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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Old 11-25-09, 11:55 AM
  #1  
cb400bill
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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

I didn't get a free bike today.

A few weeks ago I spied a bike secured to the bike rack at a local store(non bike shop). I don't know how long it had been there before I noticed it. After seeing still there day after day, getting rained on etc., last weekend I stopped to check it out.

It was a blue Giant Perigee, in my size, and probably from the early 90's. It was in OK condition with some paint scrapes, beat up saddle, and torn bar tape, but it was complete. Chromo main tube frame, Shimano 300 and Biopace components, On Monday, I stopped into the store to inquire about it but the manager wasn't in.

Today, I stopped and the manager was in. As the bike rack is not near the stores front door, I asked her if she knew the was there and if she wanted it removed. She said that yes, she knew it was there but had forgot about it. It belongs to a part time employee and she thanked me for reminding her about it. She was going to call him and have him remove it.

I gave her my name and number in case it becomes available. Darn, it would have been nice flip material.
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Old 11-25-09, 01:32 PM
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Can't win 'em all first time out!
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Old 11-25-09, 01:56 PM
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I passed on what looked to be an abandoned Schwinn Ladies World Sport last weekend. It was lying in the grass along the side of a gas station. I tried to ask the attendants if the bike was out there for free, or if it belonged to someone but they only spoke Polish (or possibly Russian). I passed.
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Old 11-25-09, 02:23 PM
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For about two months I would ride home and see a late '70s All Pro 3-speed leaning against a street sign, unlocked, never moving. After a couple of weeks of seeing it there, I stopped and took a look. Written on masking tape on the top tube was the word "free".

I debated about dragging it home every day as I went by. Finally last week it disappeared.

I can only imagine how much that "free" bike would have cost me had I succombed to the urge.
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Old 11-25-09, 02:23 PM
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Since I got the C&V bug back in the summer I have been paying closer and closer attention to the scrap-metal pickers who roam Chicago's alleys in their beatup pickup trucks. Most commercial vehicles can't park overnight on residential streets so some of these trucks park on the more commercial/industrial street a couple blocks from my house. Last night I saw one parked with some drop handlebars visible in the back. It turned out to be two bikes, a Varsity and a '10 speed Eagle,' whatever that is. Both looked to have steel rims and while they were not in bad shape, not worth the trouble to locate the truck's owner and try to make a deal for. But one of these days....
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Old 11-27-09, 11:56 PM
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I've been bike shopping for a friend. Finally a nice one turned up on CL in his price range (Trek 560 w/ 531 for $100, excellent shape). When we got there (30 min away), the guy had sold it to some one else apparently for more then he was asking. I hate loosing... but can't win em all i guess. maybe one of you guys picked it up (SoCAL)...
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Old 11-28-09, 12:30 AM
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I rode by a Schwinn Prelude locked in the same place all summer in 2008. I watched as the tire somehow ended off to the side of the rim, etc. I thought about just freeing it, but I had done that once before, and though it was completely justifiable (totally stripped), i felt bad about it. Finally, I saw it was gone. A week or two later I saw a Schwinn Prelude on cl for around $50. I called, and the guy said there was another buyer in transit who had offered more. I offered $90 if he'd hold it. The buyer had paid $100 and left before I got there. the seller said he got it from a barber shop nearby. I think the prelude had been locked near a barber shop. Never did figure that one out.
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Old 11-28-09, 12:53 AM
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I park my new Specialized Tricross on the street and havent gone to see it for a while. I better check up on it today
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Old 11-28-09, 09:00 PM
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I spotted a middle-range Peugeot chained to a rail near a bus stop, and it sat there for more than a month before someone made off with the wheels and saddle. A few weeks later as I was going home, a city worker was cutting it down with a bolt cutter so I stopped and asked for it as he was tossing it into the back of his truck. He said "no problem!," so I offered him some cash (which he declined,) and took the remains. Got a usable set of 105 components and sold the frame on CL.
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Old 11-28-09, 09:05 PM
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The only thing I managed to drag home was a junk Huffy and a old Alpine.
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Old 12-27-09, 08:18 PM
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So here it is one month later and the bike is still there. Hasn't moved once. I drive past it twice a day.

Here is a crappy cell phone pic I took last month.


And here is a shot from this morning.
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Old 12-27-09, 08:44 PM
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ask the store owner if she contacted the owner, if she did and its still there the next time you pass by free it and make it your own.
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Old 12-27-09, 09:19 PM
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It looks awfully cold...take it home and let it sleep inside...If it doesn't pee or poop inside or cry to get out at night it is yours!
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Old 12-27-09, 10:11 PM
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Its hogging the entire rack!

I figure if its there much longer parts are gonna start to go missing from it, actually im kinda surprised it hasnt happened yet.
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Old 12-27-09, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ilikebikes View Post
ask the store owner if she contacted the owner, if she did and its still there the next time you pass by free it and make it your own.
I understand where you're coming from, but that's still theft.
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Old 12-28-09, 06:56 AM
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Report it to law enforcement as an abandoned bike, tell them you're interested, and give them the info on the store employee.
If he/she's not interested, they'll likely give it to you. Up front, official, and then it could be yours.

