November 18, 2010

Have you "adopted" an abandoned bicycle in Japan?

Well its finally happened, a mountain bike that has been abandoned outside out apartment for almost 2 years had been removed.

I originally wrote about this bicycle, and how would have loved to repair it and send it to a loving home before the elements destroyed it, in May 2009 after it had been sitting in the street for over 2 months.  A little love and care and it would have been good as new, but even though it was obviously abandoned, me taking and repairing it would still amount to stealing it so I left it to its fate.

Soon to be scrapped.
Little did I know that its fate was to sit in the same place, stuffed halfway into a hedge beside the sidewalk for almost 2 years.  In April this year I commented again on how surprised I was that the bicycle had not been collected for recycling or destruction.

By the time it was collected last Tuesday it had been stripped of a fair number of usable parts, and thoroughly ruined by the elements, sadly rendering it unfit for recycling and resale.

In Tokyo where abandoned bicycle are usually removed with ruthless efficiency I was perplexed by the staying power of this little white mountain bike.  But disappointed that it wasn't collected earlier when it could still have been recycled, rather than being left to rot then sent to scrap.

Friends have done it, but I've never "liberated" an abandoned bicycle.  There is a Giant Escape which has been abandoned at our apartment for almost 2 years that is still salvageable.  Its amazingly light for such an inexpensive bicycle and would make an awesome commuter bike with its slick tires, rack and fenders.  But as it is registered to its previous owner, and that owner has left the country there is no way to legally transfer ownership, so its left to rust away.  What an unfortunate waste.

Have you ever adopted an abandoned bicycle in Japan?

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