Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-30-07, 12:01 PM   #1
seely
The Rabbi
Thread Starter
 
seely's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 5,088
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Ethical Dilemma...

Everyday I ride to the local brewery (which coincidentally is almost everyday), I have to pass a beautiful orangish-pinish "Sansui" (or something like that) mixte that looks nearly new. It has been locked up to a water main for about 2-3 months now. In that time, someone has stomped both wheels and flipped in upside down. The area is a homeless hangout so I asked some of the less crazy ones about it and two of them said the owner went to jail and left the bike. Is it ethical to liberate this bike? Its getting destroyed just sitting there and is in such nice shape and such a cool colour...?
seely is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 12:04 PM   #2
Old Fat Guy
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 5,285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liberate it, or steal it while the owner is in jail?
Old Fat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 12:05 PM   #3
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,402
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I wouldn't touch it.

First, the person that owns it has left it because they can't get to it. It should be there for them when they can.

Second, the person is in jail... do you really want to take a chance on them coming to recover their bike from you? Or whoever you sell it to if you flip it?
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 12:13 PM   #4
zowie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: North Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
No.
You can't assume something that's locked up is abandoned.
zowie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 12:20 PM   #5
Bill Kapaun
Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Bikes: 86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
Posts: 9,496
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
So if you go "on vacation", it's OK to take your stuff?
Bill Kapaun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 12:31 PM   #6
Old Fat Guy
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 5,285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
So if you go "on vacation", it's OK to take your stuff?
Only if the vacation is in the county lockup
Old Fat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 12:47 PM   #7
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,327
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Guess you could report an abandoned bike to the police and then make sure to show up at the auction later.
StephenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 12:56 PM   #8
fritz1255
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Bikes: Vintage French road bikes, older "rescue" mountain bikes
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This same topic has come up dozens of times before. It may well be abandoned, but don't get caught taking it. I'm sure the cops have heard the "but I thought it was abandoned" story millions of times, not just with bikes. Is the bike worth a bunch of legal trouble?
fritz1255 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 01:00 PM   #9
barndoor
5' 19"
 
barndoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Maryland
Bikes:
Posts: 828
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Guess you could report an abandoned bike to the police and then make sure to show up at the auction later.

+1

Don't take it. It's locked up. So what if it's sitting there for 10 years....it's not yours. Plain and simple.....your life won't be any better if you take it but your conscience will be clear if you don't....

Now , if the cops remove it.....definitely find out if it goes up for auction and pick it up that way.
__________________
I own my dream bike, a 2006 R-14 66cm Waterford road bike
barndoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 01:37 PM   #10
seely
The Rabbi
Thread Starter
 
seely's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 5,088
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Yeah I was thinking of reporting it... its a shame to see it rot becuase its such a pretty bike. The rear end looks pretty much trashed now.
seely is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 03:50 PM   #11
old_alfie
Title-Les
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
KEEP YOUR DAMN HANDS OFF MY BIKE!

I locked it there and I intend for it to be there till I decide to unlock it and do something else with it. It is mine to do with as I choose and for now, I choose to have it weathering where it is. I don't go lusting after any of your property, so don't you go lusting after my property.

No matter how long I choose to keep it there it is not your's to worry about.
alf
old_alfie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 04:23 PM   #12
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)
Posts: 6,261
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 228 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by old_alfie View Post
KEEP YOUR DAMN HANDS OFF MY BIKE!

I locked it there and I intend for it to be there till I decide to unlock it and do something else with it. It is mine to do with as I choose and for now, I choose to have it weathering where it is. I don't go lusting after any of your property, so don't you go lusting after my property.

No matter how long I choose to keep it there it is not your's to worry about.
alf
Wow, did you ride it all the way to Michigan?
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 04:24 PM   #13
Bearonabike
Senior Member
 
Bearonabike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Space Coast of Florida
Bikes: Jamis Aurora, Fuji S10S (Primary Bike), Nishiki Prestige (in rebuild)
Posts: 1,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Want to be really nice? Contact the cops, tell them what you know and see if you can find the owner. Offer to buy.
Bearonabike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 07:18 PM   #14
bigwoo
Senior Member
 
bigwoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Bikes: March [B]'71 Schwinn Sports Tourer [/B] [B]
Posts: 1,378
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Keep hitting your local thrift store. It will be a lot more fun and you'll feel a lot better about yourself and your new bike. There's "Good Bike Karma" and then there's "Bad Bike Karma" which is headed your way if you "liberate" it
bigwoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-07, 10:58 PM   #15
unworthy1
Stop reading my posts!
 
unworthy1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 9,436
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
hang on...you're "The Rabbi" and you're asking US to decide an ethical question?
*.....
unworthy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 01:37 AM   #16
cdotbois
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NW
Bikes: '86 Trek 770 Pro Series, 80's Torelli Corsa Strada
Posts: 375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I like the idea of contacting the cops and seeing if you can locate the owner.

