Abandoned Bike Project



What is it you might wonder?

The Outdoor Recreation Bike Shop is proud to introduce a new, progressive program available to USC students, faculty and staff. The program has been dubbed the Abandoned Bike Project. The program is an attempt to reintroduce bikes that have been left behind for new and willing owners to take advantage of. This is a wonderful opportunity to really put recycling and sustainability into action.

Where do the bikes come from?

The bikes are those that have been left on campus past semester’s end and whose owners have failed to claim. If possible, every attempt is made by Parking Services to contact the owner of the bike before it is reclaimed. It is easy to register your bike if you have not already by stopping by the Outdoor Recreation Bike Shop located behind Strom Wellness Center or by visiting http://www.sc.edu/vmps/bike.html.

How much does it cost?

The cost of each bike is entirely dependent on what actually needs to be replaced in order to get the bike fully functioning. It can be expected that each bike will need new tubes, tires, and a chain. Repair cost, from previous clinics, has ranged from $20 to $75.

What is included?

  • Brand new, LED, rear and front lights (valued at $25). This will allow you to be seen by drivers and pedestrians alike as you wander the streets.
  • Bike registration with Parking Services that includes your name and means by which you can be contacted if something were to happen to your bike or if your bike is left on campus past semester’s end.
  • An official “Outdoor Recreation Abandoned Bike” decal, on the seat tube or top tube, will let everyone know where you got your new whip.

What is required?

As this is an educational program that advocates cycling awareness, a 3-hour workshop held one Sunday each month from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, broken down into skill based clinics will be hosted at the Outdoor Recreation Bike Shop.

The first portion of the clinic will focus on bike anatomy, repair, and maintenance. The second portion focuses on basic biking skills, proper etiquette and the rules every biker should adhere to as required by law.  The clinic ends with an instructional group ride around campus and on the city streets – putting these newly learned skills to use.

A helmet is required to participate in the Abandoned Bike Clinic. If you do not own a helmet, one will be available for purchase for a very reasonable price of $36 at the clinic.

A lock is required in order to protect your new investment. A U-lock is suggested as it is more difficult to tamper with, but a cable lock will suffice. If you do not own a bike lock, a programmable one is available for purchase for $22 at the clinic.

How do I get one of these sweet rides?

We are not currently accepting applications. Please check back during the Fall 2013 semester for ways to participate.

If you are unable to participate in the Abandoned Bike Project, but still want a bike – follow these tips:

Buy One at the Bike Shop

If you want to buy local, Columbia has numerous bike shops. We recommend you visit our friends over at:

  • Outspokin’
    3223 Devine Street
    Columbia, SC 29205
    (803) 254-9797
  • Cycle Center
    1001 Harden Street
    Columbia, SC 29205
    (803) 256-0557

Buy One Online

This is a great way to get a good deal on a used bike but you have to be a bit more careful. Here are a few tips for buying used bikes off the Internet:

  • Find a bike that fits your needs: There are many option out there including mountain bikes, multi-speed road bikes (great for commuting around Columbia due to the steep hills), & single speeds to name a few. Outdoor recreation is favors the cyclocross bike as it can be used on road/off road, as a commuter, for touring–the options are endless.
  • Find a bike that fits you! Visit Sheldon Brown’s page to learn more about finding the right size bike for you.
  • Beware of stolen good: Unfortunately, Columbia is plagued by bike thieves. If the person selling the bike can’t give you a good story for why they’re getting rid of it or if something just feels fishy, walk away and notify the police (they can reference the bike against filed police reports). To avoid having your bike stolen we highly recommend using a U-Lock/Cable combination lock – allowing you to capture both wheels and the frame. Be sure to lock it to a secure structure and register your bike with parking services.
  • Get the bike checked out: After buying a used bike it’s always a good idea to have it looked at by a professional mechanic. Swing by the Outdoor Recreation Bike Shop during scheduled hours for a FREE tune up. This allows you to know any potential problems with your brand new used bike.
  • Make sure that the asking price is reasonable: Visit http://www.bicyclebluebook.com/
    Default.aspx. This site will give you an idea of what is a reasonable price based on the condition of the bike.


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