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Bike Stand: A Neighborhood's ittle Mystery

Remember a few years back when shoes, dangling by their laces, started appearing on telephone and stoplight wires in Bon Air? What began as somewhat of a mystery became a trend. An urban legend, even. Before long, flung footwear was everywhere — hardly exclusive to Chesterfield County.

While it may not prompt mimicking, another occasion of seemingly inexplicable object placement has piqued puzzlement in Bon Air.

A few weeks ago a bike appeared on the corner of Brookwood Road and Cedar Crest Drive. In a quiet neighborhood, a bike's sudden appearance — unattended and unlocked — raises eyebrows. Soon the two-wheeler became the topic of conversation and a landmark. That is, until Friday, Jan. 14, when it vanished as mysteriously as it had appeared.

The bicycle had been positioned outside the tree border of the house on the corner, so it wasn't likely on private property.

"When I first saw it, I thought there was probably a kid somewhere nearby who'd left it for a minute," says Jes Simon, who lives in the neighborhood. "The next day it was still there." And the next day and so on, she says.

Days passed with the bike's presence growing ever more usual. Simon says many neighbors began asking the same question: "What's the deal with that bike?" Some even wondered whether it was placed there as an experiment in human nature — perhaps to see how long it would take for it to get stolen.

Once the bike was tampered with during the night. Someone decorated it with a Christmas garland and candy canes. Another time it fell over. When Simon noticed the bike on its side, she pulled over in her car and had her nephew put it back in its place. She felt "a bit obligated to our new landmark," she says.

Talk of the bike even made its way to the local library, Simon says. Its disappearance now only raises more questions. Namely: What's the story? — Brandon Walters

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