New home for slain cyclist’s ghost bike

Ian McPherson was always ready to have fun.

A ghost bike placed in memory of slain cyclist Ian McPherson during a memorial ride for him in May has been recovered after it was stolen, and it has found a new home.

The bike was first placed in Brigandine Avenue on Sunday May 6 as scores of cyclists gathered at the Fish Hoek sports fields to commemorate his life and then made their way to Bakoven via Chapman’s Peak and back, one of his favourite routes, (“Memorial ride for slain cyclist in Fish Hoek,” Echo, May 10.

Mr McPherson, 68, was robbed of his bike and stabbed to death on March 13 while out cycling (“Cyclist stabbed to death,” Echo, March 15).

Less than a month after the ghost bike was placed, police arrested a man in Corsair Way, Sun Valley, for removing it.

Fish Hoek station commander, Colonel Jackie Johnson, said apart from the bike, housebreaking implements were also found in the man’s possession and he was charged and given the option to pay a fine of
R1200 or four months imprisonment.

The bike was kept in police storage until it was identified by Pedal Power Association’s safe cycling campaign manager, Liz Heydra.

After collecting the bike, Mr McPherson’s good friend, Renford Brand, decided to find it a new home to keep his memory alive.

Mr Brand, who is a member of the Recyclers club for retired cyclists, thought it would be a good idea to place the bike opposite the beach car park near the Hobbie Club where the Recyclers depart from for a ride every Thursday.

He obtained permission from the City of Cape Town and the bike will be placed there next week.

The recyclers have arranged for the bike to be secured with a custom made clamp and bolts and areas on the bike will be spot welded to prevent it from getting stolen again.

Mr Brand met Mr McPherson at the club many years ago and the two became close friends.

“He is always at the back of my mind,” Mr Brand said.

Mr McPherson was well known in the cycling fraternity and was always ready to hand out advice about bikes, riding and nutrition.

Mr McPherson’s brother, Pete, said he had been humble and quiet but had been a great storyteller.

He had completed three Absa Cape Epics, an annual mountain bike stage race held in the Western Cape. The race typically covers more than 700km and lasts eight days.

“I’ve been on a couple of mountain bike rides with him but was never serious about it,” he said.

He feels the new position for the bike is ideal and his brother’s legacy will live on.

“Not only for the immediate family but for his cycling family and the community who knew him,” he said.

RecyclerschairmanSimon Brooke, said the new position for the bike was ideal as the first place was rather secluded.

“It is now visible for all cyclists and other sportsmen to see on a regular basis and will be a lasting memory to Ian who was a popular member of the Recyclers,” he said.

Ms Heydra said ghost bikes were stark reminders that a human being on a bicycle had lost their life and the bicycle was the only reminder to motorists of the vulnerability of cyclists on the road.

Ward councillor Felicity Purchase confirmed that City officials had no objection to the placement of the ghost bike at the new location.

“It acknowledges those that both cycle each week, and the numbers are large, and also those who have lost their lives on their bikes. It also creates bicycle safety awareness for all who see it,” she said.