Montreal ‘Ghost Bike’ honoring dead cyclists on display in museum


One of the white commemorative “ghost” bikes set up around Montreal to honor dead cyclists will be on display at the Quebec City Museum.

A ceremony was held this morning, removing the bicycle honoring 33-year-old Mathilde Bless, who died seven years ago after falling into an underpass while riding to work.

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Blasse’s mother, Genevieve LeBorde, took her hand over the bicycle after it was taken down and handed over to the president of the Museum of Civilization of Quebec City, who says it will be displayed as a symbol of social change.

“Thanks to the museum’s works, my daughter’s memory will live on” she said. “It’s a way to make sense of his death.”

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Karimo Kammah, left, Velo Phantom, handed a white bicycle to Mathilde Blass’s mother, Genevieve LeBorde, during a ceremony on Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Montreal. In 2014, Blais died on this occasion and the bike was donated. Museum of Civilization in the city of Quebec.

Canada Press / Graham Hughes

Advocates said the ceremony was held to illuminate the faces of on-going cyclists at risk, but also to identify the progress that has been made.

They say that Bliss’s death accelerated efforts to build a protected bicycle path, which now moves beyond the site of his death. According to Vélo fantôme, the organization behind ghost bikes in Montreal, there are ten other bikes across the city. Two more will be installed this summer.

“We only take them down when it is family wise. There is no plan to take others down due to lack of infrastructure. Saverin Lepage, spokesperson for Vealo Kalpana.

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Mayor Valerie Plant was among the crowd. She took the opportunity to talk about the designated bike lane and the importance of compromising.

“I think it’s about sharing, with an open mind, seeing the benefits,” Plante said. “We do not want more people to die”

Plant said plans for an expansion of the city’s bike lane network are already underway on Sud-Ouest, Downtown and Papino Avenue.

The Automobile Association of Quebec says that 8 to 11 cyclists die on the province’s roads each year.

-Alessia Maratta and Elizabeth Jogalis with files, Global News

© 2021 Canadian Press

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