2008-11-03 - Pale Riders Remember Bikers - Daily News

Day of Dead dancers remember bikers killed on street
New York Daily News
November 03,2008
BY Lore Croghan

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/11/02/2008-11-02_day_of_dead_dancers_remember_bikers_kill.html

Monday, November 3rd 2008, 12:47 AM
Cyclists perform a Mexican Day of the Dead ceremony on E. Houston St., where 21-year-old Brandie Bailey was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2005. The bikers placed a votive candle on the sidewalk.
Lombard for News
Cyclists perform a Mexican Day of the Dead ceremony on E. Houston St., where 21-year-old Brandie Bailey was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2005. The bikers placed a votive candle on the sidewalk.
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Two dozen bike riders rolled through downtown Manhattan Sunday, staging mock funerals for fellow cyclists mowed down by motorists.

"It's an act of courage to ride a bike in New York City," said Monica Hunken, 27, an organizer with a safety advocacy group called Time's Up.

"We want more bike lanes and safer bike lanes," said the Bushwick, Brooklyn, resident, who painted her face with white clown makeup so it looked like a skull. "It's not asking for a lot."

The ride was modeled after the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead on Nov. 1. Cyclists, some wearing brightly colored sombreros, stopped on E. Houston St. at a bike that's chained to a street sign.

The memorial bike, painted white, is a lower East Side tribute to Brandie Bailey, a waitress killed in a May 2005 hit-and-run by the driver of a privately owned garbage truck.

Bailey, who was on the way home from work, was 21 when she died.

"Her fate is the fate of many bikers in the city," said Benjamin Shepard, 38, of Brooklyn. "There's an expression - pray for the dead but fight like hell for the living."

Other riders lit a tall votive candle and placed Hershey's Kisses on the sidewalk next to the ghost bike.

Someone in the crowd shouted, "Viva Brandie!" and several cyclists danced on the sidewalk in her honor.

They moved to the beat of a mariachi tune blasting from a sound system on wheels attached to one of the bikes. Amid the celebration, there was grim talk of the daily danger cyclists face.

"We call Houston St. the avenue of death," said Benjamin Cerf, 36, a lower East Side resident.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/11/02/2008-11-02_day_of_dead_da...