Police bike auction set for Friday at noon
If your town bike was nicked last summer by a drunk looking for a ride home, get on over to Galena Plaza at noon Friday for a replacement.
That’s when the Aspen Police Department’s annual bike auction will take place featuring bikes and other items abandoned around town since about this time last year, said Michele McClinton, a customer service officer with the department.
“(The quality) is anywhere from awful to great,” she said. “I’m amazed at how many bikes we get over winter.”
It isn’t unusual to find a diamond in the rough — for example, a full-suspension mountain bike or a carbon-fiber road bike — though most are more in the vein of cruiser town bikes that have likely never been secured by a lock, said McClinton and Community Resource Officer Bobby Schafer.
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This year’s crop of about 60 bikes from Aspen, 15 from Basalt and three donated by Pitkin County includes two-to-three nice, quality cruiser bikes complete with baskets, said Schafer, who will, as usual, act as auctioneer.
The bikes and other items — including a few snowboards, a couple of paint guns and a trailer that previously carried the police department’s radar speed detector — can be previewed starting at 11 a.m. on the lawn outside the back of the Pitkin County Library. The auction starts at noon, and Schafer usually keeps the action moving fairly quickly, McClinton said.
Most of the bikes were collected in November when the city’s downtown maintenance crews cleared out bike racks in preparation for winter, she said. However, the police department has collected several others, which have been sitting for months in front of the city’s parking department, during the winter months, McClinton said.
The auction generally brings in between $3,000 and $6,000, which goes back into the city’s general fund, she said.
The department is required to hold on to the bikes for 90 days in case the owner comes forward and reclaims the property, McClinton said.
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.