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Spotted: A Ghost Bike for Joe Mavec

SPOTTED BY: Martin Reis

WHERE: St. Clair and Wychwood Avenues

WHEN: Monday, August 13, 8 a.m.

WHAT: Joe Mavec, a 47-year-old man, was killed one week ago while bicycling, after catching his tire in a piece of disused streetcar track near the Wychwood Barns. This morning, the bike-activist group Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists installed a ghost bike near the site of Mavec’s fatal fall. ARC has installed many of the white-painted bikes over the past decade, as a way of memorializing cycling-accident victims.

Spotted features interesting things our readers discover in their journeys across Toronto. If you spot something interesting, send a photo and pertinent details to


  • Jason

    He died when his unprotected head hit the pavement. He would still be alive if he was wearing a helmet and wearing it properly!

    • Anonymous

      This happens to be one of the situations where a helmet probably would have saved the cyclist who died. You of course can’t say for sure but I agree with you that he probably would have lived had he been wearing a helmet. This was essentially the perfect case of an accident that a helmet is designed to prevent against.

      Helmets can’t protect against everything. There have been several recent cyclist deaths where they would not have made, and did not make, a difference.

      I’m a fundamentally cautious person, so I advocate for wearing a helmet, even though I believe that a comprehensive network of safe cycling infrastructure would make cyclists safer than if everyone wore a helmet.

      • Jason

        I just don’t like that the article says he died after catching his tire on a disused streetcar track. He died when his head hit the pavement. My condolences to his family – it’s a terrible thing to lose a loved one unexpectedly.

        • Anonymous

          If you want to get into cause-and-effect thinking, you can draw the line wherever you like.

          I think drawing the line between “riding along happily” and “flying through the air towards concrete” as a pretty good division point. But you are entitled to your take on things.

          It’s like saying someone broke their ankle because their foot was restrained by dirt, rather than “they stumbled into an uncovered utility trench”

  • Miroslav Glavic

    Did ARC get a city permit or is this an illegal installation?

  • Welldon

    So, a guy dies after hitting his head on the ground when he falls off bike. Guy was not wearing a helmet, and the way to remember him is to ride without a helmet to the spot where he died?
    Yes, it is a tragedy that he died – but it was preventable. Creating cycling infrastructure is crucial, marking where people died is important. It is just stupid to ride without a helmet. At least 3 riders in the photos don’t have helmets.

  • Guest

    Several lessons here…
    1) wear a helmet
    2) don’t ride with grocery bags hanging off your handle bars
    3) pay attention so you don’t run into road obstacles