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365 days in the life of a bike in NYC
January 21, 2012 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Lifecycle - A bike in New York is locked to a pole and photographed everyday as it slowly disappears. [via]
posted by quin (42 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
The video is also available as a 365-day desk calendar, so you can follow the bike’s demise day by day.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:32 AM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


A comment on MetaFilter is locked to a post and viewed everyday as it slowly disap
posted by DreamerFi at 9:32 AM on January 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh no it's like The Giving Tree all over again.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:32 AM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'll ask the same question that is on the YouTube page. Why would someone take the lock but not the bike?
posted by Phantomx at 9:32 AM on January 21, 2012


Why would someone take the lock but not the bike?

Someone did that to a bike of mine once. I assumed it was a comment on the cheap-ass bike I had.

I for one am surprised that it takes the water bottle over five months to disappear.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:38 AM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Advil spoke card?
posted by box at 9:38 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Taking the lock proves you can do it. Leaving the bike shows how unpopular that style of bike is. The lock may have been worth more money than the bike (but without the key? never mind).
posted by idiopath at 9:40 AM on January 21, 2012


I for one am surprised that it takes the water bottle over five months to disappear.

Yeah, and the rest stayed for as long as it did... a commenter notes that it wasn't until the tires went down and the bike looked abandoned that stuff started to go missing
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:40 AM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


a commenter notes that it wasn't until the tires went down and the bike looked abandoned that stuff started to go missing

My first assumption was that people are more willing rob a bike that's already been robbed, but that commenter might be more right than I am.
posted by Peevish at 9:44 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It got uncycled, that's all.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:45 AM on January 21, 2012


If someone had asked me to guess how long a bike would last like that, I would have said "a week" with confidence.
posted by lobstah at 9:47 AM on January 21, 2012


In Holland, this video would have been real-time.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:50 AM on January 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


What was the point of shooting pics after the bike was gone?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:52 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm almost tempted to say they just unlocked the bike themselves because they weren't getting the results they wanted. It's actually pretty reassuring to see a bike (relatively unfashionable but still perfectly serviceable) sit for over 200 days essentially unmolested in Soho.
posted by akgerber at 9:53 AM on January 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


In case it came back?
posted by Flashman at 9:53 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bike lock might have been used to bash a skull.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:56 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


What was the point of shooting pics after the bike was gone?

To finish the rest of the calendar?

365 Days of Whatever The Fuck projects are popular enough that if you set out to do one, there's no point in giving up just because your project gets completely stolen 2/3 of the way through.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:58 AM on January 21, 2012


ha, akgerber -- I didn't even notice the day count to that point! I can imagine that starting a project like this, you think you are going to take pics for a few weeks...and then by day 200 you are just pissed. Especially if you decided to lock it up in Soho, and you live in Fort Greene or something and now have to commute in every day to take a picture of this f'ing bike that no one will steal. Even the water bottle holder (zipties?) got tired over the first hundred days.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 9:59 AM on January 21, 2012


A Swedish newspaper did a similar thing several years ago, but it looks like the pictures aren't online anymore.
posted by samw at 10:05 AM on January 21, 2012


365 days in the life of a bike in Eugene, OR:

Day 1: lock a bike to a pole
Day 2: your bike is gone
posted by peep at 10:17 AM on January 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: bike thieves in my town are sooooo much quicker
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:24 AM on January 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's a fantastically stupid project.

"Red Peak is a new company but is staffed by some of the most senior figures in the design and marketing industry."

I can believe this of an "industry" whose main task is almost literally hurling shit at a wall to see what sticks. Clunges.
posted by howfar at 10:31 AM on January 21, 2012


Well, the video was only okay I guess. But thanks to howfar, I've learned that 'clunge' is British slang for vagina. *cue NBC's 'the more you know' chimes*
posted by Think_Long at 10:33 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Until the bike completely disappeared, I was thinking, "What a fantastic waste of public space!"
posted by m0nm0n at 10:37 AM on January 21, 2012


a commenter notes that it wasn't until the tires went down and the bike looked abandoned that stuff started to go missing

Broken windows
posted by jng at 10:39 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


'clunge' is British slang for vagina.

