Friends memorialize bicyclist who died

jkegley@herald-leader.comDecember 3, 2012 

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A "ghost bike" was put in place in memory of Jason Baines, 41, of Lexington, who was hit by a car and killed Oct. 24 on Midland Avenew. A local group placed the bike near the scene of crash. Photo by Ron Garrison | Staff

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Friends and coworkers of Jason Baines, who was killed while riding his bicycle across Midland Avenue in October, installed a ghost bike in his memory Sunday.

About noon, the small group chained the stark-white bike to a light pole at the corner of Midland and Short Street, where the wreck occurred.

A ghost bike is a roadside memorial that riders build and place at the spot where a fellow cyclist has been killed or severely injured. The practice is common in some areas, but Baines' memorial is thought to be only the second ghost bike in Lexington.

The first bike was placed for Thomas "Rick" Kerr in September. Kerr, 53, was hit and killed on Russell Cave Road Aug. 30.

The bike used to build Baines' memorial was one of about eight he had at his Aurora Avenue home, said his fiancée, Elli Wright .

"It was in the worst shape out of all of them," said Wright, 39. "He had plans to fix it and get it back to working order."

Baines, who worked at the Lexington Bicycle Center on Red Mile Road, and Wright, a tattoo artist, had dated for about nine years. They planned to be married in the spring, she said.

Baines was on his way home from work Oct. 24 when he was hit by a car. He was pronounced dead a short time later at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.

A memorial ride was held for Baines Nov. 11, Wright said. Friends of Baines tentatively have plans to hold the memorial ride yearly. Friends are also hoping to have a section of the Veteran's Park bike trail, where Baines liked to ride, named after him.

The ghost bike is all white except for blue lettering featuring Baines' name, date of birth and date of death. There also are a few symbols and decals painted by his friends.

Wright said she plans for the ghost bike to become a permanent fixture at the intersection. She has registered the memorial with GhostBikes.org, which tracks ghost biked across the world.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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