A white bike now stands at the site on Pine Drive where Edward “Chuck” Vogel, 62, was struck and killed by a driver the morning of July 4. It's garnished with flowers from loved ones and a plaque …
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A white bike now stands at the site on Pine Drive where Edward “Chuck” Vogel, 62, was struck and killed by a driver the morning of July 4. It's garnished with flowers from loved ones and a plaque with his name and the year 2019. A small, wooden sign with a simple message — the shape of a heart and the letter "U" — hangs from the metal framing, commemorating a "(heart) U" sticky note Chuck left his wife Teri on the microwave the day he died.
The “ghost bike” in front of the Parker Core Knowledge School is a memorial to Chuck, who was killed by a driver while taking an Independence Day morning ride. It was dedicated Aug. 9 by his widow, Teri, under a tree near where the crash occurred on Pine Drive.
During a short speech to the crowd of supporters, Teri described Chuck as more of a behind-the-scenes guy who didn't like the limelight. But this, however, was something she wanted to bring as much attention to as possible.
“Our goal is to move forward and make a greater good come from the thing that has happened,” Teri Vogel said. “I want you to stop and think, 'Who was that person?' Because it's not just the bike, it's the person who was on that bike. It's their family. It's their friends. It's their community and what they represented to those people.”
Ghost bikes are commonly used to memorialize cyclists who are killed on the road. The bike serves as a subtle symbol of a need for change in culture to make the roads safer for cyclists. The man who struck Vogel was allegedly exceeding the speed limit. There is also no bike lane on Pine Drive, and cyclists in that area are forced to ride hugging the shoulder.
Teri Vogel teamed up with Bicycle Colorado to dedicate the ghost bike to Chuck. The nonprofit group advocates for cyclists and spreads awareness to promote safety on the roads. Pete Piccolo, executive director of Bicycle Colorado, said the state faces a growing safety crisis on the roads.
“It's not right that we should fear for our loved ones when they're riding a bike. No one should fear for their lives riding a bicycle or walking down the street,” Piccolo said. “We know (the deaths) are preventable. There's no silver bullet that will eliminate that tomorrow, but we know what to do to put a significant dent in this safety crisis.
“We can make a difference by working together, and I do believe one of the best ways to honor Chuck's life is to do just that,” Piccolo said. “Work together, speak up and demand the change that will ensure we don't have to stand in front of another white bicycle.”
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