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1-Year Anniversary of the Killing of James Price Jr.

Ghost bike memorial for James Price in Pittsburgh

I’ve locked up far too many ghost bikes, but having the chance to meet the families and friends of the victims has really brought to light just how serious these road issues are and how fragile life is. It makes it more than just a name in the paper and a bitter feeling of “it could have been me”. You hear about how he was trying to better his health to be there for his daughter, how he was always trying to get his friends on bikes, and why he had his nickname.

Originally the idea behind ghost bikes was to raise awareness about the deaths and injuries on our roads, but in Pittsburgh these white bikes have become a gesture of the bike community to the families. They say we are here and we won’t forget about your son, daughter, father, mother, or best friend. They share stories about the loved one they lost and we all get to have an open conversation about just what it’s like on the road–everyone leaves with eyes open just a little bit more.

Once the life has been taken, there isn’t much we can do to fix it, but we can unity the community and work towards ensuring that less of these have to go up.

Be safe out there.

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Bicycles

Cable Steering Adjustable Tall Bike

Tall bike on Hot Metal

Built from three chopped up 90’s mountain bikes, this custom bicycle features a telescoping frame design that allows for height adjustment range of 10 inches, as well as dis-assembly for transport and easy sync chain tension adjustment.

Close up of the steering

The steering system is a budget-minded design based off of the beautiful Frances Cycles Smallhaul.  Utilizing a welded sandwich of five over-sized steel washers (and a bit of ingenuity), the steering system pushes and pulls opposing cables from the handlebars to move the front wheel.  The lack of direct link between the bars and fork/front wheel offers a dampened feel that is still confidently solid.

Close up of the bottom half

In order to link the top crankset to the rear wheel, over 330 links of chain were used.

Tall Bike Drivetrain

With a Shimano Nexus-7 hub and roller brake in the rear, it almost makes a good commuter bike–almost.    The bottom gear spider was made from an old Shimano RSX crank arm.  For stability climbing the hills of Pittsburgh, the rear triangle was extended 5 in. while kicking the frame back for additional few degrees of rake in the front.

My custom built tall bike with the lights turned on standing on the Hot Metal Bridge in Pittsburgh, PA

This bikes maiden ride was on the Bike MS: Escape to the Lake ride; a 150 mile ride through the hills of Western Pennsylvania, through North-East Ohio to Lake Erie to help raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

(Riding this bike clipless is scary.)

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