01 March 2010

The kiss of death

A lot of the bikes around town are misplaced. Stolen and dumped, or just so sick they should be put out of their misery. Not all bike owners live up to the responsibility of disposing properly of the retired horse, leaving it up to the city to clean up. The cleaning department takes a soft approach, keeping an eye out for "dead bikes", showing symptoms of a rusty chain or a broken saddle. And then there are the so called vultures. Armed with printed, yellow tape, they target all bikes in a chosen area, dispensing the kiss of death. 

Right now this area is the busiest and most crowded train station Norreport. 4 weeks from now all bikes still carrying the yellow tape, will be removed by the city. If the bike is deemed worth anything, it goes to the police auctions, and if not, it is disposed of. Last year alone this amounted to 3500 bikes.

The kiss of death.

The system is not without flaws, as the vultures periodically also targets backyards and entire neighbourhoods. If you plan for a long trip out of town, your bike may have been legally removed upon your return. It nearly happened to me. But my favourite part is when they leave a wreck alone, just because it is beautiful. Like this one.

The adjoining bikes were doomed, but this one, with the broken saddle and all, survived.

Nominated for a Classic Copenhagen Award, in the category Best Wreck.


  1. very nice :) also this is quite a system. i never lived in a city where abandoned bikes don't finish as just a piece of metal in a few hours/days... (except Zürich, but then i think ppl tend to be very cautious with their stuff, and the police don't kid with garbage disposal)

  2. Yes.. I wonder what the system for abandoned bikes is in other cities. It sounds organised here, but at the same time it is a little scary when a bike is shackled like this. They are born to ride.

  3. you take fantastic pictures and I absolutly love your headlines:o)
    love von mutti


  4. I thank you Muttilove, and lots of love right back at you!


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