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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 08-18-07, 02:34 AM   #1
pdxtex
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adverse possesion of a bike?!!!

scenario - a semi decent road bike has been sitting up against a tree in my neighborhood getting slumpier and slumpier by the day. its locked up, albeit with a crappy cable lock and it clearly has been sitting there for at least three weeks. i asked at the bar that its locked in front of whether or not it belonged to any of their employees and they said nope.....its has clearly been either forgotten about, stolen and locked with a bad lock, or the owner has been thrown in the pokey or has not bothered to tend to it in quite some time. when does it become public domain for me to ride?!!! im don't want to sell it, but rather, would use it as a bar bike. now im not condoning outright theft but if it sits there any longer, then sooner or later my robinhood mentality will kick in and i'd consider it urban fair game. bad kharma or urban recycling? it amazes me because coming back from urban adventures i often run into perfectly useable bikes -edit- which have clearly been ditched (in bushes on the springwater trail). i'll take em home and try to find the owners through craigslist or our stolen bikes forum here in portland and no one ever gets back with me. i've found three this summer alone and gave one to my girlfriend.

Last edited by pdxtex; 08-18-07 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 08-18-07, 02:39 AM   #2
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It never becomes public domain to you as it's not your bike.
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Old 08-18-07, 03:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
scenario - a semi decent road bike has been sitting up against a tree in my neighborhood getting slumpier and slumpier by the day. its locked up, albeit with a crappy cable lock and it clearly has been sitting there for at least three weeks. i asked at the bar that its locked in front of whether or not it belonged to any of their employees and they said nope.....its has clearly been either forgotten about, stolen and locked with a bad lock, or the owner has been thrown in the pokey or has not bothered to tend to it in quite some time. when does it become public domain for me to ride?!!! im don't want to sell it, but rather, would use it as a bar bike. now im not condoning outright theft but if it sits there any longer, then sooner or later my robinhood mentality will kick in and i'd consider it urban fair game. bad kharma or urban recycling? it amazes me because coming back from urban adventures i often run into perfectly useable bikes that look they have been ditched. i'll take em home and try to find the owners through craigslist or our stolen bikes forum here in portland and no one ever gets back with me. i've found three this summer alone and gave one to my girlfriend.
"perfectly useable bikes that look they have been ditched" If these bikes weren't stolen to begin with then they certainly are now. A lot of people that can't/don't take care of their bike don't have access to things like stolen bike lists or CL. Most bikes I see laying around in my neighborhood belong to one of the local kids. They're not usually nice bikes, but they are "useable". Next time you're on an "urban adventure' and you find a "ditched" bike, please leave it alone. Your girlfriend should get her own bike too.
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Old 08-18-07, 03:39 AM   #4
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ok. and i will let slumpy bike be....but seriously, its been left under dubious circumstances.....
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Old 08-18-07, 03:44 AM   #5
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Well you didn't mention the dubious circumstances before. Seriously though, that's a pretty tough question to ask on BF. Most of us have probably lost a bike one way or another. Thanks for reconsidering Tex.
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Old 08-18-07, 03:59 AM   #6
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Check with the local police. Ask if Bar owner can have bicycle, as in assuming ownership of abandoned property? Talk to Bar owner and volunteer to remove said bicycle form his property.
Then you can try to contact the owner if you like and the bar owner will know who to refer the owner to when and if he comes calling.
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Old 08-18-07, 05:38 AM   #7
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"Adverse possession" of a bicycle is called "stealing." It's a technical legal term.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:01 AM   #8
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or free it, use it as a bar bike but never be so presumptuous as to lock a bike you stole from a lock. Give a bike, take a bike!
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Old 08-18-07, 07:01 AM   #9
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Check with your local police department.
Ask them about possession laws regarding unclaimed bicycles.
Turn it in and perhaps if it is not claimed in 6 months, it could be registered as yours.
This, IMO is not theft...
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Old 08-18-07, 08:55 AM   #10
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at my local university they put out a notice on all unclaimed locked bikes on racks around campus, after a certain amount of time they spraypainted them gold and registered them all as part of a 'campus bike' program. You have to register through the public safety office first (which I never had to do, bringing my own bike) but it seemed like a pretty good idea. But it wasn't your tree/bar and there was no way for you to put out a notice to claim that bike, so it's not the same.

Still, our system of private property ownership could use some tweaki--hey! get away from my bike!
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Old 08-18-07, 09:35 AM   #11
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The thing is, what if you just always see it there because the owner is always either at home/work, during that time of the day. If you went to my work, between the hours of 8-4, you'd probally always see my motorcycle in the exact same spot every day, but it actually does move.
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Old 08-18-07, 09:50 AM   #12
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Is there a bike shop sticker on it?

Get the serial number and run it through the police. Also check with the manufacturer and local dealer. It may be registered. Trek has on line registration.
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Old 08-18-07, 10:39 AM   #13
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Adverse possession doesn't apply to personal property, and even if it did, it requires that you be in possession of the property for a certain length of time. There's possibly an issue of "lost" versus "abandoned" property here, but the lock would probably give rise to a presumption that it's not abandoned.
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Old 08-18-07, 01:31 PM   #14
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There's a locked bike across the street from my workplace. Only problem is that it's been there at least since winter broke and has lost its front wheel, seat & seatpost, and probably some other parts. The chain is all rusted, too.

Maybe I should rescue the frame and make a beater out of it.
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Old 08-18-07, 03:14 PM   #15
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Well dude, at least you can take a shot of the bike. that way we can have an idea about what are we talking here. Does it worth to go to prisson for it???....

What about if any local tv station is making a hidden camera with it...mmmm....ill leave it right there if i where you. hehehehe
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