What seemed like a brilliant idea last week landed with a resounding thud at eBay on Thursday when the 17 bicycles being auctioned off by Tailwind Sports received nary a bid.
The bicycles, mostly Madone 6.9 road bikes or Equinox TTX time trial machines, carried Discovery Channel colors, the sponsor that ended its association with Tailwind this year. Tailwind gave up on finding a new sponsor and put these bikes out to bid.
Even though the individual Treks had pedigree papers identifying their authenticity and pro riders who used them, apparently no one thought that cache was worth plunking down up to $12,200 for the starting bid — not even for George Hincapie's time trial bike (above).
Prices ranged from $6,200 for Urus Murn's Madone 5.9 (he's the only one without a 6.9) to $10,200 for most of the Madone 6.9s to $12,200 for a time trial bike. Had all the bikes sold just for the starting bid, Tailwind would have walked away with nearly $200,000.
What to do with the bikes now? Tailwind Sports says the bikes are in Austin. Maybe they could donate the bikes to the Austin Yellow Bikes Project, where they'll be spray-painted bright yellow and put to a good use as free-ride bikes downtown.
Since Yellow Bikes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, maybe Tailwind could convince the IRS that the entire $6,200 to $12,200 for each bike is a charitable contribution.
Note to Discovery Channel pro cycling team fans: Ten time trial helmets, emblazoned with the Discovery colors, are still on the eBay auction block and people are bidding for these. Bids run from about $255 upwards and close Friday.