GALENA - “Ghost bike placed in tribute to bicyclists hit by a vehicle while traveling Route 66. Please watch out for bicyclists — Kansas Historic Route 66 Association.”
These are the words emblazoned on a memorial, and etched forever in the minds' of the families of two tourists who were killed in a traffic accident near Galena on May 8. The German cyclists, Harry Jung, 74, of Steinfurth, Germany, and Heinz Gerd Buchel, 71, of nearby Bad Nauheim, were traveling along Route 66 as part of a cycling trip along the Mother Road. The two were reportedly experienced cyclists who had taken long voyages before.
The accident occurred about a mile west of Galena, when a 23-year-old motorist from Shawnee, who was heading westbound struck them from behind. The two were biking westbound in the right lane at the time they were struck.
Just days following the fatal accident, local Route 66 preservationists the placed the ghost bike on Front Street near the Galena viaduct, right around the corner from Cars on the Route. The land for the bike was donated by Liberty Hall LLC of Galena. The bicycle was donated by the Galena Police Department, and city employees spray-painted it white.