– Photo Gallery/Slideshow below-
(Photos © J. Maus)
About 50 people, including Mayor Sam Adams and the family of Tracey Sparling, attended a service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church tonight to dedicate a memorial plaque in honor of the woman who was killed in October 2007 while riding her bike on NW 14th Avenue — just a few blocks from the church.
The crowd heard short speeches from Mayor Sam Adams, Pacific Northwest College of Art president Thomas Manly (where Sparling went to school), and Bike Temple founder Amos Hunter. Manly said PNCA is moving forward with plans to construct a covered bike parking oasis on their campus in Sparling’s honor.
Following the speeches, Reverends Dennis Parker and Ken Arnold blessed the bicycles with a prayer and by placing a few drops of bike lube on their chains. The service ended with the ringing of bike bells.
St. Stephen’s also unveiled a new sign and logo for their Portland Bicycle Shrine. Senior Warden Mic Fleming explained to me that the logo incorporates several important symbols: the Compass Rose, which is both a symbol of the Anglican Communion and a way to pay homage to Portland’s official flower; the Lotus, associated with “life and promise”; and the mandala. Cards imprinted with the logo and a prayer for cyclists are available at the shrine.
The Portland Bicycle Shrine is located in a niche to one side of the church. It consists of a painting, a shelf with flowers, Tracey Sparling’s ghost bike and a new plaque in her honor. Reverend Parker said anyone is welcome to leave a note or a plaque for one of their loved ones. The bicycle shrine is open whenever the church is open and everyone is welcome to visit.
Watch a slideshow of the event below: