Austin cyclist remembered with ghost bike



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Posted on November 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 20 at 11:22 PM

AUSTIN -- They're called ghost bikes. They're painted white, often with precious mementos surrounding them. They are reminders of lives lost on Austin streets. And now there's one more.

Cyclist Morgan Marold got hit by a truck on Oct. 29.

Marold had a blowout and fell into oncoming traffic traveling west on Bee Caves Road last month.
Family and friends remembered her Wednesday with a bike ride, but they're also asking for changes on the road.

They stopped their ride near the intersection of Barton Creek Road, where Morgan got hit just weeks ago.

"I go front on to these things because I want to keep her memory alive every way that I can," said her mother Hilary Marold.

Hilary helped put up the white ghost bike in her memory.

"She was just kind of coming into her own. She was 28 years old and thinking maybe she was going to get that full time teaching job she was hoping to get so she didn't have to work three jobs," her mother said.

Just in front of the bike are mementos, but her favorite necklace will rest somewhere else.

"It was my mother's necklace and my daughter wore it every day of her life," Hilary said, pulling a butterfly necklace on a silver chain out of her jacket. "I just cling on to anything I can at this point."

"I rode this a week before Morgan was killed," said Please BE KIND to Cyclists Founder Al Bastidas. "The shoulder got so narrow. It used to be very wide but when they repaved and repainted, they narrowed it."

Bastidas said the shoulder should be 10 feet.

"We lost a beautiful human being and it hurts," he said.

"I want people to do just exactly as the sign says," Hilary said, referring to the "Be Kind to Cyclists Sign" over the ghost bike.

Hilary tells us she's heard from hundreds of people who loved Morgan, a competitive athlete, tennis coach and friend.

"'Your daughter was unbelievable.' I always knew it, but to get that affirmation from everybody is overwhelmingly a loving thing to have happen to me and my family," she said.

Now she hopes her legacy will live on.

"What can we all do to carry on what she stood for? What can we do to live better lives?" Hilary asked the group of cyclists riding Wednesday morning.

With this grim reminder on the side of the road, she wants drivers and cyclists to be careful and think about that question.

Bastidas said there are about 14 ghost bikes in Austin. Morgan's family and friends are also hoping to put up a bench and a bronzed pair of Morgan's running shoes on Lady Bird Lake where she loved to run.