In Need of Love: Abandon General 10-Speed

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?


  • Hugh

    Hey Cameron,
    About the abandoned Starbucks Bike. I sure
    can relate to how you feel when you see a bike meeting a tragic fate.As you know I have picked up a few curb-side on garbage day. And it is a great feeling to bring a
    bike back from the brink.However in this case you might want to check with the local police or city hall before attempt
    a rescue. Good Luck, Hugh

  • Eric

    I’ve taken a few abandoned bikes. The bike gods will forgive you for doing a good deed.

    • The Ten-Speed Dreamer

      I’m going back this coming week to see if it’s still there. If it is, I’m going ask around maybe talk to the PD and see what it’s going to take to claim it. I’m a set of cable cutters away from having a new OTS.

  • Pop Richmond

    Whatever happened with this bike?

    • The Ten-Speed Dreamer

      Shortly after writing this post, I was laid off and no longer drove the ol’ General. I need to go see if it is still there. I’d love to save it before winter.

  • Alicia

    Did you ever save the bike?