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When old bikes spray-painted orange started showing up around Lakeland over the weekend, residents took notice — and many weren’t happy. Some Facebook users hailed them as clever viral marketing, but others felt the painted bikes recall — in a disrespectful way — white “ghost bikes” that memorialize bicycle fatalities.

Other commenters said they feel the bikes are unwanted litter. And still others said they would go from crass to cool if they were unchained bikes that people could use and then leave for the next rider.

The painted bikes were placed to promote the opening of an Orange Theory Fitness studio coming soon to Lakeside Village. It’s not like Orange Fitness doesn’t expect a backlash. If you do a Google search, you’ll find plenty of folks disturbed by the campaign, including some in Orlando.

Maybe the Orange Theory Fitness folks feel that any publicity is good publicity.

Here are a couple of the Facebook discussions about the bikes. If you have thoughts about them, please join the discussions.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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