City to auction abandoned bikes

By 
Miriam Campan
Reporter
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Lewistown Police Chief Justin Jenness stands in front of a ladies touring bike perfect for navigating around Lewistown and is available for purchase through an online auction.
Photo by Miriam Campan

Looking for a new ride? There are nearly 50 bicycles available at the City of Lewistown Public Works and Police Department Surplus and Abandoned Property auction.
Two dates have been set aside for inspection and viewing bicycles on either Thursday Aug. 20 or Monday, Aug. 24 from 5-7 p.m. at the former Beck Building on 1037 H Street (Truck Bypass) in Lewistown. Bidding ends Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. The bicycles will be available shortly for viewing online. The auction and bidding will be done online at shobeauction.com. The final bidding date is Aug. 26.
As reported in the L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes and other news outlets, the sales and usage of bicycles have dramatically increased with the onset of COVID-19. With the Lewistown Public School District increasing student safety by decreasing bus capacity, in particular for students residing in Lewistown proper, the use of a bicycle for transportation from home to school and back again could be an inexpensive, healthy and fun alternative to being transported in the family vehicle.
While a new bicycle can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars and may serve a growing child’s needs for only two to three years, impound bikes go for a lot less.

Lewistown Police Department Public Information Officer, Steve Fanning said, “These bikes that have been in impound can go for pennies on the dollar during an auction.”
Bikes that have been abandoned, lost or stolen can end up in impound.  Every effort is taken by the LPD to contact the original owner and return the bicycle.

Bike registration recommended
A little known service offered is the bike registry to protect an investment.
Fanning said, “We have a bike registry in place. It only takes a couple of minutes. We record the serial number, brand, type and color of the bicycle for easy return to the owner. If a person does not wish to officially register their bicycle with the police department, it is recommended the owner keep a record of their bike for protection in their investment.”
The website mtbwithkids.com offered the following tips for purchasing a mountain bike for children. They recommend a “straddle test,” where the rider can stand with both feet flat on the ground (for beginners) or on tip toe (for more advanced riders). They also suggested getting a good stand-over height measurement by measuring your child’s inseam. They also addressed wheel size.
“Firstly, bigger wheels roll more easily over obstacles on the trail. Secondly, a bike with larger diameter wheels will be more stable and more efficient for longer rides than smaller wheels because they require less effort to keep their momentum going.”
While bicycle helmets will not be available at the auction, the Lewistown Police Department will be offering a ticket for a free ice cream cone for every child they “catch” wearing one.

 

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