I left my bicycle in Berkeley.
August 21, 2008 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Due to a series of unfortunate events, I left a bicycle locked up in Berkeley before I left California. What now?

I had a deal to sell it on Craigslist, but the person didn't show up and there wasn't enough time before I left to find another buyer. It was a used bike intended for short-term use and I was planning on selling it anyway. So, I have the key and know the location (near campus). Selling it would be hard because I can't guarantee that it hasn't been stolen (although it had been parked at that location for several weeks with no problems) and if I mail the key first I assume people will rip me off. And I don't know anyone who still lives in Berkeley who I could trust to take it or sell it.

But I'd rather not let the bike linger and, eventually, get stolen. Assuming that I have no chance of recouping my losses (damn!), I'd like to derive some benefit (aka happiness) from giving away my key. This could include requesting that the bike be donated to charity, or even starting a traveling gnome, Pay it Forward style chain in which the bike travels around the world, from stranger to stranger, sending pictures back to Mom...

You get the picture. So. Solutions that are creative, charitable, or otherwise good?
posted by acidic to Travel & Transportation around Berkeley, CA (10 answers total)
I've heard of some program (in Oakland?) that teaches inner-city kids how to fix bikes. That would be a good sort of charitable donation. If you email me (email in profile) I can look to see if your bike is still there.
posted by number9dream at 10:25 AM on August 21, 2008

Internet Find-It game. Create a blog with daily posts that hints at the location of the bike. The first person that takes a photo of the bike and posts the location address to the comments on your blog will receive the key.
posted by netbros at 10:26 AM on August 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

I can stop by and see if it's still there if you PM me the location.

The best bike program for youth in the area is run by a friend's husband out of San Rafael:
Trips for Kids

They do have a program called "Earn-a-bike" that works like number9dream mentioned.

If nothing else, the city will eventially pick it up and it will end up in a dumpster near Joaquin Miller Park unless it's clearly valuable (or it's stolen before then).

Other folks looking for bike in the East Bay should check out Missing Link, best advice and help, no upselling, and reasonable prices. That's where I got my Jamis Coda Sport but I had to go elsewhere (Rivendell) for sweptback handlebars (the Albatross bars - they're amazing for comfort and commuter types).
posted by unclezeb at 10:49 AM on August 21, 2008

Put it on freecycle or the free section on CL and mail the key to the person you would feel best about giving the bike to.
posted by yohko at 11:15 AM on August 21, 2008

Well, I just moved to the Bay Area and I need a bike. I have one half-built, but I injured my hand pretty bad and can't work so that's on hold for now. If you want I could take it off your hands and then pass it along to charity / a bike co-op / sell it on CL for you or something once I get my own bike back up and running. I'll even send pictures if you want.

I'll be over near the Berkeley campus this weekend, send me a message and I can check on it for you.
posted by bradbane at 11:47 AM on August 21, 2008

Check out Cycles of Change and the Tinkers Workshop (the latter seems to have turned off their website but is a bike fix-it program with local kids). Trips for Kids in San Rafael is also good. I, too, will check on your bike or be a key-holder if you want one.
posted by salvia at 1:05 PM on August 21, 2008

Thanks everyone! I've sent the info to bradbane and if the bike is still there, I'll ask him to send it on to one of the charities mentioned when his hand is better.
posted by acidic at 2:53 PM on August 21, 2008

Let us know what happens!
posted by A189Nut at 3:06 PM on August 21, 2008

Pedal Revolution also teaches kids to fix up bikes.
posted by bendy at 7:39 PM on August 21, 2008

Over in Stanford land, bikes that are left unattended for a certain amount of time are freed by the police and given to charities in the area. So not all is lost if you leave a bike around a campus.
posted by shinynewnick at 9:47 PM on August 21, 2008

« Older How can I quickly learn as much general knowledge...   |   500 MHZ PIII + FreeNAS + OpenVPN + m0n0wall = love... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.