Probably not a word I’ve used in a cycling article and one you’d more expect to be the title of a Joy Division song.
When I visited Metro Headquarters a few weeks ago, I passed by the underground bike rack like I have time and again. I’m probably no different than other cycling enthusiasts who look to check out the inventory.
The racks looked like any other at first, with a variety of bicycles to the stylish to the bare bones commuter. Nothing unique to really catch my eye until I noticed almost all the bikes had flat tires.
Around town, you tend to see a bike here and there with a tire stolen off of it, broken handlebars or enough damage that the owner thought fixing it wasn’t worth the trouble. But for the most part, these were functioning that just needed a little air in the tires.
I took a picture of them thinking I could make a funny comment about them and went along my business.
It wasn’t until yesterday later when I finally posted with said snarky remark that I thought about the universal implications of what I had seen.
What stories do these bikes tell? Who were their owners? Did someone hop on a train in Union Station looking for a new life? Was it someone who suffered an unfortunate fate? Did somebody get completely lost or just didn’t care to come back and get it?
I guess I’ll never know, but they were all put there by a chain of events; events that might have shaped someone’s life. Viewing this is like coming across one of those art installations where the meaning has to be searched for beyond the aesthetics.