A New York City-based design and marketing consultancy has produced a time-lapse video showing the fate of a bicycle left locked to a cycle stand in a busy urban street for a year.
The project, called LIFECYCLE: 365 days in the life of a bike in NYC and carried out by Red Peak on behalf of its client Hudson Urban Bicycles, saw the bike put in situ in SoHo on 1 January 2011.
To begin with, not much happens. The first thing to go appears to be the spoke card, which took just short of 100 days to be taken.
That was followed a couple of weeks later by the rear-view mirror, but then nothing appears to have happened for the next three and a half months, with the bicycle looking pretty much unchanged by day 210 of the experiment.
By day 270, the bike had disappeared altogether, however, and that has given rise to accusations on YouTube comments that all may not be as it appears.
After 211 days, the Kryptonite D-lock attaching securing the frame and the front wheel to the cycle stand disappears, with some viewers commenting that it appears that it was removed on purpose to help encourage the thieves to take the bait.
One of those putting forward that theory added, “Still no one "steals" it for another 60 days even without a lock,” although the person making that comment presumably failed to notice the large Kryptonite chain lock around the bottom bracket area.
Another potential explanation is that the bike is secured outside what appears to be a popular café, rather than in an isolated area, and with two locks in place initially, would be avoided by thieves.
Even once the lock securing the front wheel goes, it takes a while for the saddle to disappear, followed by the front wheel, but after that the bike’s demise is swift, until with three months still remaining of the year, it has gone altogether – although whether it was taken by thieves, or by municipal authorities or someone else, remains unclear.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.