Missing your bike? Better check with Aspen police – before it’s too late

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – More than a dozen bicycle owners might want to check with the Aspen Police Department before the winter begins in earnest.

The APD has 17 bicycles that were turned over by the Aspen Parks Department after it recently moved 10 to 12 city-owned bike racks in the downtown pedestrian malls. Before the snow starts flying, the parks department removes all the racks – and the bikes come with them – so that it can plow and maintain the malls.

“There’s not enough room [with the bike racks] to do snow removal so every year, once it gets close to snowing, we start putting signs on [the bikes] notifying people that within a week we’ll be moving them,” said Tom Rubel, superintendent of operations for the parks department.

Rubel said it appears many folks store use the downtown racks to store their bikes and either neglect them or forget about them.

“Quite frequently people just leave them there,” he said. “The bike racks are for people to use daily, not to store their bikes.”

As it stands, the bicycles – ranging from mountain, town, road and even electric versions – are being stored in front of the old Aspen Youth Center, next to the Pitkin County Jail.

APD’s customer service officer, Michele McClinton, said that sometime in mid-December, they’ll be moved to the Pitkin County Landfill for the winter. In the spring, they’ll be put up for sale, she said.

McClinton said bike owners can contact the APD to claim their wheels before they’re shipped away. Bikes will be returned to those owners who can accurately identify them to APD officials. Those who have registered their bikes with the APD will get them back as well, she said.

Rubel said the parks department has been clearing out the racks and bikes “for as long as I can remember.”

“It’s not a huge problem,” he said. “Over the years I haven’t had too many irate people.”