It puzzles me when I see it: a bike locked up in a weird place, the sort of place where you go past and find yourself thinking, "I wonder why the owner rode to that particular spot and then decided to walk the rest of the way?"
How do they get into these odd places?
I speculate that these are no casual abandonments. No, these are the sites where someone's born-again love-affair with cycling has died, dashed to pieces in a head-on collision with reality. I imagine it happens like this. The bloke used to be pretty fit but he's on the wrong side of 40 and let himself go a bit, so he decides to get a bike and get back his "old form". He buys a mountain bike (of course) and some lycra kit and off he goes, whoosh! All flashing pedals and thrashing thighs.
But some kilometres down the track, it all gets a bit hard and he thinks he might be having a stroke. He dismounts inelegantly and casts the bloody machine aside. His wife, who has nothing to "prove" and so has been travelling at a much more sedate pace, soon arrives on her new bike, and asks what's wrong.
"I'm done in," says he, "This is gonna kill me. I can't go any further. I'm going to have to leave the bike here."
"You can't just leave it here and walk off."
"No, it's OK. Look, I'll lock it up here and whip around and pick it up in the car later." But he's actually thinking, "Bugger that! The damn thing can rust here for all I care!"
"Well, alright. Will you be OK to walk home?"
"Yeah, sure love. I've just got to catch my breath. You go on and enjoy your ride. I'll be fine."
"OK, I'll see you at home."
She rides off and as soon as she's out of sight, he digs out his mobile phone and whistles up a taxi.
Well, I guess that's one way it might happen…