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For The Love Of A Ghost Bike

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For The Love Of A Ghost Bike

City Living

For The Love Of A Ghost Bike

Larry Boes, right, hugs the late David Smith's partner, John Moody, after decorating Smith's Ghost bike. Courtesy of John Moody hide caption

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Courtesy of John Moody

For The Love Of A Ghost Bike

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Larry Boes talks about caring for a Ghost Bike

Larry Boes rides a bike in New York City. He's gay. And he lost a partner to AIDS. When he read that a gay bike rider had been killed a few blocks from his house, Boes volunteered to look after his memorial Ghost Bike.

"As an out gay man, it wasn't just someone taking care of the bike," Boes says. "It was somebody who wanted to. I think that's what we should do. If two communities cross, the bike community and any other community, it says, 'Get involved.' "

For Boes, that has meant decorating the bike on holidays. It has also meant digging through the trash for the name plate that identifies it as a commemoration of David Smith, age 65. For whatever reason, people have taken to pulling the plaque off and kicking in the tires.