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SPD hosts online bike auction

Pick up a new ride or reunite with a lost one during the Superior Police Department's annual unclaimed bike sale.

The department auctions off about 80 unclaimed bicycles online beginning June 7. Former owners have until then to reclaim their pedal-powered rides; call (715) 395-7234.

"A lot of these bikes are abandoned after possibly being stolen," said Community Service Officer Mandy Hammer. "In order to claim a bicycle as your own prior to the auction, you should have previously filed a police report for a lost or stolen bicycle."

The auction at will run through 7 p.m. June 14, with the highest bidder taking each bike. The bicycles, including specialized and Cannondale models, will be available for in-person viewing by potential bidders from noon to 3 p.m. June 9 at the police department's storage garage at 722 Ogden Ave. Auction winners can pick up their bikes between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. June 15 at the storage facility.

The sale nets up to $1,000 annually, which is donated to a local charitable organization. This year's proceeds are earmarked for the Old Firehouse and Police Museum in Superior.

Eighty bikes is an average auction amount, Hammer said. She offered some tips to keep bikes out of the unclaimed pool:

• Store it inside a garage if possible, and use a cable or bike lock when you leave your bicycle unattended.

• Have a photo of your bike and make note of any special features it may have — baskets, bells, pegs, seat covers, etc.

• Always write down the serial number, which can be located underneath the bike, usually near the pedals.

• Drop by the Superior Police Department, located in the Government Center, 1316 N. 14th St., to register for a free bike license. Place that on the bike.

"This helps identify the owner of the bike, and makes it easier to return," Hammer said.

If your bike is ever stolen, she said, call 911 and report that it's been taken. An officer will call you back for any follow-up information needed.

"This is when it comes in handy to have a photo of your bike as well as the bike license and serial number," Hammer said. "We enter that into our system and create an incident number. Once the information is entered, it will let us know if we have a 'found item' matching the description."

That incident will also be stored in the department's system, so if the bike is found after the report is made it can be matched to its owner and returned.