For some, it's an opportunity to find a new ride across town. For others, the bike auction is a way to feed an energetic hobby. For Zach Beal, young attendee of this summer's auction, it's definitely the latter.
Put on by the Wellington Police Department and held at the city recycling center, the bike auction is a way for anyone to get a used bike for a low price. With some going as low as a dollar, it's just another way to beat rising gas prices. The money raised goes back to the City of Wellington's general fund.
Beal, a self-proclaimed BMX fan, had his eye on the nicer, sportier end of the bicycle stock. "I'm looking for a BMX bike," he said. "Anything that's still running, chain's still on it, not rusted and still good."
Comparing his targets to the bikes at other retailers, Beal hoped to get his a little bit cheaper. "I'm guessing, from the bikes at Walmart, that it would be about $75 to $80," he said. "But I'm looking to get it for $20 or $30."
Patrons flocked to the recycling center last Thursday, milling among the many bikes lined up there. Everything from old-fashioned two-wheelers to the compacter, sportier varieties that Beal was looking at could be found. The majority of bikes were of the lost and found variety, but no one attempted to claim the misplaced property.
"I was told they find a lot of them on the street," said Beal. "It tells you on the sales tag."
However, bikes were not the only thing sold at the auction. Jewelry, a few statues, wheelchairs, fishing poles and even a large, metal boat somehow made it onto the auction floor. Although they weren't necessarily what the patrons came for, they still ended up being sold.
Tracy Heath, the police chief, oversaw the sales as they went on. Originally, it was supposed to be a regular auction, but the abundance of bikes found changed the nature. "It's strange that we have enough bikes to call it a bike auction, but that's how it goes," he said. "But this has been going on for as long as I can remember."
"We usually hold these auctions in the fall, because of the heat," Heath said. However, this didn't sway people from coming out and looking for a cheap mode of transportation. In fact, so many attended, that only one bike was not sold.
Beal ended up buying the BMX bike he was eyeing for a final price of $75."I got one of the best ones here," he said. "I'm getting a lot of bad looks from some of the other kids, but it was definitely worth it."
Dalton Carver is a freelance writer for the Wellington Daily News. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @Dalton__Carver.