More than 200 bicycles sold at BikeUT’s annual bicycle auction


Charlie Pearce

Theater and rhetoric junior Danya Gorel shops around at the BikeUT annual auction Wednesday afternoon. The auction included more than 200 bikes starting at $3 each.

Anne Daugherty

Students had a chance to snag bikes for sweet deals Wednesday evening at the ningth annual BikeUT bicycle auction.

The auction takes more than 200 bicycles impounded throughout the year and sells them for prices starting as low as $3.

Sam Cortez, bicycle coordinator for Parking and Transportation Services, said between 150 and 200 bikes end up being impounded every year. Most of the bikes come from the summer break when students leave their bikes behind, sometimes on purpose.

“Some students leave them out there, unlocked, for us to take, because they don’t want them anymore,” Cortez said.

If a bicycle is found abandoned or improperly parked, it may be impounded.

Cortez said if the bicycle is registered, Parking and Transportation Services will contact the owner before taking it.

“However, only about 50 percent of bikes on campus are registered,” Cortez said. 

Parking and Transportation Services hopes to raise this number through advertising initiatives.

If a bicycle is impounded, the owner has 90 days to reclaim it and must pay a $25 fee. 

“I think that policy is fair as long as everyone knows about it and knows the consequences,” finance senior Clay Olsen said.

Olsen was one of the students at the event who was able to win the bidding war for his favorite bike being auctioned. He described the auction as being full of frantic energy.

“The bike went into a bidding war,” Olsen said. “That was pretty exciting, I’ve never done that before.” 

Not everyone was able to win at the auction, though. Electrical engineering freshman Justin Curewitz, had his eyes on one of the most expensive bikes at the auction.

“I was hoping no one else would notice it,” Curewitz said. 

The bike went into a bidding war, going up to $265. Curewitz had to back down at that point.

“I have bids on some of the other bikes here so it’s OK,” Curewitz said.

The event was so crowded, Meg Kareithi, assistive technology lab manager for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, said she used her phone to browse the bikes’ pictures online rather than try to move through the crowds.

Kareithi said she wants to begin bicycling around campus as an easier and faster way to get around.

“The goal of the event is to get more people on bikes and divert bikes from the landfill,” Cortez said.