I’ve been wanting to visit the ghost bike at the intersection of Innes and Bantree. That’s where David Tyler Brown died in a senseless accident in early September. I wanted to pay my respects, and try to shed a little light on how such a tragic accident could occur at this location. Yesterday I needed to go to the Home Depot in that neighbourhood, so I chose a route that brought me past his ghost bike.
At the corner of Innes and St Laurent I entered No Mans Land. I encountered only one other person not encased in a four-or-more wheeled vehicle – a guy walking along Innes who definitely looked like he wished he were somewhere else. Here’s what the intersection of Innes and Bantree looks like.
And here is the bike.
There is a very well written article here, which describes the bike and surrounding commemorative elements which touch upon the life of David Tyler Brown.
I chose a Sunday to ride out this way to avoid the trucks that own this landscape. Here is a panorama taken further down Bantree.
Unfortunately my iPhone ran out of juice after taking these images.
I’m a pretty confident biker, but riding through this area was scary, even on a Sunday. The lack of drainage along Sheffield Road created huge puddles that forced me to ride in the middle of the road. I hit a rut while turning my head to check for oncoming traffic at the top of Sheffield Road, which caused me to fall off my bike. I’m OK, just broke my rear light and bell. Stupid of me, really. Being so anxious about the road conditions contributed to my error. Effort is required to make this area safer for bicyclists, such as those who wish to commute by bike.
Needless to say, I was very relieved to get to the end of Walkley Road where I followed a gravel trail.
The route I would recommend taking to get to this area is the one I followed on the way back, hi-lited in green on the above map. Anderson Road and Innes Road on the East side of the 417 have bicycle lanes. Cyrville Road isn’t great, but it’s the safest way to get to the other side of the 417.