While walking down my street I notice them tied to lamp posts or fixed to the upside down U shaped things designed to stop people from parking on the pavements. Some appear to be in perfect condition. But the poor objects seem to have been forgotten, no longer cherished, but abandoned by their owners. Their loneliness does not, however go unnoticed by others who often give them a cruel kick hard enough to cause a once essential part of their anatomies to buckle. These objects start to look a little unwell and, if they had not truly been abandoned before, then they surely will be now. And they are.
They sit there looking forlorn and pieces of them gradually start to disappear. First the saddle rides off into the sunset, followed by someone putting a stop the existence of the brakes, next the chain becomes the missing link, the unguarded mudguards dematerialise , the pedals are spun off somewhere, the sprockets go for a run and finally the wheels revolve away into nothingness. All that remains is a destitute naked frame, which sits there looking rather like a modern sculpture that never made it to the Tate, and lingers for some months more until it too mysteriously goes down the tube.
After a short period yet another bicycle will appear, often in the same place as the skeleton which resided there before it. The cycle, if you will excuse the pun, is repeated and another wheel is kicked and the slow process of disassembly over time begins once more.
The bicycles subject to this process of ‘delayed theft through disassembly’ look ever so sad, almost as if they are some kind of poor defenceless animal.
Alas there is no society for the prevention of cruelty to bikes in Milan, Italy.
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