The oversized chains and locks work. But when some of a bike’s parts aren’t locked they seem to get picked off. That often starts the abandonment process.
These stripped and rusting bicycle leftovers are probably just an accepted part of big city life these days. But I’m sure many of the home or business owners on the other side of the sidewalk from these eyesores would pay to be rid of them.
So here’s a business idea for a friend who’s living in NYC. He’s young, active, personable, and likes to use his bike to get around town. After arriving in the city, his bike was stolen because he was using an old style U-lock that the big city bike thieves knew how to open using only a Bic pen (you can see how on youtube).
Maybe call the business AbandonedBikeRemoval.com or something like that. Then get stickers with that name and apply them to the wrecks and tell the person living nearby, if you could find them, about the service.
Charge $49 to remove the first abandoned bike. And $29 for each additional one they have nearby.
The abandoned bike would have to be removed, preventing people from paying you to liberate someone’s bike that they want.
After cutting the lock, the still serviceable chains or cables could be sold to bike shops to resell, ditto for any “vintage” but still useable parts. The rest could trashed or sold as scrap.
The business could be run online and billed via paypal or something similar. Equipment needs would be minimal, a small cutting torch and a heat-resistant blanket (to protect the immovable object). Everything could be easily transported by bike to the job site.
Of course, you’d also need a lock and chain – so no one steals your bike while you’re working.