this year, Fabeck said. The family suspects that their bike was discarded by construction crews working at a nearby site.
Still, that means that possibly two ghost bikes were removed or stolen from their locations in the city.
"It's really sad," Fabeck said.
The bike in the Facebook post appears to have been spray-painted yellow, with some white spots still showing. Ghost bikes are usually stripped of chains and gears so as to be less attractive to thieves, Fabeck said, but the one for sale appears to be fully functioning.
"They are basically useless," he said. "I don't know why someone would steal one."
The practice of installing ghost bikes reportedly began in St. Louis in 2003, according to ghostbikes.org.
The first in the Chicago was installed in 2006 at Western Avenue and Cortez Street in memory of Isai Medina, 50, the victim of a hit-and-run accident.
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