Going, going, gone: Aspen police sponsor its annual bike auction
The Aspen Times
If there are deals to be had in Aspen, bidders found them Friday when the local police department held its annual bike auction.
On the cusp of a biking weekend highlighted by today’s Ride for the Pass on Independence Pass and Sunday’s Aspen Cycling Club criterium race on the streets of town, savvy bidders and the merely curious gathered in Galena Plaza to shell out a few bucks or a few hundred bucks for abandoned bicycles gathered up by the police over the past year. They’re the bikes left in racks and never reclaimed, means of transport ditched in odd places and, on occasion, quality bicycles that attract eager bidders hoping for a steal. And there was the shiny, red tricycle that went for $20.
The 65 bikes sold generated $4,186 in proceeds, benefitting the city’s general fund.
A retired Aspen police bike, one of two department bikes put up for auction, fetched $750. D’Ann Dunham, of Snowmass Village, wheeled the prize, replete with disc brakes and studded tires, away after a bidding war with another prospective buyer. It was her third purchase of the afternoon.
“I thought it would be great for friends and family,” she said. “My 11-year-old son will love it.”
Jason Davis, of Snowmass Village, made an impromptu purchase of a kid’s bike, splashed in an array of paint colors, for a buck. He wasn’t sure why, but the deal was too good to pass up.
“I have no idea, but I mean, a dollar. C’mon,” he said, paying cash.
Richard de Campo, of Aspen, was busy measuring bike frames before the auction began, looking for a mountain bike for his son. He didn’t put a limit on his spending.
“You know, I did that last year and kicked myself for not getting a good deal,” he said.
Later, he paid $250 for a Kona hard-tail model — one of the best buys of the day.
Auctioneer Bobby Schafer, a community safety officer, kept the merchandise moving.
“This one’s kind of a deal — it’s got a seat and pedals,” he joked.
“All right — a stand-up model,” Schafer cracked as he auctioned off a seatless bike for $1.
“Seats are overrated,” buyer Mitzi Rapkin said. Later, after assessing her purchase, she said, “I think it was a dollar too much.”
Dulcy Gregory, of Aspen, on the other hand, was delighted with her acquisition, a light-blue Huffy cruiser.
“I don’t have a bike. I moved here four weeks ago, I live in the West End, and I don’t have a car,” she said. “I need a cruiser to get around town.”
Tenants at the city’s oldest deed-restricted housing complex, Centennial Apartments, faced rent hikes as high as 30% in January that sent city, county, and APCHA officials into closed-door meetings with the relatively new landlord, Birge & Held.