Transportation and Parking Services is holding its biannual bike auction Saturday morning at the new West Entry Parking Structure at the intersection of Hutchison and Dairy.
Bicycles may be viewed from 8 to 9 a.m. The bidding will commence at 9 a.m. and last until each of the over 425 bikes are sold.
“It’s important to get there early and look through the inventory, because once they’re up on stage you might not be able to get a good look at it,” said David Takemoto-Weerts, coordinator of TAPS‘ bicycle program.
All bikes are sold “as is, where is” – there are no refunds. Once you’ve won the bike it’s yours, Takemoto-Weerts said.
“If you look at a bike in preview time and really like it and end up the winning bidder on it and then discover a crack in the frame or the wheel is bent more than you thought – well you bought it.“
Kathryn Jovino, a junior human development major, found that out with her roommate at a bike auction last year.
“My roommate and I went last year and ended up with a bike with crooked bars,” she said. “But I learned my lesson and will be sure to make it for the preview this year.“
Jovino is seeking a basic mountain bike to commute to campus, for as cheap as possible, she said.
“The average winning price on these bikes is between $20 and $30,” he said. “We’ve got an awful lot of bikes to choose from – with over 425 there are bound to be plenty of people bringing one home.“
Bicycles up for bid are those than have been abandoned for at least three months. TAPS and the University Police are authorized to impound abandoned bikes according to the UC Davis Traffic and Parking Code.
Impounding is a last resort after multiple notices have been left and if the owner can be contacted via bike license information. TAPS will first try to reconnect the two.
“A lot of the time we get no response, or someone will reply and say they don’t want it, for example if they’ve replaced it with another or graduated – and we classify this as a bike donation,” Takemoto-Weerts said.
Donated bikes are a catch, Takemoto-Weerts said. They usually function with just some air in the tires while others are fixer-uppers and might not come perfectly ready to ride.
“The downside is that these are abandoned bikes; we don’t do anything to fix them up,” he said. “You may buy one for a few dollars that just needs air in the tires, while another for the same money might need a hundred dollars of repairs.“
All proceeds go to the Bicycle Program at TAPS, a self-supporting auxiliary unit that relies on these biannual auctions for revenue.
Purchases may be made with cash, check, Visa or Mastercard. For further information, visit taps.ucdavis.edu/bicycle/auctions/.
MIKE DORSEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.