Widow Donates Husband's Bike For Roadside Memorial

Seven months after Paul Taylor was killed in a cycling accident, his widow donated his old hybrid bicycle to become a "ghost bike."

Dave Mathews of Decatur has placed five "ghost bikes" beside roads in Georgia.

These are bikes painted white to memorialize cyclists killed on the roadways, usually in collisions with autos.

He placed one bike on North Decatur Road in honor of Paul Taylor, who died the morning of April 30 while riding his road bike.

Mathews just received a special bike. Taylor's widow, Barbara Taylor, donated his hybrid bicycle to the cause.

Patch asked her why she did it. She sent these words by email.

I gave the bike to Paul for his 40th birthday.  It was the bike he rode on family vacations and around the neighborhood for many years until he became interested in triathlons and upgraded.  I have fond memories of both of our girls riding on the back of that bike during their toddler years. 

I had been pretty intent on keeping it for sentimental reasons - because it was a gift and one I think he had really cherished.  In the months since his death, I continue to be amazed at the number of cycling accidents there are.  Truthfully, I know there were many before Paul, but I never really paid attention to them.  Rarely a week goes by when someone does not make a comment to me about Paul's ghost bike. 

While I avoid that stretch of North Decatur all together, it serves as a reminder to all those who pass it daily or even occasionally.  I am amazed at Dave's passion about this cause.  After months of struggling with what to do with the bike, I just realized that donating it to Dave was the only thing to do. 

I was a great way to honor Paul and hopefully bring more awareness to the community.  It was another one of those "aha" moments of realizing that this would be what he would want to do with the bike.  Otherwise, it would be sitting in my garage collecting dust. It has a far greater purpose than that.

To learn more about Dave Mathews crusade to make Atlanta's roads safer for cyclists, go to his Facebook Page.

Other stories in Patch about Paul Taylor and cycling:

No charges in bike fatal.

Bicylist identified as Paul Taylor.

Obit for Paul Taylor.

Driver said bicylist appeared to be kneeling in the road.

Autopsy unclear on whether bicyclist was kneeling in the road.

'Ghost Bike' for Paul Taylor.

Paul Taylor was starting a new job the day he died.


Ralph Ellis November 29, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Beautiful gesture.
Ms. November 29, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Or perhaps you could just let his wife and children memorial his life in whatever ways they so choose, and try to be a little less self-righteous and judgmental. I ride my bike past his on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and I'm glad they chose to put it there. As a reminder of the things cyclists are up against on the road, but most importantly, that life is brief. I know many that feel the same. You can't ride your bike past his and not be touched.
Travel Writer November 29, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Dear Chicago Ghost Bikes ... Really? How can you possibly have the audacity to make a negative comment about such a beautiful gesture? Obviously, you put a lot of value on material things, instead of on what really matters in this life. Can you say - negativity? I am sending big hugs to the Taylors - what a thoughtful and loving thing to do. As to you Chicago - take a long ride to someplace happy, would ya? Cannot believe you would take the time to post such an ugly comment on such a sensitive topic. Think you must have taken a tumble without your helmet.
Virginia Sowell November 30, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Barbara's thoughtfulness in this tragedy is remarkable. She is a woman of gracious intelligence.


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