Pretty much anything is British slang for vagina. Although clunge is a new one, I must admit.
posted by omnikron at 11:00 AM on January 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


2012 is a leap year. What happens on day 366 in the 365-day calendar?
posted by germdisco at 11:06 AM on January 21, 2012


Broken windows theory.
posted by valkyryn at 11:07 AM on January 21, 2012


That is Kenmare street, right in front of La Esquina. During the day, a very populated corner - at night kinda of empty.

114 Kenmare
posted by R. Mutt at 11:09 AM on January 21, 2012


It's good to see people getting serious about recycling.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:10 AM on January 21, 2012


Until the bike completely disappeared, I was thinking, "What a fantastic waste of public space!"

I was thinking, "What a fantastic waste of a perfectly good bike and all those perfectly good bike accessories!'
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:15 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw, I thought this was going to reveal the story behind the spare ruins of that rusted bike on Smith St. between Union and Carroll. Someone left their bike there - two, three years ago maybe? - never came back for it, and it's since degraded into this weird six-inch high street-art-ish sculpture on the sidewalk.

Thousands of people walk by it every day, but I think it's gotten to the point where no one wants to be The Person who cleans it up. Almost as if doing so will signal the end of something, or a shift in the neighborhood. I wish I knew when it showed up and where the owner is now. (If they're even alive. Though I asked friends in that neighborhood if it was a ghost bike and they said they don't recall it being white.) The collective response to it is fascinating.
posted by greenland at 11:21 AM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I found the presentation format slightly underwhelming. There's text on a white background that takes up more than half of the running time (telling me stuff I'm either not interested in or already know from reading the description). Even when there are pictures nothing happens in the beginning and, because the thing gets stolen, nothing in the end.
posted by patrick54 at 12:07 PM on January 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wadsworth constant applies.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


constant applies.
posted by TMezz at 12:54 PM on January 21, 2012


Metafilter: 365 Days of Whatever The Fuck
posted by Rangeboy at 3:29 PM on January 21, 2012


I'll ask the same question that is on the YouTube page. Why would someone take the lock but not the bike?

If you look closely, you'll see there is also a Kryptonite chain lock around the frame and back wheel. Those chains are actually more valuable than many of the other components taken from the bike.
posted by orme at 4:24 PM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bike lock might have been used to bash a skull.

I know someone who recently used the remains of a U-lock to forge a nice engagement ring.
posted by aniola at 7:04 PM on January 21, 2012


In Vienna, Austria there are these weekly "District Pages" that are delivered to every residence. There's a little section called "Shame of the week" and "Pride of the week." Each has a picture of something in the district that is either shameful or great.

For several weeks last year they took pictures of rusting bikes locked to poles as the "shame of Vienna." These bikes were years old, abandoned and untouched: brakes still attached, baskets hooked on, quick-release front wheels still in the forks. Being from DC and losing my water bottle holder, mini pump and reflector the first time I locked my bike at a metro station, this situation doesn't seem "shameful" in the least. However, the city did go through the inner district and removed all the abandoned bikes in response to the "outcry." I should've picked up a light or two before they did.

This project would've never worked here.
posted by montaigneisright at 7:24 AM on January 22, 2012


Sorry. Locking a bike to a pole like that and leaving it there for months is just littering. Not only are you taking up a space that someone else (an actual cyclist) could have used, you're also creating an environment where this kind of vandalism is encouraged. It's a stupid project, and these people should get fined for littering. If this had been a car, they would get slapped for dumping a vehicle, to the tune of thousands of dollars, and rightly so.
posted by monospace at 7:52 AM on January 22, 2012


I know someone who recently used the remains of a U-lock to forge a nice engagement ring.
posted by aniola at 10:04 PM on January 21


Neat! Did they use a slice of the barrel (?the straight part?) of the lock, or was it the U part and your friend's hands are as large as a bicycle? Any pics?
posted by orme at 10:55 AM on January 22, 2012


Alas and alack, there are no pictures. He cut a segment of the U, forged it into a small disc, and drilled out the center.
posted by aniola at 2:15 PM on January 22, 2012


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