This somewhat sad looking black bike made me think of the story of Black Beauty.
For those unfamiliar, a horse (the primary transportation of the era) begins life in the stables of a wealthy family, where he is loved and well cared for, then through a series of accidents and reversals of fortune becomes the property of "lesser" people and is treated more and more poorly, until he collapses, bound for the glue factory.
Being a Victorian melodrama, there's lots of moralizing about the evils of drink, and presumptions about class and status and moral character, and of course a happy ending, where the horse in his darkest hour is rescued by the child of his first owner, and lives out the rest of his days in luxury.
Someone brought this shiny new Triumph home from the store, and affixed the license plate which now hangs forlornly. Was it a birthday present? Someone's first "grown up bike"? Did it ride a paper route, or go to the beach? What kind of adventures has it been through and carried its owners on?
Now the paint is getting rusty, and I think, based on seeing it several times, that it's locked to that post 24/7, which doesn't bode well for its future survival.
Sentimentally, Iwish I could take all these poor old bikes and restore them to their former glory, or at least find clean dry places for them to live out the rest of their years, allowing them to be steady safe transportation for another generation of owners in the future. Boston is blessed with so many vintage transportation bikes, but I wish there were more people who valued and cared for them instead of wearing them into the ground and then discarding them.