This Saturday, Transportation and Parking Services will be hosting their bi-annual bicycle auction at the West Entry Parking Structure starting at 8a.m.
Viewing of the 450-plus bikes will be from 8 to 9 a.m., and will be followed by bidding at 9a.m.,which generally ends around1p.m., said David Takemoto-Weerts, TAPS bicycle program coordinator.
“Not as many people that show up to the spring auction because there are more competing events and freshmen already got their bikes at the fall auction,” Takemoto-Weerts said. “The fewer people that show up,the better prices you get.“
The event has an average attendance of400to500people,and the average price forabike ranges from$20to$30.
Robert P.St.Cyr,general manager of the ASUCD Bike Barn,said he attends the spring auction yearly to take advantage of the lower prices afforded by lower crowds.The Bike Barn will buy anywhere from30to130bikes at prices between$5and$50then recondition and resell them.
St.Cyrsaid hewas unwilling to divulge his secrets for getting the best buy.
“You never know what you’re going to get,“ St.Cyr said. “Buy several and piece them together to make one good bike.“
Takemoto-Weerts said he advises students to take notes on the bikes.
“Come for the preview,bring a pen and paper,write down the numbers of the bikes you like,and if you don’t knowwhat it’s gonna take to make it work again,bring someone who does,” Takemoto-Weerts said.“A bike sold at9[a.m.] could be twice as expensive as the same exact model sold at noon,because later in the day [there are] less people bidding.“
The bike auction also has a good running history with students.
“I got my bike there two years ago for$20,and it’s still running today with no complaints,” saidStanley Settle II,ajunior political science major.
The majority of the bikes sold at the auction are abandoned and unclaimed bikes of all types from the campus area that have been picked up by TAPS in accordance withtheCalifornia Civil Code.
“TAPS personnel or campus police have the authority to impound bicycles that appear abandoned,” Takemoto-Weerts said. “We don’t have to put a warning on them,some are clearly abandoned,and other times we’ll putnotice on the bike and come back a few days later.If it has a registered license I try to see if I can e-mail the owner.“
The auction is a way of recycling abandoned bikes,St.Cyr said.
“People buy our bikes,abandon them,TAPS picks them up,we buy them from TAPS,fix them up and resell them,it’s a nice little cycle,“ St.Cyr said.“It’s a pretty profitable event for a lot of people,TAPS,the Bike Barn,and people who get their bikes from the auction are all coming out ahead.“
Common bikes sold at the auction includeMagnasand Roadmasters. “There’s nothing really exotic here,no real cream puffs here,a lot of these bikes are abandoned for a reason,” Takemoto-Weerts said.
TAPS also sells bikes in online auctions,which are held throughout the year.
“Thebikes sold through eBay are typically the lowest quality bikes in the poorest condition and they are sold in ‘lots‘ of several bikes each,” according to the TAPS bike auction website.
All bikes are sold as is,and the winning bidder is required to pick up the bike within15days of the auction.More information on the event can befound firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHARLES HINRIKSSON can be reached at email@example.com.