Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Velo Suicide (Don't Do It!)

An alarming phenomenon has been brought to my attention that I wish to share with my readers. We don't give this a great deal of thought, but perhaps we ought to: People are not the only ones effected by the winter blues; bicycles feel them too.

[velo suicide; image by Astroluc]

In Boston, this most recent and serious victim of vSAD (velocepedian Seasonal Affective Disorder) plunged to his death off the bridge into the frozen Charles River. Thank you to Astroluc for bringing this tragic and under-reported story to the forefront. We do not know why this bicycle chose to end his life. Perhaps he was not ridden enough once the winter season began. Perhaps he was not loved enough. It could even be that I am to blame - with my incessant talk of "lovely bicycles" and my rants against welding marks. Clearly I have been insensitive to the fragile self esteem of our dear velo friends, and for that I am truly sorry.

[velo suicide: close-up; image by Astroluc]

To all the lonely, isolated, unloved bicycles out there: Please do not despair. You are all lovely and special in your own way. If your owner has neglected or abandoned you, know that there are options out there - such as Bikes Not Bombs, who will take you in, feed you hot soup, restore you to good health an find you a new home. Stay warm and keep away from the Charles River. And to all the bicycle owners out there, be aware that velo suicide can take on epidemic qualities, as one of my favourite educational films so poignantly illustrates. Take care of your bicycles and don't forget to tell them you love them this winter, even if you don't ride much.

23 comments:

  1. Hilarious! Sorry, now I have to go and hug my bike :).

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  2. You've done a great job at taking pictures of that bike... i kept trying but with not much luck.

    Maybe someone was just trying to make Boston/Cambridge more like Amsterdam and was working on filling up our local canal/river with bicycles like the Amerstdam canals?

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  3. It wasn't me; they are Astroluc's pictures.

    Amsterdam's canals are filled with bikes? I hadn't noticed when I was there. Sorry to hear their velo suicide rate is so high.

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  4. LOL. Nice one. My bike prefers to hybernate this time of year rather than feel the affects of SAD. Poor bike in the photo. I hope someone at least recovers it before it sinks to the bottom of that lake come spring..Theres still hope for it!

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  5. I know it 'looks' like suicide, but I suspect foul play. Perhaps a jealous second party is at fault...

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  6. The suicide ruling may indeed have been premature, but what can we do when the police refuse to perform an autopsy and launch a proper investigation.

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  7. Aw, poor bike. Thank you for bringing this serious issue to light.

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  8. No proper investigation? The Police are treating this poor bicycle as if it's a 'thing'. I must protest!

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  9. ah, sad. i do hope there is an investigation to determine whether there's been foul play or if this was a suicide. i've seen too many bikes that have slit their tires... bikes need to know that there are support groups out there!

    jefe-- i don't know if there is a prozac analog for bikes, but a little bit of oil goes a long way in maintaining emotional as well as physical health. bikes also need to know the benefits of maintaining proper tire pressure and not consuming too much salt in their diet! hypertension in bikes has been shown to lead to increased cases of myocardial-tire infarction and corrosion of the arteries. but where do bikes go to learn about all this stuff? alas, if only the bike health reform bill would pass...

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  10. That's why I ride British bikes: They keep a stiff upper lip and muddle through the winter. And, when all else fails, a nice glass of port cheers them up.

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  11. Step-Through, see the link to "one of my favourite educational films"!

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  12. Poor little bike, we harldy knew ye.

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  13. With just a little TLC... a little dab of lube on the chain... a caress of the derailleur... this poor little bike may have made it through to spring, when it could feel useful and truly loved again.

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  14. Say, um, it looks....only *mostly* dead.

    [url]www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9tAKLTktYO[/url]

    Anyone thought of actually dragging it back in to shore? is the ice safe to traverse on foot?

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  15. The ice is not safe to traverse on foot, especially after this weekend's rain. But that hasn't stopped some from cycling on it (see last 2 photos in that post!)...

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  16. ". . .is the ice safe to traverse on foot?"

    It would take a miracle.

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  17. It was planned mayhem and MURDER! Someone needs to retrieve the carcass for identification...

    Aaron

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  18. I had saved a bike that did that. It was in the summer though. Rope and a large hook. I took him to his final resting place the recycle center in the heave metal bin.

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