Friday, February 17, 2012


From the mailbag...

Dear Abby,

I saw this bike near my school and i thought to myself....
i've been seeing this bike for months on my way to school and i thought.... with the idiots that coast off the bridge and the fact i got a bolt cutter at home i should take this abandoned frame and make it into an vehicle of WIN!!! \m/

or should i.... back off and run away from this Hipster trap of DOOM!!!!

This from a fellow deviant at deviantArt.  For those unfamiliar with dA, it's another social network site of sorts, for artists.  Total membership is probably several million.  It's a great place to share artwork and get feedback and look at other's work - traditional art, digital art, literature, photography,...   And, since "art" is a term with such vague boundaries, if any, there's also plenty of crap and smut, but that's pretty easily avoided.

Luckily, within that  FLOOD of art are many many groups, so deviants like myself can join groups specific to their interests and forego the rest.  A couple of my groups are "bicycle love" themed.

So... what to advise here?  The advice seeker is a "...young Architecture Student in NYC who happens to draw and play music..."  Although, really, who is anybody in cyberspace? 

If he's to be believed, he really wants to build his own bicycle, and just wants this forsaken one for the frame.

Most other responders (I'm not the only one he consulted) including me tell him to err on the side of caution.  We don't think it's a ghost bike, but there could be some other reason it's still there.  If nothing else, ask the police and/or sanitation first before resorting to the Dark Arts.

I'm sure NYPD and NY sanitation don't have much else to think about.

What would you do? If you don't give a hoot about bicycles, imagine it was some other seemingly abandoned thing that you do give a hoot about.  What WOULD you get the bolt cutters out for?


  1. Interesting...I bet someone just dropped that bike off and left it there because it was broken :p.

    I frequent Deviant Art as well ^^ I've been getting back in to the swing of things there recently.

  2. I would ask around so it wouldn't feel like stealing, I suppose.
    What would I get out the bolt cutters for? To let a neighbour's dog free that has tangled itself up in its broken chain (true story).

    1. Rebecca to the rescue! We don't even own bolt cutters, maybe I should get some.

  3. Depends if it appears to be an obvious abandoned bike. I would try to ask, but I am an old junker and I like to collect thing that others discard. I've recovered a old bike that someone tossed in their trash and eventually turned it over to Goodwill (I won't even mention the Sombrero).

    Actually, I have a set of bolt cutters for, dare I say, cutting bolts. I've used it several times to cut lag bolts off of frames or cut through a pair of old locks (lost keys) or chains for my swing set.

    1. It's too late, you already mentioned the sombrero. I never thought to use them for cutting bolts.

  4. I'm thinking it would be best to check with the police first. You just never know.

    What would I get the bolt cutters out for? ... hmmmm .... A hot fudge sundae!

    1. Now you're talking! It would be a shame to let one go to waste!

  5. Hey Abby,

    Most of the times I'm reading your blog, but never replying. (Yeah, one of those silent followers :p). But this time I wanted to send a short reply. First of all to let you know that I enjoy your blog (being a bike freak myself :-D). Second... I will answer your questions:

    In the student city where I used to live we often found bikes like that along the street. Whenever we needed a bike part to repair our bikes... well, yes... ;-)
    Getting a bit older made me a bit more 'careful' though. So I don't really know what I would do. Unless I would really hear the bike cry for help. ;-)
    Although maybe it's not such a bad idea to put a note on the bike (like they sometimes do when bikes will be removed) and check whether or not it's an orphan.

    And my bolt cutters...
    Well, one day I parked my motorcycle in front of the garage of the nuns at our school (very catholic one, you can imagine). Not on purpose. I didn't know there was a car behind that big green door. So in the evening, after school, my motorcycle was gone! After looking for it for an hour I found it back, locked with a chain around it, somewhere in the back of an old bunker. Since I didn't have bolt cutters with me (stealing bike parts from time to time, yes, but just not that much of a criminal to have bolt cutters everywhere I go), that would have been the point where I'd wanted to have used them. Instead I had to go to see 'Mother superior' in the chapel and apologize... and pray... :s
    I would definitely have preferred the bolt cutters there. : )


    1. Hello bike freak itihtw! Yes, a note on the bike (what's left of it) would be a good gesture, and I think the young architect is hearing cries for help!

      And now I'm curious about the Catholic school story. What would have happened if you never found your motorcycle? "Biker nun" is something I've not ever seen, but certainly not out of the question.

      Thanks for chiming in! I hope you will continue to comment :)

    2. Lol... Biker nun... I almost feel a book coming up there (any ambitions? :p)!! : )
      I never thought about that possibility actually. Only about the fact that she tried to steal my soul in return for a (my own!) motorcycle... and wondering which part of the bible she'd use to try to justify her actions. ; )

      I'll do my best to comment more often. Keep up the good work. I like your blog! : )

    3. Thanks! And Ooh, I'll remember that - NEVER park in front of a nun garage!