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I'm dying: What to do with bike collection?

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I'm dying: What to do with bike collection?

Old 06-04-14, 01:16 PM
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dbakl
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I'm dying: What to do with bike collection?

I have incurable cancer, some months to live, certainly not years. Not looking for sympathy, I've accepted it, just advice. I have probably 35-40 complete bikes and another 25 or so frames and parts to build. They are all higher end European production bikes from the 50s-70s, but not many holy grails; 531, Campagnolo and the like.

Ideally, I'd love to see them all hanging from the ceiling of a hipster coffee shop or bar but I guess the other thing is listings on ebay with seems really tedious and time consuming. Mostly I'd like to dispose of them while I can so my wife doesn't have to deal with them.

What are you going to do with all your junk when the time comes?
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Old 06-04-14, 01:22 PM
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I only have two full bikes and one unassembled bike, but they would go to my kids.

What I might consider in your situation....Is there a local cycling team in your area who might take the bikes, give you a charitable receipt, and then use them for fundraising? Someone might build up the frames and use them for training bikes, or sell them to give the team money.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:28 PM
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Wow. Sorry to hear.
I would probably enlist the help of my kids and friends and sell them all on ebay. Perhaps even as a lot at an auction house if promoted well. I have thought of this myself as I get older. Moving a lot of bikes could be a real chore. Maybe list on CR as well?
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Old 06-04-14, 01:29 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear of your illness... I hope your remaining days are full of family and love. You may want to see if any of your friends and family would like some of your bikes as a way to remember you and honor your life and passion. I'm also sure many members here would be interested in your bikes and it would probably be less hassle than selling on ebay or CL.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:34 PM
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Sorry to hear about the cancer. I would put up a CL ad advertising big sale if your health allows. Use a public space maybe (parking lot somewhere) if you don't want people pawing at your stuff and sell things off for cash.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:36 PM
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dbaki, I'm really sorry to hear this news. I know you say you do not want sympathy, but I do want to offer my best wishes to you, your family and loved ones in the challenging months ahead. You've been kind and helpful to me and countless others in the past, and would love to help in whatever way I can. Perhaps the easiest is to find someone willing to buy the lot, though you wouldn't get top dollar. Of course, that may not be your main concern at this point. I am local to you, and would be happy to help in a way I can. I don't want to seem like a vulture, but I may be interested in paying a fair price for some of your stuff. I'll drop you a PM.

I've told my wife to give all my wife to give all my bike stuff to my twin brother. Not that he knows what it is, but I know my wife will not want to deal with any of it. Mostly I'm just denying the time will come.

Last edited by gaucho777; 06-04-14 at 01:52 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-04-14, 01:37 PM
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That sucks. I hope they have given you a lot of riding pleasure. That's a lot of bikes. I would find a local helper who knows bikes to help facilitate eBay sales and shipping. Where are you located? Someone here may be interested, for a small fee or even to volunteer.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the words. I'm in Oakland, CA.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:50 PM
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This is a tough thread. I appreciate the courage it took to start this thread. I have been thinking for a while that it is time to lighten my load bike wise precisely for this reason. My day will be a more thoughtful one for having read this thread and my thoughts will be with the OP.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:56 PM
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If you are not really looking to get money back on the bikes, if you have historically interesting/significant bikes, you might also consider donating some of them to a local museum that might have classic bikes on display. They could then be shared then by the most people....
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Old 06-04-14, 02:03 PM
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Perhaps a planned announced auction with the proceeds going towards the cure for cancer in your honor.
****ing cancer!! I lost so many friends and family including mom to cancer.
Sorry to hear about your case. When it's my time my bikes go to friends and But taking my Brooks B17 with me.

Last edited by CbadRider; 06-05-14 at 09:45 AM. Reason: corrected spelling
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Old 06-04-14, 02:04 PM
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Perhaps there is a local Bike co-op or advocacy group that you could donate the bikes to, so that they could auction off or sell the bikes to raise money?
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Old 06-04-14, 02:04 PM
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member @3alarmer in sacramento might be able to offer some local advice and help.

we will all be joining you soon enough!
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Old 06-04-14, 02:09 PM
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So sorry about the circumstances with your health. Very sobering, I wish you the best. As I get older, I wonder what I should do with my stuff as my family is all female and not that interested in the same hobbies. I even have stuff from my dad that I haven't done anything with which should be disposed of. It all has value to someone, including myself but my level is decreasing over time.

WRT the bikes. Do you know a bike shop that deals with C&V bikes that you have a relationship with? They might be interested in helping you sell on consignment or purchase or some option that would work for you. I am sure there are a number of people who would be interested in your collection and would be interested in some portion of it in a reasonable way. Another thought is estate sale facilitators or auction houses. A lot depends on your location. Seattle or Portland Or would be eaisier than Butte Montana!
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Old 06-04-14, 02:11 PM
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So sorry about your health.

