Christophe Le Canne's Ghost Bike Removed, Cyclists Upset

Last week, county officials removed a mounted "ghost bike" -- the cycling equivalent of a tombstone -- from Bear Cut Bridge, near Virgina Key. The spray-painted road bike had been dedicated to Christophe Le Canne, the 44-year old who was killed by a wealthy, drunk-driving musician named Carlos Bertonatti one month ago. To fellow riders, removing the memorial was not cool -- and pretty freaking disrespectful.

"I want to know why no one from the cycling community was asked whether this would be a good idea or not," wrote Rydel of Miami Bike Scene blog. "The ghost bike was up for just 15 days. It was carefully placed there and maintained; it was not abandoned and did not obstruct the path of cyclists, walkers, runners..."

Miami-Dade Public Works director Esther Calas argues it could have injured pedestrians. She sent this official response:

"On Monday, February 8, 2010, the bicycle which had been hung on the railing of the Bear Cut Bridge, for fallen cyclist Christophe Le Canne, was carefully removed and placed in safe storage at the Public Works Department's Causeway Maintenance Office. It has not been damaged or discarded, as we certainly understand the sentiment behind the installation, and no disrespect was intended...

"This bicycle had been chained to the railing along the Bear Cut Bridge multiple-use path, without notice or prior approval by PWD and protruded into the pathway, which could cause injury to a non-motorized path user..."

Director Calas is seeking input from friends, family, and fellow bikers about where to relocate the bike. She can be reached at ecalas@miamidade.gov

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