You can investigate more with the local homeless folk and maybe get a name. Then this big adventure could ensue which involves you visiting the guy in jail in an orange jumper, maybe a glass divider between the two of you, all that good movie scene stuff. You could be his only visitor after all. Milk it like you have something really important to say as his one visitor you've been trying to track down for so long, and your his only contact with the outside world, then say

"Soooo yeah...your bike is pretty cool. Can I have it?"
cdotbois is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 07:56 AM   #17
seely
The Rabbi
Thread Starter
 
seely's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 5,088
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
hang on...you're "The Rabbi" and you're asking US to decide an ethical question?
*.....
Sorry, its an ironic title.
seely is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 08:50 AM   #18
Charles Wahl
Disraeli Gears
 
Charles Wahl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: NYC
Bikes:
Posts: 3,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Whenever I see a story like this, I'm always surprised at the vehement moral outrage stemming from seeing things only from the property owner perspective -- which is, I think, a typical American-capitalist response. It makes me think about that childhood story "Black Beauty." Why not see the story the way the horse/bike does? Don't bikes have moral rights too? Through no fault of its own, the bike has been abandoned and stomped.

The most sensible and safest thing to do is to approach things through the local constabulatory -- there are property laws that govern what's "abandoned" and who has rights to it. But the legal machinery moves slowly, and that doesn't bode well for the bike. Though you may not wish to get involved, there's also the "contact the (possibly) jailed owner" path too -- certainly some risk there.

Or, you could simply "liberate" it (there, I've said it), and take another risk by letting the homeless community know you're going to care for the thing, and if the original owner wants it back, come see you. Not the popular solution, obviously, but you'd have my support.

Finally, you can ask yourself: what would Christ/Buddha/Mohammed/Solomon (in alphabetical order only) do? Answers to this, like all religious truths that aren't just dogma, are personal.

BikeForum philosophical question (veering away from ethical): is a UJB mixte frame worth it?

Last edited by Charles Wahl; 12-01-07 at 09:19 AM.
Charles Wahl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 09:29 AM   #19
miamijim
Senior Member
 
miamijim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 13,409
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearonabike View Post
Want to be really nice? Contact the cops, tell them what you know and see if you can find the owner. Offer to buy.
Ask some of the 'locals' if they know the owners name. Look him up in the 'clink' and pay him a visit. If you find him dont be suprised if he signs it over for a carton of sigs.....or a file.
miamijim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 09:46 AM   #20
WNG
Spin Forest! Spin!
 
WNG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Arrid Zone-a
Bikes: I used to have many. And I Will again.
Posts: 5,967
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
OK. Reality check here. You're bent outta shape over a stomped and abandoned, rusting UJB belonging to a convict....
Thinking about stealing it. Because that's what you're doing actually. You are no more liberating it than we and the Brits liberated the natives in Africa from their lifestyle and placed them into slavery.
If you do steal it, it will be under the watchful eyes of the homeless and who knows how many others.

I think there are more better things to be spending your time on, than to visit a guy in jail. Attend an auction if the cops take the bike and it doesn't first disappear. Move on, there are more bikes in the world awaiting us, with less baggage.
This is not a pet, a living thing being abused which requires our intervention...rescue.
WNG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 10:35 AM   #21
yellowjeep
Senior Member
 
yellowjeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Lawrence
Bikes:
Posts: 3,270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post


Finally, you can ask yourself: what would Christ/Buddha/Mohammed/Solomon (in alphabetical order only) do?
You know a different alphabet than I.
yellowjeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 10:40 AM   #22
awc380
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Hull, QC
Bikes:
Posts: 661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
This same topic has come up dozens of times before. It may well be abandoned, but don't get caught taking it. I'm sure the cops have heard the "but I thought it was abandoned" story millions of times, not just with bikes. Is the bike worth a bunch of legal trouble?
Liberate it....don't get caught.
Everyone's happy....
awc380 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 10:43 AM   #23
iab 
Senior Member
 
iab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NW Burbs, Chicago
Bikes:
Posts: 8,822
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 294 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WNG View Post
OK. Reality check here. You're bent outta shape over a stomped and abandoned, rusting UJB belonging to a convict....
Thinking about stealing it. Because that's what you're doing actually. You are no more liberating it than we and the Brits liberated the natives in Africa from their lifestyle and placed them into slavery.
If you do steal it, it will be under the watchful eyes of the homeless and who knows how many others.

I think there are more better things to be spending your time on, than to visit a guy in jail. Attend an auction if the cops take the bike and it doesn't first disappear. Move on, there are more bikes in the world awaiting us, with less baggage.
This is not a pet, a living thing being abused which requires our intervention...rescue.
I picked your quote because it was the last but I have a question for all those who see this as stealing.

Does that mean if I abandon any garbage on the street and put a lock on it, is it no longer garbage? If I lock a mattress to a street sign, nobody can touch it? If I fire bomb my car and leave the burned out hulk in the street WITHOUT the keys, I have the right to keep it there in perpetuity?

I'd go to the cops and report an eyesore and a potential hazard to the community (I could trip over it and sue the city). Then I would ask the details, timing, possession, etc. The original owner, IMO, has absolutely no rights for abandoning garbage.
iab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 11:23 AM   #24
CV-6 
If I own it, I ride it
 
CV-6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cardinal Country
Bikes: Lejeune, Raleigh, Raysport, Jan De Reus, Gazelle, Masi, B. Carré, Springfield, Motobecane, John Howard
Posts: 4,225
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
I think it comes down to this. If you have to ask someone if it is "ethically" okay to do it, then it probably is not "ethically" okay to do it. You already know the answer, you are just looking for justification.
__________________
Lynn Travers

Photos
CV-6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-07, 11:40 AM   #25
Old Fat Guy
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 5,285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a hard time believing that the City of Grand Rapids allows a bike to be locked to a water main for any length of time. It's not the most liberal town in MI.
Old Fat Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:34 AM.