New Richmond Police Department ike giveaway 2

Over the past couple years, the New Richmond Police Department has amassed close to 200 bicycles that were lost, abandoned or stolen and never reclaimed. Photo by Tom Lindfors

NEW RICHMOND -- You will not find a better opportunity to score a decent bicycle for $2 than on Saturday, June 5, at the massive bike giveaway being sponsored by the New Richmond Police Department.

Over the past couple years, the department has amassed close to 200 bicycles that were lost, abandoned or stolen and never reclaimed. 

The department does its best to return stolen bicycles to their rightful owners by periodically posting items on Facebook encouraging people who have lost bikes to contact the department. 

“If you’ve lost a bike and you have a description of it or a serial number, get ahold of the department. We may have it and we’d like to get them back to the rightful owner,” said New Richmond Police Chief Craig Yehlik.

These bikes range in condition from “ready to ride” to “needs some tender loving care,” but regardless of condition, all will be sold for only $2 per bike. 

The $2 is the cost to register a bike with the police department. Registering a bike provides the city with the make of the bike, a description and color of the bike and serial number. In exchange, owners receive a sticker that can be affixed to the bike. One-time registration is good for the life of the bike.

“Most people don’t know that we register bikes. We offer it as a public service. It makes getting a bike back to the rightful owner a lot easier,” Yehlik said.

Bikes purchased at the giveaway will be automatically registered and folks are also welcome to bring bikes they already own to be registered at the same time.

“Officer Westmoreland and Sergeant Sather were doing an inventory of the bikes to see what we could get rid of and they came up with the idea that maybe we should do a bike giveaway. Put these bikes back into the community. Bikes are really hard to come by right now if you go to a bike store. We thought the time is right to get these bikes back into our community and at the same time promote the physical wellness that bikes offer. This is a very bike friendly community,” Yehlik said.

As an added bonus, the department will be giving away bike helmets left over from past bike rodeos conducted by School Resource Officer Aaron Anderson. The helmets will be given away on a first come first serve basis.

The giveaway will take place on Saturday, June 5, between 10 a.m. - 12 noon, on the grassy area right next to the city solar garden across from the 45th Parallel on Madison Ave. City residents will get the first pick of the bicycles from 10 a.m.- 11.am. At 11 a.m. the giveaway will be opened up to anybody interested in purchasing a bike.  

“These bikes are not perfect. These are not brand new store-bought bikes. But some of them, certainly you could get on them today and go for a ride,” said Yehlik.

According to Consumer Reports, the average cost to purchase an ordinary “comfort” bike today ranges from $300 - $600 while higher tech mountain and road bikes can run thousands of dollars. For families looking to get out together to take advantage of New Richmond’s exceptional trails system, this opportunity is too good to pass up.

For more information visit the New Richmond Police Department on Facebook at: newrichmondpolicedepartmentwi.

Tom Lindfors is a western Wisconsin freelance journalist and former Star-Observer reporter. Contact him at tom@lindforsphoto.com

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