Monday, 9 June 2014

Schrodinger's Bicycles

Wedged between the frame and brake cable of the bicycle that wasn't mine was my original note, now very faded after all the rain. Without thinking, I pulled it out and stuffed it in my coat pocket.

There were two reasons I could not bring myself to lay instant claim to the bicycle that wasn't mine: firstly, shifting it would require quite some physical force and I was on my way to a concert, and thus dressed in clothes which I wished to preserve free of rips, mud smears and oil stains; and secondly (and rather obviously) it wasn't my bicycle. I found the nearest person with a phone (to protect other people from the consequences of my absent-mindedness, I don't take phones to concerts) and called Rozzer Central once again. Having taken the details, they assured me they would deal with it.

Then, nothing happened. When nothing had continued to happen for two more days, I emailed Rozzer Central to enquire if they had at least re-united the bike with its owner. Their reply came as a bit of a shock.

It transpires that, at least here in Viking city (which, I might add, has somehow awarded itself the strapline "cycle-friendly"), the Police don't recover stray bicycles: that job is delegated to the Council. And the Council, in their turn, don't treat bicycles as objects of value, but as items of fly-tipping, to be got rid of pronto.

Which leaves me in the horrible position of not knowing whether my bike, or indeed the one that wasn't mine, are still in existence at all: they may by now have been melted down as scrap (probably in Sheffield).

The theory of continuity of bicycles may therefore have to be abandonned. The saddest thing of all is that, as I smoothed out the note to take a photograph for this blog, I noticed an addition in neat, pale pencil along one edge:

"This bike just arrived on my doorstep _ please keep!"

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