Lone Bicycle Photo Essay Project
A single lonely bicycle inspired this photo series.
I kept noticing them chained to railings and propped up on walls and buildings on trips to some of my favorite food hubs in London. Each bicycle seemed to have a story to tell, but above all else one feeling came to the fore – loneliness – These were companionless and solo cycles. A few questions also popped into my head. Had they been abandoned? Were they unaccompanied? Some looked brand spanking new, shiny and posed like peacocks in their clearly visible vibrant colours even under an under cast sky. Others looked decrepit, in shambles with parts missing and perhaps needed to be reborn or reformed. The vast majority were in-betweeners. They were not new, but nothing TLC couldn’t fix.
I wondered aloud if they had a connection with the flavourful food that surrounded them. Had their owners escorted them into these hubs only to abandon them for food, all be it temporarily? Perhaps they had, but that then leads to the question. Is there an intimate relationship between cycling and food? Should the bicycle be the vehicle of choice for food connoisseurs? Perhaps it is or should be.
There is something to be said about traveling and gallivanting slowly – either on foot or perched on something that requires folks to power pedals and has two wheels. For one, it gives people the chance to doze up on some exercise or deal ruthlessly with indigestion, but perhaps for some the flexibility of being able to stop generally anywhere on a whim is the main attraction. Any Londoner will tell you about the frustrations of finding car parking space just for bites to eat. It is a whole operation in itself and the merry go round that accompanies the search can last longer than the journey time from home.
The green revolution has already been televised. That I am sure about. London cyclists are re-writing a narrative of getting about that is surely triggering gastronomic adventures all around. This may well explain the lonely bicycles I keep seeing. They may just be evidence or a key driver of culinary and behavioural change.
Never mind neurotic unsafe drivers, uphill climbing, playing Russian roulette with potholes, run ins with fellow cyclists and the infamous drip drip of rain and unbearably hot days. The culinary melting pot that I live in and travel to has birthed a movement that is as exhilarating as it is radical.
It is this spirit of recognition of the lone bicycle and its connection to food or places where people gather for food that I am interested in. I aim to document 1000s of photos of bicycles that will serve as a marker for some of the most interesting restaurants, eateries, street food stalls etc that I gallivant to both in my home city of London and on my travels internationally.
Found in series 2: Bicycle seen on The Narrow Way, Hackney Central, East London.
Found in series 3: Bicycle seen in front of fishmongers – Fin and Flounders on Broadway market.