Ghost Bike

What is a ghost bike?

White roadside memorial bicycle

A ghost bike is a bicycle that has been painted white and placed on the roadside at the site of a bike vs. motor vehicle crash. Most often, these bikes (and associated flowers and decorations) are memorials for a bicyclist who was killed in a crash.

In addition to memorializing hit cyclists, ghost bikes are used to remind motor vehicle drivers to slow down and remain bike-aware on narrow or otherwise-fraught roads. Sadly, ghost bikes themselves are often hit by inattentive drivers, showcasing exactly how dangerous some roads are for cyclists.

Origin of ghost bikes

The first ghost bikes appeared in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. After seeing a bicyclist get hit in a bike lane on Holly Hills Boulevard, Patrick Van Der Tuin placed a ghost bike at the site of the collision. Van Der Tuin then placed several more ghost bikes throughout St. Louis, at sites of other crashes, which inspired ghost bike movements in other major cities.


You see they replaced the ghost bike at E Wash and 1st?
No, did it get hit again?
A ghost bike pictured on Reddit
A ghost bike pictured on Reddit

Related Slang


Updated April 5, 2023

Ghost bike definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Ghost bike" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

We are constantly updating our database with new slang terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. If you would like to suggest a term or an update to an existing one, please let us know!