IN BRIEF: Bicycle Auction Goes Online

Bicycle parking area
Abandoned bicycles are on the online auction block. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)


  • Abandoned bikes up for auction, online
  • Marshall Med Center joins cancer network
  • 2 bumblebees, but no butterfly and no beer
  • Holiday toy drives fill Santa's sleigh

Bike auction moves online

In response to the pandemic, Transportation Services’ biannual auction of abandoned bicycles has moved online. The auction, through GovDeals — the same vendor used by AggieSurplus — is live now, and new bikes will be added occasionally until the backlog of unclaimed bikes is exhausted.

“We love bikes,” Transportation Services says on its website. “We love rehoming and repurposing abandoned bikes. But we love keeping everyone safe, more. Maybe we'll be back to in-person auctions in the future, maybe not. But we will do all we can to meet the moment and find a way to keep this Aggie tradition alive!”

Transportation Services staff regularly patrol the campus and mark any bike that looks abandoned with a warning giving the owner at least 48 hours to move it or correct its appearance. After that, they’re impounded and efforts are made the find the registered owner — if the bike is registered — and make sure the bike hasn’t been reported as stolen. After that, the bikes are donated or put up for auction.

Forty bikes are currently up for auction, with bids ranging from $5 to $82 at the time of this writing.

Cancer Center expands its reach

Marshall Medical Center of Placerville and UC Davis Health announced an affiliation for cancer services that allows Marshall patients access to the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center through the UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network. The National Cancer Institute recently renewed the prestigious “comprehensive” designation of the cancer center, recognizing it as one of the top 51 cancer centers in the country. Read more in this UC Davis Health news release.

2 bumblebees, no butterfly, no beer

What we wanted was a butterfly and a bumblebee in two UC Davis contests. We ended up with two insects, all right, but both of them were bumblebees!

The annual contests seek evidence of the “first” bumblebee or cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) of the new calendar year, from the region in and around Davis.

Distinguished Professor Art Shapiro’s Beer for a Butterfly contest never got off the ground. He canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. The next contest will be the 50th — all of them providing data for Shapiro’s research on evolutionary response to climate change.

That left the Bohart Museum of Entomology’s Robbin Thorp Memorial First Bumblebee of the Year Contest, in which two people in separate locations of the Arboretum spotted the “first” bumblebee at exactly the same time: 2:30 p.m. New Year’s Day.

The winners: Maureen Page, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Entomology and Nematology; and Ellen Zagory, retired director of public horticulture for the Arboretum and Public Garden. Each of them turned in photos of their finds, earning prize coffee cups decorated with an image of a Franklin’s bumblebee (Bombus franklini), a species near and dear to the contest’s namesake, a distinguished professor of entomology who died in June 2019 at the age of 85.

Kathy Keatley Garvey has all the details in her story.

Mail Services pose behind tables stacked with toys.
Santa’s helpers, from left: Felix Landeros, Ranjlyn Sharma, David Sheets, Robert Casillas, Steve DeGeyter, Alicia Davis and Joe Eredia. (Mark Blankenship/UC Davis)

Toys, toys and more toys!

Holiday toy drive results:

  • Toys for Tots — Mail Services on the Davis campus collected 413 toys, including a sizeable donation from the Police and Fire departments. Held in conjunction with the Marine Corps Reserve, which distributed the toys to Yolo County children.
  • Virtual Holiday Toy Drive — More than 100 people donated toys and other gifts worth $10,212, ordering off the hospital’s Amazon Wish List, for delivery to UC Davis Children’s Hospital, enough for all the children from infant to teen who were hospitalized during the holidays. The drive also provided toys for patients in the pediatric infusion center at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Cash donations totaling $21,125 will go toward toys, art supplies, music supplies and more for use all throughout the year at the hospital, Comprehensive Cancer Center and MIND Institute.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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