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‘Bike-car’ found, then scrapped before it could be recovered

Posted by on July 8th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

The last photo taken of Johnnie O’s bike-car; before it was taken to a recycling facility and cut up for scrap.
(Photo: Humboldt Gardens)

The saga of Johnnie Olivan’s “bike-car” has come to an unfortunate end.

Johnnie Olivan-5

Johnnie Olivan.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Johnnie is the guy who makes bike trailers, sculptures, and multi-rider “bike-cars” out of reused bike parts under his Rejuiced Bikes banner. Back in October 2009, I shared his excellent custom trailer designs with you and then followed up in March with big news that he’d won a $15,000 grant to build several “bike-cars.”

Then, at the end of June, Johnnie’s nearly completed bike-car prototype was stolen after being left unlocked outside his house on N. Williams Avenue in the Piedmont Neighborhood.

Today I heard from Johnnie that his bike was found last week in front of a dumpster at the Humboldt Gardens housing development on N. Vancouver and Alberta. As you can see by the taco’d rear wheel in the photo above, it must have been joy-ridden and left there.

Unfortunately, according to Johnnie, Humboldt Gardens staff thought it was left by the dumpster as trash and didn’t check with the police to see if it was stolen so they disposed of it. The bike was hauled away to a Metro metal recycling facility.

Johnnie says he called the Metro location and one worker said he remembered seeing it, but it was too late. The bike was put in a bin and was cut up “into little pieces.”

Sad but not defeated, Johnnie says, “The bike is gone….going to build some more.”

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  • Spiffy July 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    that’s a sad ending…

    and it’s sad to think that you can’t park your bike anywhere near the garbage if it has anything wrong with it since despite there being a ton of great parts on it they thought it was trash…

    but I have to realize that most people have no idea on the value of bicycles when they see them being given away all day long around here…

    I wonder why the person that took the picture didn’t put the bike in a more secure location and just left it there by the dumpster… or maybe they only took the picture because they thought it was a neat bike and didn’t realize it was stolen property that people were looking for…

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  • q`Tzal July 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    v2: better wheels.

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  • anonymous July 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    If you value your bike, lock it every time.
    I feel for the guy but it was unlocked and this is a society built on provate ownership.
    Lock. Your. Bike. Always.

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  • the "other" steph July 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Heya Johnnie, let us know when you’re going to have a “bike parts potluck” to get the next creation going. I’m sure I have an extra fork rolling around that needs a really, really good home.

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  • aljee July 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    keep on keepin on.

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  • Kronda July 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    NO ONE deserves to get their bike stolen–but what is up with people leaving things they’ve put tons of hard work into sitting unsecured in their yards or on the street? Portland is nice and all but it’s not a small town in 1957. People steal. Lock up your stuff folks.

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  • Oliver July 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    5 whole blocks where it was stolen from.

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  • Gregg Woodlawn July 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Super fucked up.

    So sorry to hear about this!

    I loved that bike.

    I hope that luck swings the other way and you have nothing but greatness coming your way!

    BTW- I’m also sorry that so many responders are rubbing salt in the wounds and repeating each other to tell you to lock up your bike- you don’t deserve it.

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  • Opus the Poet July 9, 2010 at 11:48 am

    What I don’t get is this was a very distinctive creation, why wasn’t any attempt made to see if it had been stolen prior to scrapping it?

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