USC Abandoned Bike Project kicks off in February

Give an abandoned bike a home!

Each fall, thousands of students flock to our state’s college campuses, and each spring many will head off to whatever adventures or employment their summers may hold. Their two-wheeled companions are not always so lucky. The abandoned bikes are generally collected and held in storage by the university after attempts to contact the owners have failed.

The University of South Carolina is launching a new program to allow these abandoned bikes to see the road once again. Through Campus Recreation, students, faculty and staff will be able to fix up and ride off with one of these bikes. The new program offers affordable categories for all levels of interest.

The cost is estimated based on the parts and repairs needed, but for the most part will fall into the following categories. The highest quality bike ideal for everyday, rain or shine commuters will be approximately $75, mid-range bikes for those interesting in riding regularly will be about $50, and base level cruisers for those who want to ride occasionally are estimated to be $35. Included with the bikes will be new LED lights for the front and back of your new bike- to comply with South Carolina law– bike registration with Parking Services, and an “Outdoor Recreation Abandoned Bike” decal.

To take advantage of this program, prospective bike owners must attend a 6-hour workshop that will educate you on bike repair and maintenance, basic riding skills, proper etiquette, and South Carolina’s bike laws. Bike shop staff will assist you in making the necessary repairs on your new bike and will finish the clinic by leading participants on a campus bike tour, putting the newly-learned skills to use. A helmet and bike lock are required for participation in the program, and can be purchased from Outdoor Recreation for a reasonable price.

Of course, if you already have a bike and would prefer it not wind up in the program, make sure to register it with Parking Services and take it with you when you move away. This is a great program, and though it is unfortunate that it is restricted to USC students, faculty, and staff, we hope that other universities and possibly cities will adopt something similar.

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