Bike owners (and indeed bikes) of a sensitive disposition should look away now.
It seems I have been wrong about the Vauxhall underpass. I thought it was a route into the station and a handy place to leave my bike of a morning. Having spent the last six months studying the mystical passages inscribed on the walls of the underground tunnel chamber, I can reveal that it is in fact Lambeth’s Legendary Lost Bicycle Burial Grounds*
Bikes come here – or are perhaps brought by their sorrowing owners – in numbers to die, following the ancestral pathways marked by fading runes (the uninitiated call them cycle lanes) on London’s roads. Once they have died, they are ritually chained up and their bodies left to be disposed of naturally by the circling vultures that haunt this mysterious and ancient place.
The process is slow…
and in the end nothing is left but the bones
I can only hope that my own bike profits by its daily opportunity to meditate on the nature of its own mortality. Otherwise, next time I ask it to change gears and it declines, it may just be time for me to leave the vultures to do their thing.
* Best-selling novelists can license this entirely true piece of historical research for the payment of a nominal fee. Contact me at the usual address.