Two Women Turn Abandoned Bike into a Community Treasure

The next time you ride down Catharine Street in Philadelphia, something will probably catch your eye.

For the past two years, Jackie Ferretti and her neighbor Melissa Scherkoske have been decorating a bicycle that’s been chained to a pole and abandoned for more than five years.

"For us, I think it was more about how to go from trash to treasure really," said Scherkokske.

The bike has been there for so long that it even shows up on Google Map’s street view.

“It was rusted, the rubber is disintegrating," said Scherkoske. "It became parked trash for a while."

They first tried to get the city to remove the bike but said it was taking too long.

One day, Ferretti's stepson gave her a bright idea.

“He said, why don’t you just enjoy it, do something with it, have fun," said Ferretti.

She shared the idea with Scherkokske, who hopped on board.

“I said I’d love to help you. I’ve got some great ideas too, so let’s do this together," she said.

Suddenly, that eyesore became a work of art for both of them. They first decorated the bike for Christmas in 2017. After that, they took turns every month. They’ve done Easter, Pride Month, July 4th, Halloween and more.

For February, they decorated the bike for Valentine's Day. The decoration is complete with hearts, lights, and ribbons.

Members of the community said they love it.

“We look forward to it every holiday," said Janette Shaheen, who lives in the neighborhood.

“We have a lot of abandoned bikes in the neighborhood and this is definitely the most creative," said Rachel Saunders, who lives across the street.

Ferretti and Scherkoske hope this inspires others to think differently about things we call trash.

“Just to look at things in a more positive way," said Ferretti.


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