The white bicycles dotted throughout Tucson, known as ghost bikes, are a somber reminder that a cyclist was killed at or near that location. They serve as a memorial as well as raising awareness that bikes share the roads with motorists; a sober reality of a cyclist’s fragility.
When traveling along Oracle, you will notice one of these ghost bikes across from Vistoso Commerce Loop Road. This ghost bike was installed to honor former Cyclemasters member Dennis Peterson. Dennis was an avid cyclist and cycled all over the world with his wife and son. While cycling in Tucson in 2014, he was hit by a car and eventually died, in part, because of those injuries. Member Bud Chase initiated the installation of the bike, and Cyclemasters have continued to maintain it over the years.
Club President Kurt McMillen asked member Ric Holm to provide maintenance on the bike. With a renewed vision of how to honor this memorial, Ric and fellow member Mike Brenny painted the bike with a fresh coat of white, cleared weeds, picked up trash, put in a ceramic pot with bright metal flowers, and installed a new metal plaque and flag. The plaque reads, “Dennis A. Peterson/Lieutenant Colonel-USAF/February 28, 1941-June 2, 2016/SaddleBrooke Cyclemasters.”
Club members ride by this memorial daily. It is a way to remember Dennis and pay their respects to their friend and fellow Cyclemaster. Hopefully, it also reminds motorists to be aware of cyclists along Oracle Road.