Jigsaw, the women's clothes chain, has a promo campaign on now using spotty bikes. They're rather cute and I wouldn't mind one. The spotty bike on the right is in their Strand branch window. A PR team somewhere is no doubt congratulating itself in a press release that goes on in marketingspeak about how they embody freedom, style and individuality for the key demographic. It also probably recycles our favourite dodgy stat about cycling in London having gone up by 91 per cent since, er, the last dodgy stat.
Unfortunately Jigsaw have spoiled it by leaving too many of the darned things out on display, locked to racks that are meant for public bike parking. This one, for instance, is on Great Marlborough St in Westminster, just off Oxford St, where cycle parking is in shockingly short supply - as the triple- and quadruple-occupancy of some of these stands demonstrates. (It's not a bike in use, as its broken brake cable and skewiff handlebars show.) They've been annoying other people round London too.
Bike rack space is stolen from us too much as it is. Vauxhall Station bike racks regularly host council rubbish carts, and this ladder (right) spent weeks taking up a park just off Strand.
Jigsaw, please stop it. Otherwise I'll spread a rumour round a few choice south London pubs that your spotty bikes are collector's items worth a grand each. The bolt cutters and angle grinders will be out before you can say Brick Lane Market.