Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) will auction off over 400 unclaimed bike and bike parts found on campus at this Saturday’s biannual bike auction.
“We pick up roughly a thousand bikes a year,” said David Takemoto-Weerts, Bicycle Program Coordinator for TAPS. “We sell just over 400 at each auction.”
TAPS picks up bikes around campus that appear to be abandoned, which are then put into storage to shelter them from bad weather before the auction. Takemoto-Weerts said that many of the bikes need some level of repairing before use, as TAPS takes many of the bikes as they are, without restoring them. Proceeds from the auction go to TAPS’ budget.
Prices of the bikes and bike parts vary from $20 to $100, according to past attendees.
Andrew Escobedo, a first-year chemical engineering major, agrees that the bikes are fixer-uppers, having been to a previous TAPS auction.
“Make sure that you look at the bikes before actually bidding on them because a lot of them need a lot of work,” he said.
From 8 to 9 a.m. there will be a preview where anyone can come in to see the bikes before bidding begins.
However, before they can be put up for auction, the bikes are referenced against a police database to ensure the bike hasn’t been reported stolen by a registered rider.
“Any numbers associated [with an] impounded bike, whether it is a serial number or a bike license, is [run through] the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System- Automated Property System,” said Lieutenant Matthew Carmichael from the UC Davis Police Department.
When a bike is picked up, a card is filled out with certain information including model, details on when and where it was picked up, as well as any serial or license number it may have. These cards are then given to the UC Davis Police Department to verify using the Automated Property System.
Carmichael stated that one to three bikes of every 50 reported by TAPS is found to be stolen.
“I suspect it would be a lot more if more students would register their bikes,” he said.
Once it’s discovered that the bike is stolen, the police then handle the process of contacting and returning the bike to its rightful owner.
Takemoto-Weerts also admitted that sometimes, running the serial or license numbers through the TAPS database turns up bikes from years ago. He said that each year, about 50 bikes turn up that belonged to a past UC Davis student. TAPS contacts them, asking them what they’d like to do with the bike. If they relinquish claim, those bikes are now property of TAPS and don’t need to be held for auction. Takemoto-Weerts said that TAPS donates those bikes to various charities.
Takemoto-Weerts also expressed that he wished more students would take the time to phone TAPS about bikes they don’t want.
“We’re glad to go pick them up and cut off the lock if they tell us where to find the bikes,” he said.
California state law specifies that all unclaimed property must be held for at least three months and after that, can only be disposed of in a public auction, which is why TAPS hosts the auctions twice a year.
The auction will take place inside the West Entry Parking Structure at the intersection of Hutchison Drive and Dairy Road. TAPS accepts cash and major credit cards.
AKSHAYA RAMANUJAM can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.