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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So there is a bike rack at my apartment complex (near a college campus) a decent number of us bike to class, but the bike rack is jam-packed of old bikes, not just classics or anything. They have solidly rusted chains, freewheels/freehubs rusted completely solid so the wheel wont turn, rims tacoed and tires dry rotting off rims. Now the racks are crowded and its very hard to get to my commuter. Management doesn't do anything (not just about this issue but about every possible upkeep, they are terrible landlords). Its obvious to me which bikes havent been used in 3 or 4 years.

I want to cut the locks and move the bikes to the dumpster or donate them for parts. This would make my life so much better, I wouldnt be struggling to find a spot every time I come home. Anyone see objections to this? I highly doubt that a graduate has forgotten their bike and wishes to claim their huffy or magna that needs ALL new parts.

Anyone know about anything about abandoned property? FYI I am in Oshkosh Wisconsin.

Thanks for some advice
 

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The old saying is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. I'd only cut off the ones that were unrideable and arguably abandoned. Don't keep anything from the bikes. If anything is salvageable off the bike donate it.
 

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Hang a tag on each of the bikes for a week prior perhaps, explaining what is going to happen to them? Take a picture of all bikes with the tags hanging off them and a close up of the text on the tags? Just thinking of ways for you to possibly protect yourself (more than not at all) if any of these ever come back to bite you later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am definitely not keeping any of the bikes/parts. If anything was salvageable (and i highly doubt anything on any of the bikes I would be trashing, is) I was going to donate it to our rec/wellness center on campus as they fix up old bikes left on campus for people to rent and ride the bikepath with

I was thinking about putting up flyers around the building stating. ATTENTION BIKERS you have X amount of time to inform me if you have a bike in the rack and if you would like to keep that bike otherwise I will be cutting the locks and donating/trashing all bikes unaccounted for (just the rust buckets, nothing that looks like it has been ridden in a year-ish)
 

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spazzy said:
I am definitely not keeping any of the bikes/parts. If anything was salvageable (and i highly doubt anything on any of the bikes I would be trashing, is) I was going to donate it to our rec/wellness center on campus as they fix up old bikes left on campus for people to rent and ride the bikepath with

I was thinking about putting up flyers around the building stating. ATTENTION BIKERS you have X amount of time to inform me if you have a bike in the rack and if you would like to keep that bike otherwise I will be cutting the locks and donating/trashing all bikes unaccounted for (just the rust buckets, nothing that looks like it has been ridden in a year-ish)
Call the cops. Tell them about the problem and what you intend to do. Have them watch you cut the locks and dispose of the bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RIS said:
Vote with your wallet. Fire them as your landlord and move.
For sure, this particular company owns 7 big complexes around my campus, they are like the walmart of apartment housing. I am definitely not resigning with them and will be living in a different place as of august 15th.

And as to the people that said I need my hand held. I just didnt want to cut and trash 8 bikes and have 8 owners come back to me at the end of the year stating you threw away my bike now buy me a new walgoose for 100 bucks. Thats 800 and 2 and a half months of my grocery budget
 

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Don't cut the lock - cut a link out of the chain beside the lock. Then add your own lock in place of the link.

This accomplishes several things:

1) You now have a "reserved" spot in the rack. Pull up, pop your lock, move Rusty Jones to the side, put yours in, and lock it up bypassing his lock. When you leave, put Rusty Jones back in and lock your lock onto his (don't bypass).

2) If the owner comes back to retrieve the bike, he can have it. It will either be unlocked and lying nearby, or it will be locked up and he can retrieve both the bike and the chain. In this situation, you would lose your lock (it would be locked on the last link of the chain), but that's unlikely to happen, right? Since you bypass his lock when yours is in the stall, he can only unlock his lock - it won't unlock the chain.

3) If you're making "round trips" or not locking up at another destination, you don't have to worry about a chain - somebody has already donated one for you to use full-time at the apartment rack.

Problem solved. You're welcome.
 

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I have had to deal with a similar problem. I work for a international conservation corps that brings in hundreds of young volunteers from all around the world. They often purchase $100 bikes amd ride them for a week or two before they break down and are abandoned on our property. Sometimes they are left locked to a fence on our property. One was there over a year.

People who buy $100 bikes will not spend more than a few dollars on a lock. I just happened to learn how to open those kind of locks when I was a bored youngster. It takes me about 10 seconds to open those locks with the four numbered rows. I open the lock and usually toss the bike by the curb for bulk trash day. Sometimes I save a few parts and use them to repair other volunteers bikes.

In your situation I would cut the locks and remove them one day. After a couple days pass, return and just move the bikes where you want them, maybe near a dumpster. On both occasions, I would recommend dressing in full winter wear with a hooded jacket, just in case their is someone who just happened to be watching and might not understand the circumstances. After you cut those locks, leave the area. Not in a car. Just leave the area and monitor the scene from a safe spot to see if the law shows up. If they are not notified after the locks are cut, you can feel safe about relocating the bikes a couple days later.
 

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Well cutting locks can be hard and sweaty work, so you may want to do it at night so it is cooler. Those bikes may be dirty so I wouldn't wear your nice white clothes, go for black, it doesn't show dirty as easily. You also want to shield your face from debris, getting a mask will protect you. Oh yeah once your done sell those bikes on craigslist.
 

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It takes about 5 seconds to cut the crappy locks with a good pair of lock cutters and about 10 seconds with a pair of crappy lock cutters. You can do it in the middle of the day and no one will say anything. I do this on campus all the time. The police on campus put tags on bikes and then cuts the locks on bikes with tags still there. Some bikes are clearly abandoned but get there tags taken off or they fall off so I go around and cut those ones.
 

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Renovatio said:
Well cutting locks can be hard and sweaty work, so you may want to do it at night so it is cooler. Those bikes may be dirty so I wouldn't wear your nice white clothes, go for black, it doesn't show dirty as easily. You also want to shield your face from debris, getting a mask will protect you. Oh yeah once your done sell those bikes on craigslist.
:p :p This is very sound advice right here!

I was faced with this same problem last year where an abandoned bike was sitting at a main bike rack on campus. A friend of mine wanted the bike and pointed out that it had been there all year, so I waited several weeks until classes were ending and people were going home and then went and cut the bike loose for him. It needed considerable work to be ride-able again, but I don't feel guilty about doing it. I've had my bike stolen and would not do this if I thought there was any chance the owner was coming back for it.

As suggested earlier, it would probably be best to cut all the locks first and leave em sit- don't ride away on your bike either. Then come back a few days later and toss them all off to the side.
 
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