OGDEN — A deal with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office will give the Bicycle Collective of Utah more bikes to sell or donate to the community.
Weber County commissioners this week approved a request from the sheriff’s office to donate unclaimed evidence bicycles to the collective from now on.
The idea to donate the bicycles came from Weber County Sheriff’s Office Evidence Manager Candy Follum.
Follum said the sheriff’s office receives many bicycles each year and tries hard to return the bicycles to the right owner. But even with those efforts, a lot of bicycles go unclaimed.
Many of the bicycles have been abandoned, left locked in front of a building for a long time. The sheriff’s office sees the biggest influx of bikes during the summer.
After a deputy or a resident brings in a bike, the sheriff’s office keeps it for 90 days. An ad is placed in the newspaper and posted in the lobby of the sheriff’s office.
“First and foremost,” Follum said, “we want to get the property back to the owners.”
When a bicycle is not picked up within the 90 days, the finder has the first chance to claim it.
But if the bicycle still goes unclaimed, Follum said, the new policy will allow the bikes to be donated to the Bicycle Collective.
In the past, the sheriff’s office held auctions and tried to donate the bicycles to agencies, such as Prevent Child Abuse Utah.
However, most of the bicycles are in need of repairs, and the nonprofit agencies do not have the resources to do that.
Follum researched what to do with the bicycles and settled on the collective.
The Bicycle Collective of Utah has several locations across the Wasatch Front, including one in Ogden, at 2404 Wall Ave., across from Union Station.
The collective is staffed by volunteers who help residents make bike repairs or use the collective’s extensive tool collection. It rents shop space at $5 an hour, as well as selling reconditioned bikes.
The Weber County Sheriff’s Office is not the only entity that donates bikes to the collective.
Ogden Bicycle Collective Director Josh Jones said it also receives bicycles from the Ogden and South Ogden police departments. He hopes to see other entities follow their example.
“We’re looking to develop more relationships with other municipalities and other law enforcement agencies,” Jones said. “We would love to see more of this happen.”
The collective also hopes to be a clearing house to provide bicycles in good working order for other agencies.
“We would love to be that central location where even other nonprofits could work with us,” Jones said.
By donating to the collective, Jones said, cities and the county ensure that a bicycle does not end up in a landfill and is reconditioned and put to use in the community.
Bicycles are sold, donated or used for parts to fix other bicycles. Jones said the money from bike sales keeps the lights on in the shop.
Prices generally range from $10 to $100, but can go as high as $400 for higher-end bicycles.
The collective even offers a program where a person can earn a bicycle by volunteering at the shop.
The Ogden Bicycle Collective is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.