Students bid on donated, abandoned bikes at annual auction

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Psychology and pre-med junior Syed Zafar inspects a bicycle on the top level of Trinity Garage on Thursday.

Photo Credit: Thomas Allison | Daily Texan Staff

Hundreds of bicycles on auction will get people’s wheels spinning toward less congestion and pollution on the roads.

The University’s Parking and Transportation Services held its annual bike auction at the Trinity Garage on Thursday, offering students an event on campus where they can bid on abandoned and donated bikes collected since last year’s auction.

The Parking and Transportation Services biking coordinator, Samuel Cortez, said the annual bike auction helps fund bike-related projects at UT.

“The auction is trying to get these bikes back into circulation so we can get more people on bikes,” Cortez said.

According to Cortez, each year there are usually between 150 and 200 abandoned or donated bikes that are showcased at the auction and start with a $3 bid. Cortez said the final bid for a bike averages $60, and the highest price a bike has been sold for was $350.

For students that don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new bike, the auction offers a yearly event where students can browse and purchase used bikes to make their commute less costly.

“It gives students whose money is stretched [the chance] to have a vehicle to commute around campus,” said freshman business major Maria Lewis.

Government graduate student Joe Tafoya said the bike auction helps the growing biking community on campus.

“I really wanted a good bike for a cheap price,” Tafoya said. “Parking permits for cars are expensive, and using the bus is kind of hard sometimes.”

However, the auction does not always offer the right kind of bikes for every prospective buyer, said government senior Tarek Benchouia.

“I was hoping to find higher quality bikes that were more convenient,” Benchouia said. “Most of the bikes here are not convenient because they would require a lot of maintenance.”

According to the UT Parking and Transportation Services website, the auction is a great place to find a “fixer-upper” type of bike that would serve as a starting point for installing brand new components.

The proceeds from auctioned bikes will go towards funding the UT Biking Department, which provides facilities and services for the biking community and promotes
bicycle education and safety issues.