There aren't a lot of cyclists about Budapest. That's probably down to the terrible conditions of the roads and the scary drivers. But even after the futárok and kookie kert-krawlers there are still some souls brave enough to battle through the laughable cycle lanes and scarred roads.
To encourage people to get on their bike and reclaim the streets as a safer place to pedal, there was a critical mass event back in April. Some time before the day, it was advertised in my area by an old bike, roughly painted orange, padlocked to a road sign at the busy Bacsy / Andrassy intersection.
I pass through the area almost every day. 3 months later, the bike is still there. Maybe there's some hidden protection. Maybe a curse or a little warning from the bicycle mafia. The bike seems to be okay to ride but has not been stolen. Surely this is a first in Budapest? Even more strange is the fact that a few weeks ago, its front wheel went missing. Perhaps it was a spare parts store for fellow cyclists to call upon in their times of need? But wait, a few days later and the wheel is back. Is there a fairy-godmother of bicycles out there, keeping an eye on this two-wheeled messenger of hope?
I've got used to the bike being there and it looks like the police aren't going to take it away. I hope it can stay there as a reminder to motorists that cyclists do exist. If it doesn't get caught up in the critical mass of road repairs currently taking over the city, maybe it can hold on till the event in 2006.