Publisher’s Statement Issue #22
Tragically, the scene depicted above is one we’re all quite familiar with. Many of us have taken part in a Ghostbike lockup ceremony, and most of us have seen our fair share of these ghastly white roadside memorials. Ghostbikes are a somber reminder that the streets still aren’t safe for cyclists, and that perhaps they never will be.
The scene depicted on page 68 in the photo entitled “Death of a Cyclist” is one that only a handful of people have ever seen firsthand. It’s horrifying, intensely saddening, and most people will want to turn the page as soon as they’re confronted with such an image.
I sincerely apologize to anyone who is offended by the image, and I acknowledge that most people are reading this magazine for inspiration and enjoyment, not to be confronted with macabre photography. But I maintain that the decision to run the photo was not made lightly.
In 1972, when the Associated Press released the photo of nine-year-old Kim Phúc running naked down the street in Vietnam, screaming in pain from the burns suffered in a napalm attack, millions of people took notice. No longer was napalm just a tactical defoliant that people read about in the Sunday paper—it became real. It was something horrible that mangled children.
Human life is fragile, and we, as urban cyclists, are in danger even when we ride safely and wear a helmet. It’s not that we need to dwell on the subject, but it’s worth remembering that the people working to make the streets safe for cyclists have undertaken an immensely important job, and they deserve our support.