Bike bits and bike theft
Having returned from a cycling holiday in the Netherlands (see here for some initial thoughts on cycling there) it’s been back to the project data. I conducted two interviews yesterday morning and continued taking pictures of bits of bikes, which – once I have access to Photoshop again – I will be combining with quotes to provide a different visual take on our material. Here for example is a bike in an office.
I took this picture because the interviewee talked about her battle against theft, part of which was the struggle to get her employer to allow people in her building to keep bikes in their offices. One of the bikes she owns was very cheap, and this is the only one she will now lock up outside due to experiences of theft.
The second interviewee also talked about the fear of theft, so I took some pictures of bits of her bike that she said she had left deliberately “tatty” to discourage potential thieves…
Bike theft is something that cyclists in Hackney (and Hull, and many other places) must be constantly aware of. Feeling about bike theft vary depending upon the meanings attached to the bike by its owner. Interviewees have described how particular stolen bikes had a special significance for them – perhaps the bike was bought in childhood, perhaps it belonged to a parent or friend who has died, or perhaps it was the bike that got them back into cycling as an adult or on which they undertook a particularly meaningful journey… Losing such a bike means losing the physical embodiment of memories. A bicycle can be a special mememto, bringing back a person or a time through the experience of using it, as well as looking at it.