Abandoned Bikes Find New Life in Chicago

Photo: Mark Dodge

I’ve noticed in my 14 years renting in Chicago that there’s a large number of forgotten bicycles languishing in apartment building basement and storage rooms. Forgotten or abandoned, left when evicted or left just because, they’re a wasted resource to a commuter city such as Chicago.

So it finally hit me: what if I were to ask to take those dusty, rusty bikes off a landlord’s hands and refurbish them? They get the use of their storage space back, I get to feed my passion for tinkering with bikes and, well, make a few bucks at the same time!

With my skills, biking experience and knowledge, I can take a forgotten bike, make 100% safe and sell said bikes cheap and get them back on the road! I make a bit of cash and it’s honest work and good for the environment. With today’s economy, it’s a win-win scenario.

department store MTB after
Photo: Mark Dodge

If you’re a landlord and have some bikes cluttering up your storage area, I’d love to take them off your hands. But they must be verified to be abandoned. If so, I’ll come and clear them out for you. Lock cutting included (which is why they must be verified to have been abandoned).

If any of my neighbors also know of a landlord or property owner who needs to clear out abandoned bikes, I’d be grateful if you could pass this along! Here are two of my latest project: bikes left for five years in a flooded basement restored for a friend. Now ready to hit the streets and sunlight!

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