Last week, on my way lunch with some co-workers, I spotted this OTS in front of a Starbucks. I passed by it several times during the week, but never had an opportunity to look at it. Then, on Monday, I was under strict orders to go to the grocery store(in the same shopping center as the OTS) on my way home. Finally, I would have a chance to take a closer look. From the beginning, I assumed this lavender gem was the preferred mode of transit of some hip young whipper-snapper working behind the counter inside Starbucks. Upon closer inspection I realized this was not the case—the dry-rotted foam grips—the rusted stiff chain—the flat rear tire—this bike was abandon! Almost instantly my covetous nature paired with the do-gooder in me, and I began to speculate as to why someone left the bike, and how they shouldn’t be allowed to have such a good, serviceable 10-speed if this is how they are going to treat it—I would give it a good home! When I lived in the city(Chicago), I would see abandon bikes all the time—usually outside any El stop—and I always thought, “Jeez, if nobody wants that bike, I’ll take it.” But I never did.
The point of this whole spew? When, if ever, is it ok to take an abandon bike? I thought I might check with the folks at Starbucks as to the duration of it’s stay, or maybe call the city and see if there are any laws or a standard practice regarding abandon property, namely bikes. The bike is not locked well—a cable lock through the front wheel—and getting it would not be hard, but is it right? What’s your opinion?