One-Year Time-Lapse of a Bike Decomposing on a NYC Street

Video screen capture. Red Peak on YouTube

What happens when you chain a bike -- loaded up with bells and baskets and all the trimmings -- to a pole on a busy SoHo street in NYC, and then leave it there for a year?

Life-Cycle is just such an experiment by Red Peak. They photographed the bike every day for 365 days to see what would happen. Interestingly, the bike stayed intact for quite awhile. But as soon as a few bits and pieces started disappearing, the rest of the bike was not long for this world.

Red Peak states, "On January 1, 2011 we chained a fully loaded bike - bells, basket, lights and more - to a post along a busy Soho street. We took a picture of the bike everyday for 365 days, watching it slowly vanish before our eyes. The photos we took were then turned into a daily calendar. We call this project LIFECYCLE: 365 days in the life of a bike in NYC."

Still, it's rather amazing it lasted as long as it did. Gawker notes, "After standing strong for 230 days, in 40 days it was completely removed from its spot. It's sort like the Broken Windows Theory. If a bike looks like its owner will be back any minute, everyone leaves it alone. As soon as it looks abandoned, the thieves come for it very quickly."

You could keep your bike looking pretty, though some would say that makes it an attractive target. We also suggest you ugly your bike to make it last longer.