What about hiring some young (unemployed) enthusiast to work for you on a reasonable percentage to sort, separate and sell and ship your collection for you. You can approve the prices and spend quality time doing other things and some young and reputable turk can get a job and experience.
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Old 06-04-14, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
Thanks for the words. I'm in Oakland, CA.
You are tough. All the best going forward.
Fortunately, you are in one of the better local markets for CL.
I would offer up a few of the middle priced bikes, (if there are any, you list has a few top tier ones)
And include a snap with others in the background, I bet that will draw attention and offers.
As to the frames, I would not go into the effort of building them up beyond a headset UNLESS working on them is FUN.
Bearing in mind that parts and frames are of course easier to sell on ebay.
For a few, ebay will be the way to go, but depending on your energy, have one of the Bay area bike shops do the pack and ship.
I am sure there is one on each side of the Bay that you could rely on.
Save one, the one that makes you smile most to look at it.
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Old 06-04-14, 02:22 PM
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You may also see if the California Bicycle Museum in Davis, CA (associated with the US Cycling Hall of Fame) would be interested. I would imagine the bikes could be given full value and then taken as a tax deduction.

California Bicycle Museum - Davis Wiki
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Old 06-04-14, 02:37 PM
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You might also offer then up on CR at a little below market value or try to sell the whole shebang for a good price. If you want to leave the money to your family. I am really sorry to hear about your health and your presence will certainly be missed on the forum. It feels weird to be saying this to you now. You may surprise the doctors and fight for much longer than they predict. I wish you and your family all the best in this very difficult period.
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Old 06-04-14, 02:56 PM
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Damn. I wish this had been one of those April 1 threads. But you got me thinking now.

First, I'd contact family and friends to see if they'd like to take anything that's there, for their own use. Next, I like clubman's idea of hiring someone to pack and sell them for you, if you can find someone who both needs the work and can do a good job of it. If not that, I'd call a local co-op and see if there's anyone there who knows and appreciates the value of what you have, and if so, donate the bikes knowing they wont just be dumped for $10 each. From your description, a bike museum might not find much that's display-worthy, but may very well make use of them in their next fundraising auction.

I'm thinking I'm now going to go through my guitar collection (bigger and more valuable than my bike collection) and put notes in the cases as to what price range they should fetch when sold. Although I honestly hope to pass all that stuff down to my yet-unborn grandkids, if I make it that far. [/fingers crossed]
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Old 06-04-14, 03:05 PM
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Condolences.
I see tons of grail in your My Bikes list.

Plan A - advertise in the Bay Area for a hipster bike spot. Why not?? Or go find a few on your own meanderings.
Plan B - If there is a cancer awareness organization (in Oakland/East Bay a certainty) that does charity fundraising, your bike collection raises many thousands. Hopefully they could make it meaningful for you.

If you have loved ones or friends who would ride one of your bikes, it's future riding would be something of a legacy.

edit - In Seattle a place like Recycled Cycles would take them all on consignment. Keep them til the end, proceeds to your wife.

Last edited by Wildwood; 06-04-14 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:11 PM
  #21  
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You're a brave person and kind of you for sharing. For many reasons, I felt uncomfortable and a wrenching feeling opening this thread but you certainly will be in my prayer.


To answer the Q, I probably would offer my family any bike(s) they wanted to keep. If no interest, next would offer for nothing in return to some of my closest bike enthusiast. The remaining promoted and auctioned off for a specific charity (may not necessarily be cancer research).
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Old 06-04-14, 03:11 PM
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I'll miss you greatly, dbaki. Though we have never met, I have read many of your posts over the years, and since my wife's elder sister lives in a 100-year-old bungalow in Oakland, we sort of share a geographic tie.

Here is my advice -- free, and worth every penny.

Offer bikes, frames, and parts to family and close friends first. Then sell or give away everything that none of them are enthusiastic about taking. For me, it would be much more about finding good, appreciative homes for bikes and parts than about money. Perhaps you will end up getting some teenager or young adult interested in classic and vintage bicycles, thereby passing the baton to the next generation. This is one of the finest legacies any of us can give.

I have thought about what to stipulate in my will regarding my much more modest collection of bicycles and parts, some of which, such as my rusty old white 1960 Capo, are far more valuable than the untrained observer would guess. If I knew I was running out of time, I would specifically want to liquidate my bike collection and my technical library as part of getting my affairs in order, to ease the burden on my family.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:13 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Dang View Post
Perhaps a planned announced auction with the proceeds going towards the cure for cancer in your honor.
Fuking cancer!! I lost so many friends and family including mom to cancer.
Sorry to hear about your case. When it's my time my bikes go to friends and But taking my Brooks B17 with me.
I like this. Definitely take your B17 with you.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:17 PM
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I am sorry to read this.

I would minimize the time/hassle involved, because you want to spend your remaining time with your family and friends, not with eBay, FedEx, Craigslist tire-kickers and cheap C&V buyers.

I'd give a few of your bikes to your friends and their kids, then find the best bike shop in the Bay Area for C&V bikes and consign all the rest to them, they sell them and each month or quarter pay the appropriate percentage of proceeds to your wife or to a charity of your choice.

The other idea would be to contact Velocult here in Portland, which is a much-loved local bike shop / coffee shop / pub which has around a hundred rare and vintage bikes hanging in the rafters - and they have plenty of ceiling left. The owner, Sky Boyer, is a real C&V buff and I imagine he'd do the consignment thing, the display combination. The whole collection could be shipped up in one truckload. Some of the current "ceiling bikes" are here: Museum | Velocult If you want an introduction / liason to VC, you are welcome to PM me.

Last edited by jyl; 06-04-14 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:18 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Dang View Post
... When it's my time ... taking my Brooks B17 with me.
"You Can't Take It With You." -- I couldn't resist a little memorial to my late father, who played Mr. De Pinna in a community theater production of that Kaufman & Hart classic play.
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