31 March 2010

My art belongs to Glasgow: Free hire bikes coming on trust

Exciting news from Glasgow, where 50 white bikes will be left out around the city for the public to use for free from 16 April to 3 May.

It's an art event called the White Bike Plan, and organisers say they hope karma will prove effective at punishing anyone who nicks one of the bikes.

Theft and vandalism has plagued similarly trusting schemes in the past, most notoriously in 1960s Amsterdam (right), when most of them ended up chucked in canals, stolen, or smoked.

Well, trust is a wonderful and precious thing. Too precious to waste on people, if you ask me.

After all, look what happened to this bike (right) we spotted at East Midlands Parkway station this weekend. It had only been shackled up by the carrier rack, so the thief merely had to undo the bolts to get at the bike.

It would have a time-consuming, though not unpleasant, task. Simply cutting through the cheap cable lock would have been quicker. But as anyone knows who's waited for a train at the desolate and remote station, any way to fill in time is welcome.

Let's hope that karma catches up with the thief. A karma with two bottles of Buckfast inside it.

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