At what point do the abandoned bikes of rich college kids become fair game?


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  1. House Cat
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    As sure as the flowers will come back up, their parents will buy them new bikes in the spring.

  2. anonymous
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I think the police come around a few times a year and take the ones that are clearly abandoned for auction.

  3. K2
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I read somewhere that the average incoming student at the University of Michigan has an annual household income of approaching $200,000. I don’t think it was that way when I attended. My friends and I needed our bikes to get around. I can’t imagine parking mine for several weeks.

  4. EOS
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    They are not fair game. Taking what doesn’t belong to you is wrong. Anyhow, the rich kids park their Mercedes at their condo.

  5. Posted February 23, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m not suggesting that people follow UM students around and steal their bikes when they go into class, EOS. I’m just asking a question. How long can bike be left outside, chained up beneath a snowbank, before it’s considered fair game? Three months? One year? Five years?

  6. Posted February 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Also, as a friend on Facebook just mentioned, it would probably be difficult to get them free, seeing as how they’re probably affixed to the racks with$400 leather-wrapped bike locks from Shinola.

  7. dennis
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    you and your wife must make $125000 between you. probably more, and you have the nerve to talk about “rich kids”. i’d say your stuff is fair game now.

  8. EOS
    Posted February 23, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter how long they have been left unattended. If it’s not yours, leave it alone.

  9. Posted February 23, 2014 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Just so I’m clear, EOS, if I park a car in front of your house and never return to claim it, you’re of the opinion that it should remain in that same spot forever?

  10. Posted February 24, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I’m not quite sure I get the anger over this post. As I said before, I’m not advocating that bikes be stolen. Furthermore, I’m not saying that the rich deserve to have their stuff taken. I’m just asking how long things, like bicycles, can be left unattended in a public space before they’re considered fair game. Clearly you seem to be of the belief that we should just allow things, like old bicycles, to stack up around us, as they were once someone’s property, and therefore sacrosanct.

  11. EOS
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    So in your mind, calling something fair game means calling the authorities to report it abandoned?

  12. Posted February 24, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    And, yes, I find it amazing that so many bikes have been locked in place this entire winter. In some cases, I’m sure, the people who own them have legitimate reasons for leaving them out, and not riding them. My guess, however, is that most of these bikes belong to people who don’t need them for transportation (i.e. they have cars), and don’t have to worry about their condition, as they’re well off enough not to have to worry. Neither of which was true when I was in college, as I needed my bike to get too and from work, and had to take care of it for that reason. It’s just puzzling to me to see thirty-some bikes are encased in ice and snow, clearly untouched for weeks.

  13. Really?
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    lol @ a grown man worrying about “rich kids” and bikes

  14. jcp2
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    College is a lot more expensive now, and the U of M campus is really large. My guess is that a lot of these bikes are used to shuttle between building A and building B, and rarely making it to the owner’s residence. If a student is going into debt already to the tune of $10-$20k per year, the incremental additional cost of having a $300 bike to make it between two far away classes for one term would be less than $10 per class duo. If it means graduating on time with the major the student wants, this is actually a wise investment, regardless of whether the student is rich or poor. And no, it’s not possible to work through college anymore.

  15. Mike G!
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Yeah Mark, you filthy rich piece of crap! I’m taking all the shrubs and trees you left out all winter because they’re clearly abandoned! You don’t deserve to have anything! Not even a passing curiosity about bicycles! I’m taking that too!

    You one-percenters make me sick.

  16. EOS
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Maybe someone in Public Safety needs to chalk the tires. If the owners don’t move the bike every 24 hours regardless of the amount of snow and ice on the roads, then they can go claim their bikes at the towing companies in the spring and pay tow and storage fees. That’ll teach them.

  17. John Galt
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    “When Mark Maynard came for our bikes, I did nothing….”

  18. Taco Tom
    Posted February 24, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    A couple things to consider: 19 year olds have a different sense of time than older folks (like me); a semester is often a very short time in their eyes. And, and this winter especially, has caught a few people off guard. I guess more than just privileged college students were unprepared. If I had limited indoor storage, I might leave my property stored outside, locked to a bike rack.
    Wait until the snow melts, and see how many bikes are still there. The truly abandoned will be there after this semester term is over. Also, from my limited vantage point, none of those look like serious investments. I see no $1,000 bikes in that photo. In fact I doubt any cost over $300. Books cost more.

    Plus, this is really a non-issue: you will note that Pete has not posted his usual “interesting” comment.

  19. Posted February 24, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Pete would be all for stealing bikes from the rich and giving them to the poor.

  20. Posted February 25, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    This is an interesting post.

    What does being “rich” have to do with leaving a bike out? I left mine out all winter when I lived on North Campus simply because I had nowhere else to put it.

    As for “fair game,” I’m not sure what you mean. In general, while I certainly favor wise redistribution, I don’t believe that bikes should be stolen simply because a disgruntled member of the upper 25% feels that the rich fail to properly care for their possessions.

    We should be thankful. The rusting bikes will need to be replaced, turning one person’s failure into another’s income. There is a silver lining to all of this.

  21. Augusto Pinochet
    Posted June 4, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    When is it open season on communists?

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