Ethical question....

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by jonathandanger, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. jonathandanger

    jonathandanger New Member

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    Let me first say I'm not really serious, this is just kind of a "what if" kind of question...

    University of Louisville is in, to put it nicely, not the kind of neighborhood you'd want to leave your bike outside in. I know this, so I keep my road bike, my baby, my most pized possesion, in my room when I'm not out riding it. I recently bought an 80 dollar cheapie from wal mart for trucking around town and getting to class, but I never had a chance to ride it, as someone cut my lock and stole it the first night I had it. However, some people are braver than I, and I see some really nice fixies, race bikes and mountain bikes all over campus during class. There is one in particular that has not moved in over two weeks; I know this because after seeing it at the same rack for a few days, I took a mental note of the position of the handlebars and pedals and they haved not moved an inch. It seems clear to me that someone has abandoned this bike.

    Here is my question: Would I be a bad person if I stole a (presumed) abandoned bike and swapped a few parts that are nicer than what I have, or would the unwritted rule of finders, keepers take effect? Would this be despite of, or perhaps because, I myself am a victim?
     
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  2. stevecycles

    stevecycles New Member

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    If its not yours, leave it alone.
     
  3. jonathandanger

    jonathandanger New Member

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    Yeah... I wouldn't want bad karma coming my way, but I do have a little bitterness about my own stolen bike.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    When I was in the US Navy, there was a pretty nice bike that had been sitting in the bike rack behind the barracks so long that the tires had begun to rot. I talked to the barracks manager about it and he had the lock cut and moved the bike into a secure storage closet. He then listed the location of the bike on the bulletin board so that the owner could come claim it. After a little more than a month of no one coming forward to claim the bike, he gave it to me. I had to do a lot of work on it to bring it back to life, but it is one of my favorite bikes.

    Back to your situation, post a note on the bike offering to buy it from the owner and let whoever is in charge of the rack know about it, as well as the campus police. Ask them how long the bike has to sit there before it is considered abandoned. If the owner does not turn up and that period of time has elapsed, talk to whoever is in charge of the rack and the campus police and you will probably come away with the bike. Always ask what the proper procedure is though. Don't just assume that it is abandoned and take it. You might just be taking a bike that belongs to someone who had to rush home for a death in the family or some other tragedy.
     
  5. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    The law defines when you are allowed to take abandoned stuff. Talk to the cops.
     
  6. jonathandanger

    jonathandanger New Member

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    I wasn't planning on taking the bike, I was posting to see how people would react. To be honest, I kinda felt bad when the thought crossed my head... However, your reply is actually a really good, legal, honest idea and I just might look into it.
     
  7. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    It can't hurt!
     
  8. Bionicycle

    Bionicycle New Member

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    Sounds like you knew the right answer for you all the long... Good for you.
    Jmho... Good luck with the bike re-claim if it works out that way.
     
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