Otherwise, leave it alone; it's a hassle waiting to happen.
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Old 12-28-09, 08:46 AM
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As the bike is on private property, I don't think the police have much to say about it. I do plan on talking to the store manager again to see what the story is.

No matter what, I'm not going to just take it. Cycling is challenging enough with out having to constantly look over your shoulder.
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Old 12-28-09, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
So here it is one month later and the bike is still there. Hasn't moved once. I drive past it twice a day.

Here is a crappy cell phone pic I took last month.


And here is a shot from this morning.
Ah, yes, the old "this is my rack and nobody else gets to share it with me" parking style.

If you have an old but functional bike and a good lock then overlock you bike to the rack around tha( one and put a note on your bike with a cell phone number stating that if your bike needs to be moved then please call as it is your primary transportation.

I had sympathy for the part time employee until I saw how he parked.

If the store owner has contact info then see if you can get that to contact them yourself, if not then maybe have your info forewarded to the bike owner. Or ask when their work hours are and try to catch up with them at work.
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Old 12-28-09, 09:52 AM
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i have a story of pure horror.
i am an audi technician and the audi sales manager comes up to me one day as im carrying my bike up to the mezzanine at the back of the shop. he is older and british, 'oh jay i didnt even think of you - i just gave away some old bikes i had from my younger years' annoying, right?
not as annoying as a few days later he shows me pictures of a younger, fitter him on the two custom built bob jackson road bikes and the bob jackson track bike he just GAVE AWAY. 'they were in really good condition but they needed tires and such...' we are the same size give or take a 1/2 inch and a 60yr old beer belly. they would have been perfect for me.
i am still haunted by this.
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Old 12-28-09, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by treebound View Post
Ah, yes, the old "this is my rack and nobody else gets to share it with me" parking style.

I had sympathy for the part time employee until I saw how he parked.
There aren't very many bike commuters here in suburban S/W Michigan. Sadly, most of the bike racks around here are always empty.
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Old 12-28-09, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
There aren't very many bike commuters here in suburban S/W Michigan. Sadly, most of the bike racks around here are always empty.
I also just noted that the rack is on private property.

I wonder what the bike owner's home bike parking options are, he/she might live someplace that doesn't allow bikes to be stored indoors. That could be the only place he has to store it, which would also indicate that he lives within walking distance or rides mass transit or also car commutes and keeps the bike at work for lunchtime rides.

Just grasping at straws here until you get the back story on the bike owner.

Good luck on your quest.

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Old 12-28-09, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
There aren't very many bike commuters here in suburban S/W Michigan. Sadly, most of the bike racks around here are always empty.
On the bright side, at least you live in a place where a (relatively) nice bike can sit locked to a rack with just a cable lock and remain unmolested. I have to carry around a heavy Kryptonite u-lock just to run quick errands here.
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Old 12-28-09, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 91MF View Post
i have a story of pure horror.
i am an audi technician and the audi sales manager comes up to me one day as im carrying my bike up to the mezzanine at the back of the shop. he is older and british, 'oh jay i didnt even think of you - i just gave away some old bikes i had from my younger years' annoying, right?
not as annoying as a few days later he shows me pictures of a younger, fitter him on the two custom built bob jackson road bikes and the bob jackson track bike he just GAVE AWAY. 'they were in really good condition but they needed tires and such...' we are the same size give or take a 1/2 inch and a 60yr old beer belly. they would have been perfect for me.
i am still haunted by this.
Aaaaaarrrghhh !
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Old 12-28-09, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 91MF View Post
i have a story of pure horror.
i am an audi technician and the audi sales manager comes up to me one day as im carrying my bike up to the mezzanine at the back of the shop. he is older and british, 'oh jay i didnt even think of you - i just gave away some old bikes i had from my younger years' annoying, right?
not as annoying as a few days later he shows me pictures of a younger, fitter him on the two custom built bob jackson road bikes and the bob jackson track bike he just GAVE AWAY. 'they were in really good condition but they needed tires and such...' we are the same size give or take a 1/2 inch and a 60yr old beer belly. they would have been perfect for me.
i am still haunted by this.
Brrr - truly chilly.

My non bike horror story. A coworker said he'd give me his 64 Bonneville convertible with HO engine and white leather (maybe he was kidding) because he was joining the military. When I called about it his mom had already gotten rid of it.
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Old 12-28-09, 08:32 PM
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Other side of the coin:

When I attended trade school for six months to get my drafting certificate, I used to always chain my Viscount to the same light pole.

Apparently, someone in the machine shop convinced their teacher that the bike was abandoned, and was given a bolt cutter so they could cut the chain and take it home.

Fortunately, I was able to trace what happened, and went to the guy's house (on the bad side of town) to get it back.

After that, I always brought it in, and parked next to my drafting table. Even today, when I take my bike with me to work, I often ride it to the building, and take it inside and park it in my cube. No sense in tempting someone to break a window to liberate a bike, or finger it out of the back of the truck.

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